How to Spread One’s Sustainable Wings

29th October 2021

Jeju, the largest island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, is taking sustainability very seriously. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Korean province is dominated by the 1950m Hallasan Mountain and the idyllic backdrop of spectacular waterfalls, protected forests, caves and lava tubes. With such an awe-inspiring environment, it’s only normal that the island wants to lead the way when it comes to green initiatives.

Words Remi Deve

Jeju has long been the country’s favorite domestic holiday destination thanks to its beautiful beaches, lush countryside and seaside hotels designed for rest and relaxation. If it is well-known nationally, the island is making giant steps towards the international market with a not-so-secret card now: its commitment to sustainability, which is translated into many reforms that are currently taking place.

This includes measures to replace fossil fuels with power generated by wind via land and sea turbines; plus that from solar energy, small hydropower and electrical storage facilities. The Island is also installing smart grid technologies that collect data on energy use and demand to improve efficiency in energy production and consumption. 

The key drivers of this transformation are new partnerships by which government agencies and private sector companies collaborate to turn Jeju into a carbon free island. Beyond this, both the public and private sectors are working hard to make the island as a sustainable business event destination. Case in point: it recently joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) as a Destination Member.

Green MICE Campaign

To stay competitive in the ever-growing MICE market, Jeju Convention & Visitors Bureau (JejuCVB) is also carrying out a large-scale Green MICE campaign. Making Jeju a true Green MICE destination and leading the global Green New Deal that South Korea as a whole has embraced is a reality that cuts across the bureau’s goals. This includes initiatives like the “Green MICE Slogan and Idea Contest” which was held back in March 2021. 

The Green MICE campaign, called ‘WE GREEN JEJU’, came to fruition and secured a certification mark based on that same slogan. Jeju CVB is promoting the campaign through SNS Instagram events highlighting the island’s natural wonders, local attractions and diverse certifications in the environment field. It also presents calls for recycling and informs about the need for sustainability at all stages of event design.

In addition, JejuCVB and the Jeju International Convention Center (ICC JEJU), along with other stakeholders across Jeju’s whole supply chain, are seeking to obtain ISO 20121 international certification, which will provide guidance and best practices to help you manage your event and control its social, economic and environmental impact. 

In July, the Green MICE Forum was held with the goal of “minimizing the use of disposable goods, using fair trade products, and using tumblers.” Organized by JejuCVB, it featured keynote presentations and special lectures on sustainability. 

On this occasion, the Jeju Green MICE Manual was introduced, designed to help MICE professionals operate in the most sustainable way. The manual is a customized guidebook for sustainable event operation targeting conference organizers, participants, participating companies, and facilities, in each sector of the MICE industry.

Grand Hyatt Jeju

Grand Hyatt Jeju, which opened in December 2020, might well be a good example of what Jeju is becoming. Translating a new vision of the Grand Hyatt brand that places sustainability in the foreground, it’s reflective of its unique environment, and providing its guests with a first-class integrated resort service and hospitality. 

The hotel is committed to minimizing its environmental impact. In that regard, it’s encouraging the reuse of bed and bath linen; all hotel menus and programme books are operated electronically in order to reduce paper waste; all amenity packaging containers are made from eco-friendly plastic, and the toothbrushes are wood-based, not plastic!

Grand Hyatt Jeju is also making an effort to protect the environment by effectively saving energy: it’s installed LED bulbs all across the hotel and solar panels on its roof, and boasts eco-friendly air filters and many charging stations for electric vehicles.

Jeju, as a World’s Green MICE City, will be officially introduced at the Jeju Green MICE City Declaration Ceremony, scheduled in November. As such, the island is looking forward to growing beyond its image as one of Asia’s cherished Resort MICE Destinations and to becoming a truly global sustainable MICE city.

For more information on Jeju as a Green MICE Destination, please visit and

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