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EarthCheck Silver Accreditation

Posted on 03 December, 2010

1 December 2010, Gold Coast – Australia’s glitter strip is more often associated with high-rise glam, than the natural treasures of the Gold Coast’s World Heritage listed National Parks. However, the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) is actively striving to protect the green behind the gold and their environmental practices have been recognised by world leading environmental management program, EarthCheck.

Since 2008, the GCCEC has been adjusting staff behaviour and operational practices in line with the international standards required by the EarthCheck Program. GCCEC has re-achieved EarthCheck Silver Certification, making it a leader among Australia’s sustainable conferencing venues and a benchmark operator in the MICE sector.

The EarthCheck Program uses more than a decade of factual, operational data, submitted by over 1000 companies in 70+ countries, and is widely regarded as the world’s most scientifically rigorous environmental management system.

Delivering operational efficiencies that minimize CO2e emissions, while encouraging corporate social responsibility projects that support host communities, the EarthCheck Program helps the GCCEC actively manage key environmental indicators; such as energy and water consumption, and total waste production.

Each year, the GCCEC benchmarks our operational data and compares it to that of other organizations from within sector. From this, we determine if best practice standards are being met, or where room for improvement remains.

In order to gain Silver certification, the GCCEC has had to demonstrate to an independent, third party auditor that our operational practices adhere to the highest of environmental standards. By taking such a holistic view of company practices, we have been able to identify where we are out-performing others and improve our triple bottom line outcomes.

“Since opening, the GCCEC has strived towards leading industry towards a greener way of conducting business events,” explained General Manager Adrienne Readings. “The Centre’s environmental policy reflects our ongoing commitment to sustainability and our determination to work with clients and suppliers to further improve our environmental record.”

“I am delighted that Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition centre has achieved the EarthCheck Silver Certified status,” says Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global. “They have recognised a maturing of the science behind climate change and environmental sustainability, and chosen to apply the highest possible international standard to their practices.

“Going well beyond mere tick-box action is not an easy task. It requires the commitment of all levels of staff, as well as a readiness to submit to expert scrutiny. The Centre has emerged as an example of an organisation committed to environmentally sustainable tourism, and the EarthCheck logo serves to demonstrate that their claims are both credible and relevant.”

FAST FACTS (Benchmark results for the year 2008 – 2009):

Energy consumption was 18.8% better than the EarthCheck Best Practice level

Potable water consumption 54.2% better than the EarthCheck Best Practice level

Water Savings Rating (Points) were 7.0 Points better than the Best Practice level

Cleaning Products Rating (Points) was 88.9 Points, which was 8.9 Points better than the Best Practice level.

Paper Products Rating (Points) was 88.9 Points, which was 8.9 Points better than the Best Practice level.

HOW WE ACHIEVED THIS:

Shower hoses were retrofitted to reduce water flow from approximately 25 litres per minute to 9 litres per minute;

Dual flush toilets with a 6/3 litres per minute flow rate were installed and all urinals have been fitted to Zip-master time delay flush systems, with a flow rate of 6 litres per minute;

New external and stair tread LED lights were installed, cutting energy consumption from 18W per unit to 3W per unit;

All external up-lights were replaced, reducing energy consumption from 85W to 48W;

All used printer cartridges and toners are recycled through Australia Post and Planet Ark;

The Centre has adopted 100% recycled paper throughout all printers and faxes;

Bottle cyclers, (bottle and recyclable glass crushing machines) have been installed throughout the Centre;

The centre uses recycled (non-potable) water for the landscape irrigation systems;

GCCEC has worked with local suppliers to change the way goods are being packaged and delivered. For example: most suppliers are now using cardboard boxes that are then recycled onsite;

Menus consist of 50% locally-grown and organic ingredients. Leftover packaged foods are donated to a local food bank.

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For further information please contact:

Klara Vida | Communications Manager
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
T +61 07 5504 4037 | F +61 7 5504 4001 | M | 0417 790 207