Commitment to carbon-neutral sustainability

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre general manager Ross Steele writes that the New Zealand venue is leading by example in its goal to reduce its carbon footprint.

The venue is committed to reducing its environmental impact, leading by example to generate meaningful change for the future. Following our third year of achieving Toitū Enviromark Gold Certification, we have achieved Toitū carbonzero certification as part of our commitment to addressing climate change.

Te Pae Christchurch is an award-winning, 5-star green-rated building. However, sustainability goes well beyond the building’s credentials through measuring waste and offsetting carbon emissions. All significant decisions are viewed through an environmental lens, balancing commercial needs with the environmental consequences of every action.

The venue implements a range of sustainable operational initiatives, including environmentally friendly packaging, energy efficient technologies, dehydration of food waste into soil food, and the transformation of water into a chemical-free cleaning solution.

The team at Te Pae Christchurch is incredibly proud to have been awarded the 2023 Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award. This international recognition is reward for commitment to fostering a culture of environmental excellence.

The South Island of New Zealand has some of the world’s most spectacular natural landscapes. Te Pae Christchurch believes it has an obligation to ensure it remains that way for generations to come. We are passionate about partnering with local suppliers and conference organisers to deliver green events that meet sustainability goals and leave a lasting positive legacy.

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre general manager Ross Steele. Photo: Supplied.

The value of impactful conferencing

Te Pae Christchurch hosted the 14th Annual TravelManagers Conference in August 2023. One of the organiser’s key goals was to ensure this event was carbon neutral so choosing a sustainable venue was essential. The green initiatives at Te Pae Christchurch – such as no-waste-to-landfill coffee carts, recyclable and reusable water stations, and no single-use plastics – helped to achieve the sustainability goals for this event.

Additionally, TravelManagers undertook a local tree planting initiative that encourages the return of native tui-birds to the central city. This impactful experience was welcomed by attendees who planted enough trees to cover travel emissions for all 370 delegates.

Seed congress brings biodiversity to the table

In November 2023, Christchurch became the major seed trading hub for the Asia Pacific region as the city hosted the Asian Seed Congress at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre. The five-day event attracted 1100 people from more than 45 countries to meet, trade seeds and discuss the future development and sustainability of the global seed industry.

The event was a huge success for the venue, attendees and the local seed industry, with new relationships forged and the facilitating of lucrative seed deals that will benefit the Canterbury region for years to come. Hosting this congress placed a spotlight on the local region and New Zealand, and its leadership in the production and export of vegetable and horticultural crop seeds.

The Asian Seed Congress involved networking and knowledge sharing across workshops and technical sessions on issues including biodiversity, seed technology and trade. Organisers estimate around 10,000 trading meetings were held during the event, generating around US$150 million in new business.

Since opening in May 2022, Te Pae Christchurch has hosted more than 450 events, including 20 international conferences. With proven experience in delivering world-class events, Te Pae looks forward to welcoming a record number of global visitors in 2024 while remaining on track to achieve net carbon-neutral operations.

This story appears in the Autumn issue of Spice, as part of our annual Hot Seat feature, which shines a spotlight on the MICE industry’s movers and shakers, and outlines what’s in store for the next 12 months.

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