Pioneering Positive Impact Conferences in Brussels

11th September 2023

In the bustling city of Brussels, conferences are embracing a higher purpose – becoming catalysts for positive environmental and social change. With a strong commitment to responsible business tourism, Brussels is leading the charge in fostering sustainable events that not only benefit the environment but also empower the local community.

Words Remi Deve

Driving this initiative is, a dedicated advocate for sustainability in event planning. Through their annual digital brochure ‘Let’s Meet,’ they equip planners with a comprehensive resource, spotlighting sustainable venues, eco-conscious businesses, and social equity solutions. With a keen focus on minimizing transfers and promoting accessibility through soft-mobility initiatives, bike-friendly accommodations, and venues accessible to people with reduced mobility, is transforming how events impact the city.

Virginie Lurkin, the Convention Bureau Manager at, shares, “We’re not just aiming for sustainability, but considering the long-term benefits that both leisure and business travelers bring. We’re molding our loyalty program to align with our broader vision for tourism.”

New support program next year

Looking forward to next year, Brussels is poised for even more significant strides in sustainable event support. The Convention & Association Bureau of (CVAB) is indeed reshaping their 2024 support program to establish pioneering standards in responsible event promotion.

Set to kick off in Autumn 2023, a revamped annual competition format will adhere to global sustainability standards. With rewards focusing on promoting soft mobility (free public transport tickets for delegates) or assisting in carbon impact reduction (for recurrent event organizers), this initiative promotes responsible practices rather than traditional prizes or payments.

A diverse array of applicants, spanning international associations, event management firms, corporations, NGOs, and universities, are welcome to participate. However, it’s important to note that Regions, Communities, and local authorities are not eligible for this competition. Also, submissions should align with one of the following predefined categories: Healthcare, Sustainable Economy, Digital Economy, Biosciences, or Finance & Trade. The aim is to foster Brussels’ centres of excellence, responsible and inclusive initiatives, and events during low seasons to ensure long stays and seasonality.

Wealth of expertise

The city’s prowess in these sectors is indeed unparalleled. Thanks to the conducive conditions for their expansion, Brussels, for example, accommodates a wide range of research and development organizations, creating a flourishing ecosystem encompassing various domains of activity. In the sustainability realm, the Belgian capital’s investments in renewable energy and circular economy practices will hopefully propel it into the top 10 destinations of the GDS-Index worldwide before 2030. Moreover, its digital ecosystem thrives with collaboration between government, academia, and businesses, making it a hub for innovation.

Bolstered by this expertise, conferences in these sectors can raise their profiles, engage attendees, and leave a lasting legacy in Brussels. Collaborations with local stakeholders promise a two-fold impact – fostering vibrant exchanges while enriching the local community through groundbreaking ideas.

Brussels stands as a beacon for the world, proving that sustainable events not only educate but also elevate societies. With their pioneering approach, they’re changing the landscape of conferences for good.

Travel responsibly – meet responsibly in Brussels and learn all about the new support program here.

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