Singapore Tourism Board announces initiatives for more sustainable and impactful MICE industry

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched several initiatives to raise sustainability standards across the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry and to reinforce its position as the ‘World’s Best MICE City’, an official news release stated.

The Esplanade neighbourhood in Singapore. Photo courtesy: Singapore Tourism Board
Singapore’s Esplanade neighbourhood. Photo courtesy: Singapore Tourism Board

In a concerted effort to pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future for MICE events, STB launched its Legacy Toolkit, a Singapore MICE Industry Carbon and Waste Baselining Study, and announced its ambition for carbon neutral participation at international trade shows.

Since the launch of the MICE Sustainability Roadmap in 2022, the Singapore Tourism Board has remained steadfast in our commitment to fostering a more sustainable and impactful MICE industry. We are pleased to share that the initiatives we unveil today will not only steer the MICE industry towards a more sustainable future, but also provide tangible ways in which event organisers and planners can make meaningful, lasting impact in Singapore. We will continue to collaborate with stakeholders and uphold our ambition to be the World’s Best MICE City.

– Yap Chin Siang, Deputy Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board.

Legacy Toolkit and FIRM

The ‘World’s Best MICE City’ global positioning campaign, recently launched in March 2024, aims to strengthen Singapore’s pioneering role as a sustainable MICE destination and ensure that business events can leave a positive and lasting impact. The city-state is committed to supporting the impact ambitions of events, by inviting event organisers and planners to co-create business events that yield meaningful outcomes. The legacy toolkit, designed to assist stakeholders to understand legacy and impact and embark on creating their own, contains a clear framework titled ‘FIRM’.

The toolkit encourages planners to Frame their vision, Ideate their initiatives, Realise action plans and Measure impact. It also contains case studies to inspire legacy possibilities in Singapore. The legacy planning process aims to foster greater engagement between event organisers, venues, local communities and stakeholders.

This includes working with established community organisations and institutions that serve as local points of contact to provide support and resources. The National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre is a prime example of such an institution in Singapore, providing valuable networks and expertise to build an inclusive and caring society. STB encourages meeting planners and event organisers to tap on the toolkit to maximise long-term positive impact from their events.

Understanding and reducing carbon emissions locally and abroad

STB said it is committed to understanding and reducing carbon and waste emissions in the MICE industry. It has also rolled out a two-pronged approach.

First, Singapore was one of the first countries in the world to commence a national MICE Industry Carbon and Waste Baseline exercise in 2023 to study the MICE industry’s environmental impact, thus meeting one of the targets outlined in the MICE Sustainability Roadmap announced by STB in 2022. Through this study, an aggregated baseline of sustainability data points was established, focusing on Energy, Water and Waste. These metrics can be consistently measured and are aligned with the global Net Zero Carbon Events Methodology.

The findings revealed that:

a. The average MICE venue-related carbon emissions per attendee stand at 14.13 kg CO2.

b. A large proportion, 94 percent of MICE venue-related emissions, comes from Energy.

The aggregated data will assist STB and the industry to track carbon emissions baselines regularly, and insights gained will be instrumental in driving waste reduction and decarbonisation strategies for positive environmental outcomes.

Second, STB will adopt a pioneering role in understanding carbon emissions when participating in international MICE tradeshows. STB is therefore aiming for carbon neutral participation at key international tradeshows from 2024, namely IMEX Frankfurt, IMEX America and IBTM World. This long-term goal is part of the proactive approach to environmental stewardship, which aims to significantly reduce its own carbon footprint as an exhibitor at these platforms.

IMEX Frankfurt 2024 will be the first tradeshow where STB is committed to holding itself accountable to robust standards in the journey to carbon neutral participation. It aims to adhere to ISO14068 standards, newly published in December 2023 that ‘provides principles, requirements, and guidance for achieving and demonstrating carbon neutrality’. In accordance with ISO 14068, STB will take a hierarchical approach that prioritises emission reduction and removal over offsets, offsetting residual emissions only. Singapore is one of the first destinations to hold itself to this standard, demonstrating its commitment to responsible decarbonisation.

With STB’s deliberate efforts to create a more sustainable pavilion and track its carbon profile, it will utilise this information to derive and refine carbon reduction measures for future tradeshow participation. Please refer to the Annex for examples of measures that STB has taken for emission reduction and removal at IMEX Frankfurt 2024.

Vibrant destination with a host of privileges for MICE events in Singapore

To further entice MICE organisers to Singapore and ensure an integrated, seamless event experience in in the country, the enhanced Singapore MICE Advantage Program (SMAP) was rolled out in March 2024. A range of new and revamped benefits have been added from partners such as Singapore Airlines, Changi Airport Group, tourist attractions and food & beverage experiences.

The year 2024 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB), a group of the Singapore Tourism Board, and the SECB’s efforts will continue to centre on shaping and retaining Singapore’s exceptional reputation for business events.

The iconic Merlion. Photo courtesy: Unsplash
The iconic Merlion. Photo courtesy: Unsplash

Testament to the unwavering support of event organisers, meeting planners, and industry partners, Singapore has achieved its highest-ever ranking, securing 2nd position on the ICCA Worldwide City Rankings 2023. This remarkable ascent, advancing more than 10 places from the 2022 results, underscores Singapore’s commitment to excellence in the global MICE industry.

Furthermore, the Lion City maintains its position as Asia Pacific’s Top Meeting City for 21 consecutive years, reaffirming its unparalleled appeal and capabilities in hosting world-class meetings and events. This announcement marks a monumental achievement for Singapore as a leading Global-Asia node for business, empowering MICE events and delegates to achieve meaningful and lasting impact.