EGF conference wins Silver African Responsible Tourism Award

Accepting the award - left to right - Prof Harold Goodwin, Justin Hawes and Grace Stead.

The Event Greening Forum’s (EGF) 2018 Conference and Master Class received a Silver African Responsible Tourism Award at the World Travel Market in Cape Town, on 10 April 2019.

The award category is a new one – Best Sustainable Event, for which the EGF was acknowledged in the small event category.

Justin Hawes, the Treasurer of the EGF, accepted the award and said, “It’s wonderful to be acknowledged in this way. As an organisation that promotes sustainable event practices, it is imperative that we implement our own recommendations and lead by example.”

Examples of event greening done at the EGF’s 2018 Conference and Master Class include:

  • The venue, the forum | white light, has ample natural lighting, reducing the need for energy.
  • The menu was made from seasonal ingredients sourced within a 50km radius. Much of it came from the venue’s own gardens.
  • Conference speakers and guests were given gift cards to purchase their own gifts from the Sustainability Village. The vendor was African Mama Crafts, a 100% black female owned SME who works with rural cooperatives to provide employment and business support, while also using responsibly sourced materials.
  • There were no conference bags or printed marketing materials.
  • All food was served with reusable crockery.
  • Jugs of water were served, rather than having bottled water.

Hawes adds, “We don’t tend to implement extravagant greening. Rather we use our events to showcase easy, effective measures that anyone can adopt, which cost little to nothing. We hope that by doing this we are removing any barriers for others to start their own event greening journey.”

Also scooping up an award in this category was EGF member, South African National Tourism (SA Tourism), who won a Gold Award for its business tourism show, Meetings Africa 2018. The EGF has been working with SANCB to assist them with their event greening efforts.

“Like many tourism bodies and organisations around the world, South African Tourism is championing and spreading sustainable and responsible tourism practices within the travel industry,” commented SA Tourism’s Chief Convention Bureau Officer, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo.

“By ensuring that Meetings Africa is a Green Event, we have committed to responsible and sustainable tourism practices and have led the way since 2011 and winning this award is testament to our efforts in this regard.”

The EGF is busy planning its next responsible Conference and Master Class, on the 11 and 10 July 2019 respectively, under the theme ‘Imagining a different future’. Both events will be held at Hominin House at Maropeng, in order to take advantage of the venue’s green building status – including a grey water recycling system, living wall and solar energy.

For more information about these events, go to