The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC), opened in June 2004, covers an area of 5.4 hectares in the heart of Broadbeach and has been designed to complement the existing urban environment. The building has four floors and a total area of 72,000 m2. A 1,400-space car park facility occupies the lowest two levels of the complex.
Since its inception, GCCEC has been committed to environmentally friendly practices including energy, water, waste management, and in its resourcing and encouraging event planners to hold green events at the Centre.
Environmental and social sustainable practices are core values at GCCEC and therefore integral to its overarching strategy and operational practices.
A volunteer committee of representatives from different internal departments is responsible for driving the GCCEC’s Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy and ensuring performance against the Centre’s Environmental Management Plan. All staff are encouraged to attend quarterly Project Green Committee Meetings to ensure a proactive approach company-wide.
The Centre is committed to operating at the world’s highest environmental standards and aligns its best practices with EarthCheck, the world’s most recognised and largest environmental management program for the travel and tourism sectors. The Centre obtained EarthCheck Platinum Certification in 2018 – a first for convention centres worldwide.
Management plans have been developed for energy, water, waste and procurement. Key initiatives and practices from these plans are outlined in this document.
Air conditioning and lighting are centrally located and controlled systems. Usage is monitored around the clock to ensure each service is shutdown whenever possible. Every event is different and ranges in size, from one meeting room to the whole Centre. Manual monitoring and operation of systems for client-led events therefore achieves optimal energy conservation.
The building has demonstrated that stored latent heat does not rise during long periods of the air conditioning shutdown, therefore ambient temperature can be created with lead times as short as 30 minutes. We believe the open airspace of the car park contributes to this situation.
Lighting: Sensor activated lighting exists in all public amenities. Energy efficient LED lighting generates a marked saving in running costs and produces less heat which reduces air conditioning costs. LED signage replaces the old exterior road facing signage of the Centre.
Power: Client needs are supplied through a network of supply boards which are shutdown at the end of each day. Power costs are on-charged to clients as the incentive to minimise consumption. 68 retrofitted ‘smart sub meters’ allow for a more robust charging system.
Recycled water: A grey water recycling system operates in accordance with national guidelines. Class A recycled (non-potable) water is supplied by two City of Gold Coast treatment works. Water is treated on site and used for the landscape irrigation system.
Mains water: It is the policy of GCCEC to control all water and energy use and ensure run times of all systems are kept to a minimum. All taps, showers, toilets and urinals are fitted with flow restriction devices. Sensor taps have been retro fitted into all public amenities.
GCCEC uses many waste management strategies to successfully recycle or reuse 75% of all its waste. These strategies also contribute to reducing hazards and costs, conserving resources and protecting the environment.
Packaging: Carbon neutral, BioPak branded packaging is used in-house (biodegradable or recyclable coffee and drink cups, crockery and cutlery). This enables an offset 16 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually - equivalent to four cars on the road.
Waste storage and recycling: Appropriate waste storage areas are provided in consultation with private waste contractors and EPA, HACCP requirements. Waste segregation containers are colour-coded and clearly labelled. Recycling bins are located in front of house areas. New recycling opportunities are proactively identified, such as recycling all printer and toner cartridges through Australia Post and Planet Ark. Two compactors for cardboard and general waste have enabled the City’s waste removal services to reduce trips to the Centre from multiple times to only once per week, resulting in a reduction of carbon emissions. GCCEC participates in the Queensland Government’s container deposit scheme for glass, bottles and Tetra Pak® containers through Envirobank, the national supplier and distributor of recycling technology. GCCEC strives for paperless operations. Where necessary, 100% recycled paper is utilised.
Food waste: An ongoing partnership with national food rescue organisation OzHarvest means quality excess food is collected from the premises and delivered free of charge, to more than 37 charities on the Gold Coast. This has resulted in the redistribution of more than 17,000 meals since June 2014. Composting bins receive any leftover served food products that do not meet the food and health safety standards for food donations.
GCCEC‘s objective is to encourage the procurement of goods and services that over their life-cycle, offer a reduced environmental impact. For example, all cleaning and pesticide products purchased for on-site use are biodegradable. The Centre works with local suppliers to change the way goods are being packaged and delivered.
EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION
More than 2.5 million people have attended events at GCCEC since its opening in 2004. A team of over 300 full, part-time and casual team members are responsible for delivering a positive guest experience and service excellence, which the property is renowned for.
Adhering to environmentally-friendly policies since inception, GCCEC recognises the many benefits of being innovative and championing change, including a reduction in operational costs, increases in efficiency and recognition throughout the community.
In addition to key messages and signage throughout the property, GCCEC works with team members, clients, suppliers, the industry and the community to help increase environmental awareness. GCCEC place emphasis on educating all stakeholders about our own environmental and social journey through education and communication tools. Below is a snapshot of activities and tools implemented for team members and guests.
Team members receive:
- New staff induction and ongoing training
- Team member handbook
- Sustainability committee meetings and activities
- Emails, newsletter and signage in work areas and amenities
- Annual emails to key stakeholders on policies
- GCCEC website and social media
- Environmentally preferred partnerships
- Post-event feedback and assessment
- Digital and permanent signage aimed at sustainability practices
ARE YOU PLANNING A GREEN EVENT?
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