Sustainability Report World Forum
Events that shape the world
2 Sustainability Report World Forum
table of contents
1. Organisation Profile 7
1.1 Our Company 7
1.2 Structure 8
1.3 The Market 9
1.4 Stakeholders 10
1.5 CSR policy 10
1.6 Recognition of CSR results 10
1.7 Memberships 11
2. People 12
2.1 Employment issues 12
2.2 Human rights 14
2.3 Society 15
2.4 Ambitions 17
3. Planet 19
3.1 Energy consumption 19
3.2 Waste 20
3.3 CO2 compensation 20
3.4 Catering 21
3.5 Ambitions 22
4. Profit 23
5. About this report 23
6. GRI table 24
Sustainability Report World Forum
4 Sustainability Report World Forum
Photographer: Lex Draijer
The World Forum Convention Center in The Hague (Holland)
is possibly one of the smallest members of the United Nations
Global Compact. However, being internationally oriented as
we are, we still feel we can make an impact. At the World
Forum we see our corporate social responsibility policy as a
sport at the highest level. In top sport, you go for gold alone.
It is for that reason that the signing of the Global Compact
3 years ago was the official kick-off for a new race to run at
the World Forum. In doing so, we pledged our dedication to
protecting human rights, labour rights, the environment and
fighting corruption. We are ethically and sustainably active in
various areas. For instance, the World Forum Ethical Program
comprises various measures for checking choices for integrity
and actually making a difference for a more sustainable
society. As part of the Ethical Program the World Forum only
uses green electricity and, among other things, it is a member
of the Green Meeting Industry Council and “MVO Nederland”
(CSR Netherlands, a Dutch government subsidiary). On a
much smaller and local level we have agreed to participate
with our team in the National Day of Volunteers, a nationwide
initiative with local execution. We also are supporting a school
which enables children who live in the more challenging part
of the City of The Hague with their weekend program.
Be inspired and inspire others by receiving and giving green
signals is crucial for an effective change. Since the signing of
the United Nations Global Compact we have let our partners
and suppliers agree to sign our “Suppliers Code of Conduct”
which includes the same goals as stated by the UN Global
Compact. In doing so we have encouraged them to taka a
fresh new look at their operations and company philosophy.
potential environmental impact of their event, they are offered
to calculate their final impact on our website. They are then
offered to compensate through the efforts of the Climate
Neutral Group or locally through the The Hague Climate Fund.
Since the World Forum started its “Ethical Program” all staff
is committed to change in their own area of responsibility.
From big decisions to small ones. If the Facility staff
needs to install new lights LED lighting is ordered, if the
communication department needs to order new pens, they
order, after a long search, biodegradable pens. A “Green
Update” is sent regularly to the staff and partners of the World
By no means we will ever think we “have arrived” in the area
of Corporate Social Responsibility but the journey to make
serious progress is an exciting one. We have noticed it is not
only our top priority but also the focus of many associations,
institutions and corporations we work with while planning
and executing their events. Our slogan “Events that Shape the
World” greatly describes the way we like to operate.
We effect also a chain reaction through our Green Event
Checklist on the website, a document with plenty of
suggestions and ideas for making an event as ‘green’ as
possible.’ With this list clients are encouraged to check how
green their upcoming event is. Once they have reduced the
Sustainability Report World Forum
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1. organisation profile
1.1 Our company
The World Forum is an international congress centre in The
Hague, the city of peace and justice. Historically, The Hague,
with its Peace Palace, has been the world’s location of choice
to discuss international peace and justice. The city hosted
its first peace conference in 1899. Since then, whenever any
new development in the field of peace emerges, The Hague
is looked to as a potential home for it, and over time many
institutions in the field of international law and peace have
come to establish themselves here. The World Forum is
located at the heart of The Hague World Forum, The Hague’s
international zone, and stands shoulder to shoulder with the
city in providing a home for meetings on peace and justice.
Each and every one of the extraordinary meetings and events
that take place in the World Forum, no matter what the
scale, have the potential to change the world view of those
who attend them. Whether it’s an international conference
on banning chemical weapons, or an illuminating discussion
between two CEOs, these are events that shape the world. The
conferences of the International Criminal Court (ICC) or the
OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)
held here represent dialogues at the highest levels of
international relations and law. And in 2009, the World Forum
successfully hosted the biggest peace conference to be held in
the Netherlands since the Second World War: the UN summit
on Afghanistan, with its 73 delegations from all over the world.
Along with national and international conferences at the
highest level, the World Forum also hosts corporate events,
receptions and exhibitions. The flexibility of its multifunctional
location allows the World Forum to offer a wide variety of
events for any target group. The site is also home to the
Netherlands’ largest theatre auditorium, where many major
national and international productions are staged.
Sustainability Report World Forum
Since October 2009, the operation of the World Forum has
been handled by GL events, a French events management
company with 33 conference and event centres worldwide.
For over 30 years, GL events has been managing events
in Europe and beyond. Today the company is active on five
continents and employs over 3,500 people.
The day-to-day operations of the World Forum are handled
by General Manager Michiel Middendorf, who reports to GL
events’ Managing Director, Venue Management (Jean-Eudes
Rabut) at the company’s headquarters in Lyon.
The World Forum has a total of 29 staff (23.36 FTE).
GL events’ takeover of the operations is entirely in line with
the World Forum’s international profile. It is a natural step in
the continuing rise of the World Forum’s international profile,
culminating in the UN Afghanistan summit in March 2009.
& Control/ HRM
Organization chart GL World Forum Convention Center B.V.
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1.3 The market
The World Forum serves the national and international
conference and events market. The clients of the World Forum
come from three areas: Public, Corporate and Culture.
den Ende Theaterproducties, Senf Theaterpartners, Studio
100 and Stardust. They bring to the World Forum Theater
a continuing programme of national and international top
artists, musicals and other cultural performances.
Fotograaf: Bert Rietberg
The public clients include organisations such as ministries
and associations. The corporate market is made up of national
and international businesses, including corporations such as
Microsoft, Aegon and ING, as well as Dutch national events
agencies. The World Forum’s cultural clients are major Dutch
agencies and producers like Stage Entertainment/Joop van
Most of the events and conferences hosted by the World
Forum are governmental or UN-related.
2007 2008 2009
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Number of events per year 2005-2009
international national cultural
chart of international conferences, national conferences and
cultural performances (2007-2009)
Sustainability Report World Forum
The stakeholders of the World Forum are the organisers,
partners, vendors, local authorities, neighbouring businesses,
visitors, local residents and employees. On all issues,
including those related to sustainability, we stay in constant
contact with our stakeholders on the developments at the
World Forum. At the start of each year, the stakeholders
receive an annual report of the World Forum that outlines the
most significant events of the past year. The stakeholders will
also receive a copy of this sustainability report.
1.6 Recognition of CSR results
In 2008 the World Forum won the Green Award, the award
for the best ‘green’ initiative. The jury lauded the World
Forum Ethical Program. The World Forum very clearly
and unequivocally opted to assume its corporate social
responsibility last year. The jury report was full of praise that
the World Forum does not only lead by its shinning example,
but also provides its clients the opportunity to follow that
1.5 CSR policy
The World Forum’s corporate social responsibility policy
is a defining feature of the organisation. Corporate social
responsibility and corporate citizenship is now the World
Forum’s singular USP. In this sector, trust is critical, and the
World Forum has to be able to bank on trust. We win the trust
of our clients and partners by profiling ourselves as a socially
responsible and engaged business that highly values integrity,
ethics and sustainability.
In 2009 the World Forum received the Golden Green Key. The
Green Key is the international eco-label for companies in the
tourism and recreation sectors that desire to be seriously
occupied with environmental protection in a manner that can
be monitored. This certificate is proof that the World Forum is
making more of an effort for the environment than is required
The World Forum’s payoff, “Events that shape the world”, is
also connected to our Ethical Program (the name used to refer
to the CSR policy within the World Forum). We refer to it this
way because we want to emphasise that for the World Forum,
CSR means much more than just attention to environmental
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The World Forum is a member of a number of national and
international organisations in the field of sustainability. In
these networks, the World Forum is a participant in the
exchange of knowledge and experience on corporate social
responsibility, not only within its own MICE market but on a
UN Global Compact
In 2008, the World Forum became the first location in the
Netherlands to sign the United Nations Global Compact. For
the World Forum and its partners, respect for human rights,
safe working conditions and environmentally conscious
operations are paramount concerns. The endorsement of the
UN Global Compact is an extra incentive for the World Forum
to continue to dedicate itself to a sustainable and responsible
Green Meeting Industry Council
To keep on top of the latest international developments in
“green meetings”, the World Forum is a member of the Green
Meeting Industry Council, an international consultative body
promoting the “greening” of the meeting industry.
Membership in MVO Nederland (CSR Netherlands) gives
the World Forum access to a broad knowledge and network
organisation within the industry in the field of corporate social
responsibility and corporate citizenship.
Green Label Events
Within the Dutch events sector, the World Forum is a proud
participant in the Groene Hartlopers initiative by Green Label
Events. This initiative is made up of a number of businesses
from the events sector. Our goal is to join with our industry
partners in standing up for corporate citizenship and
sustainable development in our industry. We exchange ideas
with allies and competitors alike, and together we inspire
each other to set the bar higher. Like all participants of the
Groene Hartlopers initiative, we want to be in the vanguard of
corporate social responsibility and “put our money where our
mouth is”. For us, the bottom line is transparency, knowledge
transfer, direct action and creating green solutions.
Sustainability Report World Forum
The World Forum is engaged with the people aspect in various
areas, both within and outside of the company. This means not
only the people of World Forum, but people in society.
Each year, the World Forum supports a number of initiatives
at the local and national level. Along with financial and
material support, this also means utilisation of our expertise
within the market.
2.1 Employment issues
The number of internship placements within the World Forum
has doubled. Where previously the World Forum had place for
two interns, one in the facilities department and one in the
events department, we recently added two extra internship
placements in the departments communications and sales.
The World Forum chose to expand the number of internship
placements because the demand in society for this type of
position has increased dramatically in recent years.
As a company, the World Forum stands for helping employees
to continue their career after life events such as pregnancy
and childbirth. We offer employees the option to work
part-time or work partially from home. Our goal is to allow
employees the room to strike a good balance between their
work and private lives, something that ultimately benefits our
Education and training
The World Forum offers an annual collective budget for
education and training. We invite all our employees to draft
a personal development plan each year. We then look at all
personal development plans and determine what training is
needed and who can participate in which programmes.
A supervisor with end responsibility can ask an employee
to take a training and/or coaching programme deemed
necessary for the proper performance of the employee’s
tasks and responsibilities. The supervisor and the employee
then make individual arrangements on the employee’s
For education and training costs in excess of a fixed amount,
a study agreement will generally have to be signed. These
agreements will usually stipulate a repayment schedule.
At the end of 2008, GL events launched the GL events Campus,
an internal training institute with a number of objectives:
■ Promoting employee motivation and participation
■ Promoting shared culture and team spirit
■ Promoting integration between the various divisions and
departments of GL events and creating networks
■ Developing and organising training programmes that meet
■ Maximising the return from training & education and
achieving internal knowledge sharing
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To achieve these objectives, GL Campus has a twofold
mission: coordination of all training & education plans of
the GL Group for optimum results and designing training
programmes for the development of expertise in the various
GL business lines.
At present, GL Campus offers mainly training programmes
given in the French language (oriented towards senior
management, operational management and basic
management), and focuses primarily on management, sales
positions and project-oriented employees. However, there
are now two English-language programmes available for
international staff: the Management Training and the Welcome
MPI Scholarship Program
World Forum is partner of the first MPI Scholarship Program
in the Netherlands, an initiative of MPI (Meeting Professionals
International). This program will start in april 2010. This
is a cooperation between the World Forum in The Hague,
MPI Netherlands and Stenden Hospitality Management in
Leeuwarden. In 2010 twelve students will be organizing two
Six students of Stenden Hospitality Management will be
organizing the first event ‘Next Generation’ on the 24th of June
in the World Forum. This event is part of a MPI educational
program set up to involve students (the next generation) in the
meetings and events industry and offer them the chance to
organise an actual MPI event for students, faculty members,
MPI members, press and non members.
The students organizing this event will receive a one year MPI
student membership sponsored by the World Forum and are
welcome to attend all MPI events in the Netherlands.
The event needs to be organised in a Corporate Social
Responsible way. The World Forum The Hague has a golden
Green Key and wants to express their CSR in the events
they organise and host. The event will reflect how the next
generation sees the meeting and event industry, how new
tools and new media are integrated in future events.
“Kijk Mee” Day
Each year, the Municipality of The Hague organises an open
day (the Kijk Mee Dag) for primary school pupils. Under this
initiative, children in their last year of primary school are given
an opportunity to get a look behind the scenes at a variety of
professions in industry or governmental or other institutions.
The World Forum is proud to be a part of this initiative,
and gives pupils a chance to get to learn about a number
of aspects involved in facilitating a theatre performance or
Regular updates on the developments in the field of CSR are
provided in an electronic Ethical Program Message sent to
the World Forum’s employees and partners. CSR is also a
recurring agenda item in the team meeting with all World
Forum employees. All this helps engender engagement on the
part of the employees.
Sustainability Report World Forum
2.2 Human rights
Concert for Child Soldiers
In 2009, the World Forum participated in a unique project
launched by an individual with a vision and a dream for the
child soldiers of the world. Ultimately, this project resulted
in a concert (“The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace” by Welsh
composer Karl Jenkins), with the entire proceeds going to
War Child. The World Forum provided the auditorium and
supervised the entire project. The partners and vendors of the
World Forum also fully sponsored all facilities. The end result
was a packed World Forum Theater, with total revenues of
€ 69,000, all of which were donated to War Child. This 100%
concept was made possible thanks to the dedication of all
performers and people involved, who dedicated themselves to
the project on an entirely voluntary basis.
It was a project in which the World Forum not only showed
engagement, but even more importantly, was genuinely
engaged in society. The project also made the employees of
the World Forum feel truly engaged - that what they were
doing had a real impact. And gave them a sense of renewed
pride in the company they work for.
In addition to a successful event, the organisation also wanted
to promote affirmation (ratification) by our country of the
Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the
Child. This protocol bans the involvement of children under
the age of 18 in armed conflicts. And the objective was met;
On 24 October 2009, the protocol became effective on the
entire territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, sending an
important signal and making an important contribution to the
lobby for eliminating the use of child soldiers.
Vendor code of conduct
When selecting its regular partners and vendors, the
World Forum considers all aspects of socially responsible
purchasing. Vendors and partners must sign a code of conduct
document in which they endorse the ten principles of the
United Nations Global Compact, including a commitment to
not deal in products that are the result of child labour. When
we request our partners and vendors to sign this document,
we feel we are raising awareness and getting people thinking.
Child Labour conference
Royal closing at global child labour conference in World
Forum. Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands attend
the closing of the two-day international conference against
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Ex child-soldier Kon Kelei
on the War Child Benefit Concert
child labour (‘The Hague Global Child Labour conference 2010,
Towards a World without Child Labour, Mapping the Road to
2016’) on the 11th of May in the World Forum.
center for peace and justice, that locates events that have a
bearing on the entire world, “Events that shape the World”.
Mr. Piet Hein Donner, the Minister of Social Affairs and
Employment, was the organisator of the conference
together with the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The conference was visited by 380 participants from 80
countries Those present include government officials from
Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India and the Netherlands,
representatives of employer and employee organizations
from various countries, non-governmental organizations and
international organizations as UNICEF and UNESCO.
The purpose of the conference is to emphasize once again
the importance of the fight against child labour and to reach
concrete agreements about eradicating the worst forms of
child labour by 2016. Such as work that is inevitably harmful
to their health and safety, as well as the deployment of
children as soldiers, in the sex industry or in illegal activities
like drugs trade.
The subject of this conference includes with the company
profile of the World Forum as an international convention
World Forum and its employees participate annually in
NL DOET (formerly “Make A Difference Day”), the largest
volunteer action in the Netherlands. For one or two days in
May, participants volunteer to work on a project/institution
in or around The Hague, like painting work at a petting zoo
or tackling some neglected garden work at Parnassia, an
institution helping adults and young adults with psychotic
disorders and elderly people with mental conditions and
On the day, we pay our employees their normal salaries to
participate in activities like these during their regular working
hours, so they can experience for themselves the importance
of social responsibility and citizenship. It increases the social
consciousness and involvement of our employees, and helps
keep them motivated and inspired in their other work.
Sustainability Report World Forum
IMC Weekend School
The IMC Weekend School is a school for supplemental
education for motivated young people aged ten to fourteen
who come from underprivileged neighbourhoods. At the
Weekend School locations, students follow a 2_-year
programme of courses taught every Sunday by committed
teaching professionals who love their job. The goal is to
help these young people expand their horizons, boost
their self-confidence and develop their talents. The World
Forum supports the location in The Hague by providing
accommodation as well as knowledge in the field of the
theatre, and by offering the experience of an actual cultural
Business and Climate
In 2010, the World Forum is participating in the Dutch
Business and Climate project, an initiative of the Municipality
of The Hague. A few regions in the Netherlands are already
familiar with this successful sustainability project, one of the
projects of Schools for Sustainability. Within these projects,
young people are asked to come up with creative solutions
for sustainability issues. In the Business and Climate project,
students form an advisory group designated the “climate
intervention team”. The team then sets about studying a
number of research questions within a company. The content
of the student research depends on the sustainability and
climate issues relevant to the specific company. The questions
that the World Forum has put to the students are:
■ What are the options for the separation and disposal of the
World Forum’s oversized waste? Would it be feasible to offer
this waste to local vendors or private individuals for re-use?
■ How can the World Forum achieve better waste separation
during conferences? This question is also about helping
conference-goers to separate their own waste.
By participating in this project, the World Forum hopes
to come up with new and better ways to separate waste.
In addition, the World Forum is also showing its social
commitment and helping teach students how to approach a
Valid Express was founded by Nicolette Mak in 1999.
Seeing her physically handicapped brother incapable of
getting a job inspired her to set up this courier service.
It serves as a vehicle for helping the chronically sick
and physically handicapped to get off, and stay off,
benefits. Today, Valid Express employs sixty people,
with offices in Amsterdam, The Hague/Rotterdam and
Utrecht, and has six hundred clients.
Valid Express believes in a world that takes its own
responsibility. Where people who have bodies with
issues can join forces with the business world, focusing
on potential instead of limitations.
For clients requiring courier services, the World Forum
offers Valid Express as preferred supplier.
The World Forum challenges its clients to be more socially
conscious in their own events. And we also challenge our
regular partners, vendors and the industry. The objective of
the World Forum Ethical Program is to promote corporate
social responsibility and corporate citizenship at the micro
level. We see communicating all activities and progress in this
area to the market and the world around us as an essential
part of this objective.
It was not so long ago that just such an incentive by one of
our clients pushed us over the line and made us go green.
That’s why we at the World Forum are sure we can pass on
the “green bug” to others; because we know first-hand how
effective such a signal can be. We call it our stinging nettle
theory: one little prickle is so irritating that before long you’ve
just got to do something about it.
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Green Events Checklist
The World Forum has developed a Green Events Checklist full
of practical tips an organiser can use to help put on a socially
responsible event. We have developed this list to encourage
our clients to make their events as green as possible. (See
appendix on page 26.)
Clients of the World Forum can choose to compensate for
their event’s CO2 emissions, either internationally (through
the Climate Neutral Group) or locally in the Netherlands
(through Klimaatfonds Den Haag climate fund). On the World
Forum website, we provide a CO2 calculator that clients can
use to calculate the emissions of their event and compensate
them through the Climate Neutral Group. Event organisers
preferring to compensate their event’s emissions locally can
also choose to compensate them through the Klimaatfonds
Den Haag by using the emissions calculator on www.
MVO, dat doe je zo!
The World Forum offers lectures on our CSR policy to
businessmen and women in all sectors, as part of the
corporate social responsibility stimulus programme “MVO,
dat doe je zo!”, a project of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
Our recent lectures in this programme include a lecture at the
Business Conference for the Haaglanden region, to ING event
managers, and at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce’s “Added
Value Day” 2009.
The World Form intends to make the people aspect a focus
for continuing development in 2010, and will be investigating
all options to do so. As one example, we are looking at the
possibility of setting up a programme for underprivileged
youth, to give young people with no prior training the
opportunity to specialise within one of the departments of the
Sustainability Report World Forum
18 Sustainability Report World Forum
Photographer: Robert Aarts
The World Forum looks after the environment whenever and
wherever possible. We scrutinise our energy consumption,
waste separation and compensation of the CO2 we still
produce despite every effort to reduce our emissions.
3.1. Energy consumption
The World Forum’s first priority is to reduce our energy
consumption. We then try to cover all our remaining energy
needs with green power wherever possible. Whatever CO2
emissions ultimately remain, we compensate in full.
In 2008, the World Forum’s total electricity consumption was
5,498,746 KWh, of which 2,300,000 KWh were generated from
“green” sources. In 2009, we reduced our consumption to
4,838,263 KWh. Given that our number of events was only
reduced by a very small amount, this means we cut our
power consumption by 12%, a reduction mainly accounted for
by the switch to LED lighting in a number of areas.
In that same period, the World Forum also reduced its
consumption of district heating, from 24,745 GJ in 2008 to
22,035 GJ in 2009.
LED 24.500 lighting
World Forum’s electricity consumption, 2008 and 2009 World Forum’s district heating consumption, 2008 and 2009
Sustainability Report World Forum
All public spaces of the World Forum were equipped with LED
lighting last year.
The LED lamp is a very energy-efficient lamp, which uses
fully 90% less energy than an ordinary incandescent bulb -
and lasts 50 times longer. And unlike saver bulbs, when they
do burn out LED lamps are not chemical waste, but can be
thrown away as ordinary trash. An LED lamp produces 120 kg
less CO2 annually than an ordinary incandescent bulb.
When no conferences are being held in the World Forum
during the summer period, we take a number of steps to
reduce energy consumption. These include turning off as
much lighting, ventilation and lifts as possible. In 2009,
measures like these and others allowed us to reduce our
energy consumption in the months of July and August by 23%
from one year earlier.
The switch to LED lighting in the public areas of the World
Forum has led to substantial energy savings. In the next
phase, we will be replacing all lighting in the auditoriums,
which will mean even more significant savings in energy
consumption. The exact savings will be made clear in next
In 2009, the World Forum had an energy scan conducted. In
this scan, the required building features were inventoried,
analysed and evaluated for energy-saving alternatives. The
scan showed that electricity and heat consumption is lower
than average according to benchmark information from 1993.
The result of the scan led to a number of recommendations
for further reduction, some of which were implemented
■ Insulation of fittings
■ A number of parts of the return flow equipment and
transformers were insulated to better retain heat
■ Installation of daylight regulators
On weekdays on which there are no events taking place in the
World Forum, a significant portion of the total lighting system
is fully turned off. In addition, a project for the improvement
of the working lighting is currently underway. The working
lighting in the auditoriums has also been optimised to be used
during activities as a replacement for auditorium lighting.
At the end of 2008, the World Forum completed the switch to
all-green power. And on this, we no longer offer our clients a
choice. All the power used in the building for our day-to-day
operations and during conferences and events is 100% green
In addition to switching to green power, the World Forum
continues to work towards reducing its total consumption.
We separate the waste produced at the World Forum into the
■ Office waste
■ Oversized waste (pallets, doors, steel frames)
■ Organic waste
■ Chemical waste (including fluorescent lighting elements)
■ Grease trap
In 2010, as part of the Business and Climate project (see 2.3),
we will be taking a closer look at the World Forum’s waste
process. We will investigate the developments and trends
in the field of waste separation, and look for answers to the
questions of how the World Forum can better separate its
waste and how to involve conference-goers in the process.
3.3 CO2 compensation
As an organisation, the World Forum operates on a fully
climate-neutral basis by compensating its CO2 emissions.
We compensate these emissions through the Climate Neutral
Group, a worldwide pioneer in the field of voluntary CO2
compensation services. Through the Climate Neutral Group,
the World Forum is investing in sustainable energy and
The World Forum also compensates an additional 10% of
its total CO2 emissions locally, through the Klimaatfonds
Den Haag. This means that the World Forum is in fact
overcompensating its emissions (110%). We compensate more
than we emit.
In 2008, the World Forum’s CO2 emissions totalled 1,847.17
tonnes. In 2009, we reduced these emissions by over 78%,
to 394.58 tonnes. This shows that the measures that the
World Forum has taken with its CSR policy have had a direct
20 Sustainability Report World Forum
and significant impact on our organisation’s CO2 footprint.
This dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions can be primarily
attributed to the switch to green electricity.
CO2 emissions, in tonnes, 2008 and 2009
The World Forum partners with catering company Maison
van den Boer, an organisation that fully endorses the World
Forum’s CSR policy. In its catering offerings, Maison van den
Boer selects a combination of organic, local and seasonal
products and sustainable choices. For example, all breads and
meats served are organic, and for ecological reasons, Maison
van den Boer chooses to not serve eel.
Client demand for organic or local products is on the rise.
As one indication, in 2010 the government will be imposing
an organic products requirement for a large portion of its
0 500 1.000 1.500
The World Forum can offer a professional O-Original drinking
water connection. The drinking water comes from the Dutch
dunes and is filtered on-site into mineral water. O-Original
water has many advantages: it is environmentally friendly,
costs less to transport, purchase and store, and, above all,
tastes great. It is on offer in a choice of varieties (still, lightly
carbonated and carbonated), has the same great flavour every
time and is available in any desired quantity, any time.
Along with this form of water, the World Forum also offers
Earth Water. A choice for Earth Water supports social
responsibility by making a contribution to the United Nations
Refugee Agency (UNHCR). In cooperation with the UNHCR,
Earth Water is contributing to the solution to the worldwide
shortage of clean drinking water. 100% of the net profit
goes towards providing clean water in disaster areas. Earth
Water asks for no donations of cash or time (spent doing
volunteer work), only to drink water. Earth Water donates all
net proceeds from the sale of this water to the UNHCR, which
invests them directly in sustainable water systems in areas
where refugees need it the most.
The World Forum has added juices (apple, pear and orange)
produced by De Appelaere company to its standard range.
Appelaere juices are pure and natural, with no additives or
preservatives. The juice is squeezed from fruit harvested using
environmentally friendly methods. The flavour and colour of
the apple and pear drinks are determined by the different
varieties of apple and pear used.
Fair Trade Restaurant Week
The World Forum’s Restaurant Pangea participated in the
Netherlands’ first-ever Fair Trade Restaurant Week, an
initiative organised by Puur! uit Eten (a Dutch sustainable
culinary magazine), and the Max Havelaar Foundation (the
driving force behind the Fair Trade quality mark). For one
week, restaurant fans could enjoy “fair square meals” from a
tempting Fair Trade menu.
Why look anywhere else?
As a local treat to accompany coffee and tea, we at the
World Forum frequently serve Haagsche Ooievaartjes,
delicious shortbread biscuits made according to a
traditional recipe and decorated with the image of a stork
(ooievaar). The stork in the coat of arms of The Hague was
first affirmed by the College of Arms on 24 July 1816, but
even in the 16th century the stork was already associated
with the city of The Hague. The stork on the great bell in
the clock tower of the Great Church of The Hague was cast
Sustainability Report World Forum
The World Forum has set up an energy team. The energy team
is there in order to see in what ways the energy that is used
within the World Forum can be reduced. They will gain advice
from their colleagues, suppliers and specialists.
The goal of the energy team is to reduce the use and thereby
the costs of energy. At this moment the following points are on
■ The energy contracts are screened
■ The central heating system will be replaced
■ Lightning plan
■ New procedure of turning of the lights
■ The work-light will be checked
■ New meters will be placed
■ Conversations with the partners to discuss their involvement
within the use of energy
ISO 20121: Sustainable events standard
At the invitation of the Netherlands Standardisation Institute
(NEN), the World Forum participated in the start-up
discussions on the setting of an international standard for
sustainable events. The goals of these discussions were:
■ gaining information on the set-up and status of the
Sustainable Events international standard committee
■ determining whether the Dutch Market has a need/interest
in contributing to the development of this international
standard for Sustainable Events and setting up a national
shadow committee/working group to that end. Today, in the
year 2010, the time has come for quantifiable sustainability
criteria, and if these are feasible, the World Forum will be
looking forward to following them.
The results of the Business and Climate project (see 2.3) are
intended to lead to a number of recommendations to help
the World Forum to further optimise its waste separation
In 2010, two new ISO standards for socially responsible
business were issued, and the World Forum will follow them
ISO 26000: Guidance on social responsibility
ISO 26000 helps organisations set their priorities in corporate
social responsibility and gives recommendations on how to
embed CSR within organisations. ISO 26000 is also intended to
introduce a uniform CSR terminology.
22 Sustainability Report World Forum
The World Forum contributes to the national and
local economy, particularly through facilitating multiday
international conferences. By actively attracting
international multi-day conferences, we generate extra
economic spin-off for hotels, restaurants, retail, transport
companies, museums and attractions.
The economic spin-off from international multi-day
conferences (both corporate and non-profit) is calculated
by multiplying the number of conference participants by the
number of days of the conference. The product is expressed
in “conference participant days” (CPDs).
The number of CPDs is multiplied by an expense factor
determined by the Netherlands Board of Tourism &
Conventions (currently € 344). In 2009, the World Forum
hosted 30 international conferences, 20 of which were multiday,
for a total number of CPDs of 49,463. Multiplied by the
expense factor of € 344, this translates into economic spin-off
of € 17,015,272.
5. about this report
This sustainability report is the World Forum’s first report
on its CSR policy. In it, we report on 2008 and 2009, and look
ahead to a few events in 2010. We also discuss a number of
our ambitions for the coming years.
This report is intended for all World Forum stakeholders.
From now on, we will be releasing this sustainability report
annually to report to our stakeholders, clients, partners,
vendors and employees on the World Forum’s developments
in sustainability issues.
Sustainability Report World Forum
6. GRI table
The GRI table is based on the guidelines for
sustainability reporting issued by the Global Reporting
Initiative (GRI). GRI is a network-based organization
that has pioneered the development of the world’s
most widely used sustainability reporting framework
and is committed to its continuous improvement and
We feel that the C-level of the G3-guidelines of the GRI
apply to this report. The World Forum has no special
CSR department. It will be a challenge to improve our
reporting level in coming years.
In the table below you will find an overview of the core
indicators, which you will find in this report.
24 Sustainability Report World Forum
G3-indicator Location Page
Strategy and analysis
1.1 A statement by the top decision maker within the organisation Introduction 5
2.1 Name of the organization 1.1 Our company 7
2.2 Products and services 1.1 Our company 7
2.3 Operational structure 1.2 Structure 8
2.4 Location of the organisation’s main office 1.1 Our company 7
2.5 Number of countries in which the organization operates 1.1 Our company 7
2.6 Ownership structure and legal form 1.2 Structure 8
2.7 Markets 1.3 The Market 9
2.8 Size of the reporting organization 1.2 Structure 8
2.9 Significant changes in the organization 1.2 Structure 8
2.10 Awards during the reporting period 1.6 Recognition of CSR results 10
3.1 Reporting period 5 About this report 23
3.2 Date of the most recent report 5 About this report 23
3.3 Reporting cycle 5 About this report 23
3.4 Contact for questions about the report Colofon 28
3.5 Process for determining the contents of the report
3.6 Definition of the report 5 About this report 23
3.7 State any possible limitations to the scope or definition of the report Not applicable
3.8 Foundation for reporting Not applicable
Explanation of the consequences of possible reformulations of previously
3.11 Significant changes with regard to previous reporting periods Not applicable
3.12 GRI table 6 GRI table 24
Management, obligations and involvement
4.1 The organisation’s management structure 1.2 Structure 8
Indicate whether the chairman of the highest administrative body also
has a managerial function
4.3 Independence of Board of Management 1.2 Structure 8
4.4 Shareholder feedback mechanism Not applicable
4.13 Associated memberships 1.7 Memberships 11
4.14 List of stakeholders 1.4 Stakeholders 10
4.15 Stakeholder identification 1.4 Stakeholders 10
Economic performance indicators
EC 1 Direct economic values 23
Environmental performance indicators
EN 3 Direct primary energy consumption 3.1 Energy consumption 19
EN 5 Energy saved due to savings and efficiency improvements 3.1 Energy consumption 19
Social performance indicators
LA 10 Training per employee 2.1 Employment issues 12
HR 2 Supplier screening on human rights 2.2 Human rights 14
HR 6 Child labour 2.2 Human rights 14
SO 1 Impact on communities 2.3 Society 15
Sustainability Report World Forum
green events checklist
Green events checklist
is empowered by
the World Forum,
‘It’s not easy
Focussing on our Corporate Social Responsibility, we have discovered that
Kermit is right: “it’s not easy being green”, especially when you want it to be
authentic and effective. Sustainability is a journey. The World Forum will strive to
reach clear, measurable and realistic goals. These goals include the operation of
our venue but also our responsibility as a partner of our client meeting planners.
We hope this checklist will be a useful tool in order to meet our common goals.
off the beaten green track...
❑ If delegates arrive by car, have all tires
checked and air-serviced, also as a reminder of
the environmental impact of fully aired tires.
❑ Have some actors walk around as
“Environmental Police” to create awareness
in a fun way.
❑ Rent bicycles for all delegates for
❑ Go beyond Carbon-Neutral and allow
delegates to donate for example a planting of
a tree and exceed your own neutral efforts.
❑ Assign an Environmental Officer to guard the green
compliance of your event
❑ Establish a green purchasing policy. Your (potential)
suppliers could sign this document in order to comply
with your green standards
❑ Consider the possibility of a “paperless event” by
planning all communication as follows:
• Announcements, invitations by e-mail
• On-line registration
• Updates during the event by SMS or by use of flatscreens
• Seminar/workshop/event feedback on-line on site.
• Make hand-outs available on-line
❑ Order green meeting products, including writing pads
and badges complying with the FSC mark requirements.
Products bearing this mark guarantee a manufacturing
process in which the entire cycle from cutting down trees
up to and including the end product has been
❑ Prepare an environmental
policy for the meeting, and share
it with all those involved:
management, suppliers, delegates,
presenters and exhibitors.
26 Sustainability Report World Forum
accommodation and venue selection
❑ Choose hotels and meeting venues that are connected to the airport
by mass transit, and within walking distance of one another.
❑ Ask potential accommodation suppliers for their in-house
environmental policies and a description of programs.
❑ Give preference to hotels and venues with a Green Key certificate
❑ Perform a site visit to verify that your environmental service
requirements can be met.
❑ Choose a hotel and/or venue that is interested in doing more to
become green. A willingness to cooperate will make your task so
❑ Make it easy for delegates to travel between the airport and the
hotel/ meeting venue. Provide information about the local public
transit system, or arrange for carpooling shuttles.
❑ If vehicular transportation is required, look for vehicles that reduce
emissions of greenhouse gasses such as CO 2. Electric and hybrid
powered vehicles, as well as vehicles propelled by natural gas,
propane, methane gas, and ethanol, produce less emissions than
gas or diesel fuelled vehicles.
❑ Provide a public transit pass and map in delegates’ packages.
❑ Establish a Carbon-Neutral initiative to counteract the CO 2 emissions
resulting from your event. www.climateneutralgroup.com
❑ Minimize the use of disposables
❑ Offer organic meals and snacks which are in season
and locally available
❑ Ask that condiments, beverages, and other food items
be provided in bulk instead of individually packaged.
❑ Ensure food and beverage packaging is recyclable, and
that it will be recycled.
❑ Give your delegates reusable coffee mugs at the start
of the conference.
❑ Offer fair trade, shade grown, organic coffee.
❑ Request organic produce, and free run chicken/eggs/meats.
❑ Offer vegetarian meal selections; vegetables consume
less land base and energy to produce.
❑ Ask delegates to ‘sign-up’
for meals, by letting
you know what meals
they will be attending.
This will reduce food
waste – and your costs.
❑ Create signage that can be reused
in future events.
❑ Provide ‘re-use’ collection bins for delegate
❑ Tell your exhibitors about your greening plan.
Get them involved by asking them to:
• Print their collateral materials on recycled
paper stock, using vegetable-based inks;
• Bring only what they need to the event, and
take away what they don’t hand out;
• Suggest they give away items that are
made from recycled materials, durable,
• Promote their own environmental initiatives.
❑ For venue and stand-builder:
• On site recycling is provided for paper
products and other recyclable materials
that are generated;
• Choose decorations and display
materials that can be reused.
• Clean-up crews be trained to sort out
recyclable and reusable items from
• Display booths be created using
recycled material, and be reusable.
make green, do green,
Environmental Officer World Forum,
The Hague, The Netherlands
Sustainability Report World Forum
Linda van Wijngaarden
The Key Agency, Amsterdam
For more information or questions about the
Corporate Sustainability Report of the World Forum,
please contact Linda van Wijngaarden:
World Forum Churchillplein 10, 2517 JW The Hague, The Netherlands
T +31 (0) 70 306 63 66 F +31 (0) 70 306 64 43 E email@example.com I www.worldforum.nl