The IPBN is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland under the ESP Grant programme
Elisabete Serrano of Green Spirit Events (GSE) had the idea for her new business in 2018 but finally decided to push the button during the first of what would be many lockdown measures in Portugal. She understood that there was a general need in the public to learn what environmental responsibility means, and how they can apply it to their daily lives, and she also saw the room in the events and marketing sector to achieve just that: supporting sustainability goals through the digital marketing of organic-certified products or giving support to those who want to become certified with the help of their partners in the sector.
Thus, the main mission and purpose of Green Spirit Events was born: to develop and promote an eco-conscious lifestyle through the creation of environmentally friendly events with a reduced ecological footprint, and by using an innovative and differentiating communication style and mindset.
“We have a different way of doing communications to show products in a different light through events with speakers related to environmentally friendly organic products. We also provide cultural entertainment like music, theatre, and dance for larger events. Ultimately, sustainability is our number-one goal,” Serrano told the IPBN. To that end, all of GSE’s events give support to a charity association such as VIDA, a charity that attempts to break the poverty cycle in rural areas through their medium and long-term presence to fulfill the basic needs of the families (like access to water, health, and food), in order to move towards sustainable development strategies.
Green Spirit's first event, entitled Green Spirit Talks: Organic Agriculture & Circular Economy is lined up for the 25 of June. It will be an online event focused on the circular economy and the role that organic products are playing within it. The event will feature a local chef who will teach attendees how to make a traditional Algarvan dish, promoting a healthier and more eco-friendly diet while they simultaneously get to know the work of Dr. Maria de Lurdes Serpa Carvalho, Head of the Department of Regional Development at the Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Algarve (CCDR Algarve). Led by Carvalho, the CCDR’s mission is to implement policies for the environment, land use and cities, regional development, and incentives for social communication and to provide technical support to local authorities and their associations within the Algarve region, so the presentation is sure to be an enlightening one.
Aside from events, GSE, under the leadership of Serrano, is also offering web and technical assistance to organic producers who haven’t been keeping themselves current online or on social media. Serrano and her team can help with site maintenance, social media, and hosting within their own umbrella site. “We are trying to create a personalized approach for our producers and sustainable brands,” Serrano said, “by producing content, representing them at fairs, overseeing tastings, and more.”
As organic products are generally geared toward the senses, Serrano is hopeful about presenting them online for the time being, but with a few reservations. “To achieve the sensory experience will be a challenge, but the information provided is rich and will be of interest to participants as they can come to know the product on a personal level,” Serrano said. Despite the question marks brought on by COVID regulations, vaccination schedules, and if the choices we make in the future will be healthy and sustainable, Serrano is sure of one thing: “For me, what is important is to touch people with environmental responsibility and couple it with what we do best here in Portugal.”
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Following the end of the panel discussions at the IPBN’s third-annual Sustainability Conference at the CCIP in Lisbon, the IPBN has organized an exclusive tour of the Hub Criativo do Beato (HCB) in Lisbon and a tour of the Ombria Resort in the Algarve the following week.
The third panel of the upcoming IPBN Tourism Conference at the Universidade Europeia will focus squarely on diversity and the emerging trends in Portugal’s tourism sector. Three guest speakers will each have the floor for a 15-minute presentation, each introduced by Arnold Delville, General Manager of the IPBN.