Sustainability is not just something we should practice every now and then, or only when we are at home or in our offices; living sustainably is a lifestyle ingrained into our daily actions.
Current statistics show that Australia is one of the world's largest polluters on a per capita basis, with electricity and transport two of the biggest contributors.
As sustainability has gathered momentum in the events community and clients have become more aware of the environmental impacts created by their conventions and exhibitions, the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC), part of Star Entertainment Group, has committed to not only leading industry towards a more sustainable future for conferencing and events, but also adhering to the best environmental practices for venues worldwide.
That’s why we’ve put together the Green Event Guide to help our clients lower the carbon footprint of their event and become more aware of sustainable industry practices.
Whether you’re planning a large-scale, international conference or simpler event, GCCEC’s Green Event Guide illustrates that planning a sustainable event doesn’t need to be complex or expensive – in fact sometimes it’s the most simple and most inexpensive initiatives that are the most effective.
Download this guide as a PDF:
Holding a sustainable event doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated. In fact, GCCEC already has a range of best practices set in place to assist with sustainable event management.
In addition to the above initiatives, GCCEC has a comprehensive list of sustainability initiatives that include:
- Working with local suppliers to change the way goods are being packaged and delivered. Most suppliers are now using cardboard boxes that are recycled onsite.
- Donating leftover packaged and freshly cooked food is donated to national food rescue organisation OzHarvest, resulting in the redistribution of more than 14,000 meals since June 2014.
- Using Class A recycled (non-potable) water supplied by the Gold Coast City Council for the landscape irrigation system.
- Using biodegradable cleaning and pesticide products onsite.
The Centre continues to promote best practice and successfully integrates sustainability solutions into planning and ongoing business operations. A comprehensive list of our sustainability initiatives can be found at: www.gccec.com.au/sustainability-initiatives.html
Why hold a sustainable event?
Sustainability is more than just reducing your impact on the environment. In today’s society there are a number of advantages to implementing sustainable and responsible event practices, both for the organisation and the environment. Businesses can benefit from saving on costs and resources, reducing waste, increasing productivity, enhancing company transparency and boosting the morale of delegates, while some of the other key benefits include:
Cutting back costs
Something as simple as eliminating paper or opting for local produce can cut back on the costs of your event. GCCEC carefully crafts its menu from 85 per cent locally-grown and sourced ingredients.
Excelling benchmark practices; enhancing brand and reputation
As clients become more aware of the effects of their actions on the environment, they come to expect a certain benchmark of eco-friendly performance. Holding a sustainable event will not only enhance brand and reputation, but meet and excel the expectations widely accepted today as standard practice.
Encouraging market transformation
GCCEC works closely with its suppliers to reduce their environmental footprint, encouraging the development of sustainable industries. The Centre has worked with a number of suppliers to change the way goods are being packaged and delivered and has opted for carbon neutral, BioPack branded packaging in-house. This small change has allowed the business to offset 16 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the past year - that’s equivalent to 6,794L of saved fuel, 64,707km travelled in a vehicle and four cars on the road.
We believe sustainable event practices encourage market transformation and hope to help in setting the benchmark for generations to come.
Three easy steps to a more sustainable event
While there’s endless options available to you, holding a more sustainable event doesn’t need to be complex or expensive to be effective. The following are three simple steps to help you walk a little greener and achieve significant carbon savings at your next event.
1. Choose local accommodation options within walking distance to the event
500 delegates each reducing car travel by just 5km over a three day conference equates to 857kg CO2e (carbon dioxide emissions) in savings - the equivalent of a car driving from Melbourne to Townsville.
2. Use online registration as an alternative to paper
Online registration is not only convenient for delegates, but 500 delegates saving 500 sheets of paper is the equivalent of 3.8kg CO2e, or a 20W light bulb running for over 200 hours.
3. Reduce conference materials distributed at the event
Conference packs containing promotional materials, pens, notepads and brochures often have a short life span and are not always wanted by all event participants. Carefully assess the environmental impact of your products. Cutting back conference packs typically containing a satchel, notepad, brochure and a CD by 50 percent for 500 delegates is the equivalent of 232kg CO2e, or a fully laden articulated truck travelling for 125 kilometres.
* All calculations are based on a three day conference for 500 delegates. Equivalent carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e) for the three scenarios have been calculated by Life Cycle Strategies and are accurate as of April 2011.
Download more information in our guide:
The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) is a world leading sustainable venue for conferences, conventions, meetings and events. The GCCEC is committed to the continued cultivation of environmental and social stewardship.
We are the first convention centre in the world to have achieved the coveted EarthCheck Platinum status, which recognises the Centre's commitment to operating at the world's highest environmental standards. Learn more about our sustainable initiatives and accreditation, or contact us for further information about holding a green event at the GCCEC.