Australia’s business events sector continues to lead the way for sustainable practices, with two convention centres achieving EarthCheck Platinum Certification.
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) and Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) are the first venues in the world to achieve the coveted certification, which recognises 10 consecutive years of best practice in sustainability.
Both venues have demonstrated strong leadership and innovation in the space, consistently performing above best practice in key areas of social and environmental actions.
EarthCheck CEO and founder Stewart Moore says achieving EarthCheck Certification is no easy feat.
“To achieve this high level of certification not only speaks to their individual and enduring commitment to sustainable practices, but also highlights Australia’s sustainability leadership on the global stage,” he says.
“As Australia’s leading convention centres, they have consistently demonstrated a commitment to adopt responsible environmental practices, improve operational efficiencies and inspire a number of initiatives in their communities.”
GCCEC has implemented a robust energy-saving program that reduces energy consumption by up to 50 per cent in off-peak periods. Other initiatives include the replacement of more than 350 high bay lights with LED lights, which has resulted in emission savings equivalent to taking 515 cars off the road.
The GCCEC is also passionate about minimising food waste and works closely with food rescue organisation OzHarvest.
GCCEC general manager Adrienne Readings says the centre is thrilled to have earned Platinum Certification from EarthCheck.
“At GCCEC we work extremely hard on our waste, water and energy-saving initiatives to reduce our impact on the environment and give back to the community,” she says.
“We believe that sustainability is something that should be a natural part of our daily actions because what we do today will benefit the delegate of tomorrow.”
Food rescue and recycling is also a a major focus at the ACC and since mid-2007, the venue has virtually eliminated organic waste to landfill via a comprehensive food redistribution program. To date, the ACC has provided more than 160,000 unused meals to OzHarvest and Foodbank.
The ACC has also been actively fighting the war on plastic for more than half a decade, using fully biodegradable and compostable cups, with dedicated bins in place to ensure responsible disposal. More recently, the ACC joined other venues across Australia to become plastic straw free.
“South Australia is widely respected as an innovative, clean, green destination, which is a natural fit with EarthCheck’s positive and proactive approach to sustainability,” says Simon Burgess, ACC general manager.
“Over the years we’ve been fortunate to play host to a number of key environmental events and have received lots of attention for our sustainability initiatives, from our worm farm to tree-planting and sustainable buildings and construction. It’s particularly thrilling to achieve EarthCheck Platinum Certification at a time when sustainability and the ‘war on waste’ is such a topical conversation.”