After almost a decade of sustainable practice, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has achieved coveted Gold Certification from EarthCheck, the world’s leading sustainable benchmarking organisation.
Since joining the EarthCheck Certified program in 2007, MCEC has minimised energy consumption by 31.8 per cent, and in total saved enough to power 1363 typical Australian four person households each year. Greenhouse Gas Emissions were reduced by 36.7 per cent for the same period, saving 15,958t of CO2 which is equivalent to taking 5355 cars off the road annually. Waste sent to landfill has also been reduced by approximately 103,000 litres or 859 wheelie bins.
EarthCheck Founder and CEO, Stewart Moore said MCEC’s achievement was impressive for the variety of sustainability practices the venue routinely incorporated in running large-scale events.
“MCEC goes well beyond the ‘tick-box’ approach, implementing unique and innovative sustainability measures which benefit both the environment and local community, and we know this helps them win major events for whom sustainability is a key performance indicator,” Mr Moore said.
MCEC is the first public building in Australia to have a privately-funded grey water treatment plant, treating rainwater for re-use in the building. Solar panels provide 100 per cent of public amenity hot water requirements, and multiple streams for waste management including full composting facilities of food waste, a closed-loop recycling system on site that customers can use free of charge, renewable energy purchasing options for customers and support of Victorian charities.
Throughout its enrolment in the EarthCheck Certified program, MCEC has gained a reputation as one of Victoria’s most sustainable meetings venues, regularly working with organisers to achieve maximum sustainable, recycling and localised sourcing for multi-million dollar exhibitions with thousands of delegates.
A recent example was the 2014 Engineers Australia Convention, a $4.35 million event with more than 2000 delegates, which placed event sustainability as one of the highest pre-requisites in its search for the right venue.
MCEC worked with the event organisers to minimise negative environmental, social and economic impacts, and exceeded all sustainability KPI’s set, achieving 100 per cent electronic, recyclable or reusable signage, 93 per cent Victorian-supplied food, and 89 per cent of waste diverted from landfill.
Four local charity organisations benefited from the event, and a mobile app developed for the event reduced paper use and the need for custom-made satchels.
“The innovation and dedication shown by MCEC positions it as an Australian and indeed world-leader in sustainable meetings and events.
“We believe what’s good for the planet can also be good for business, and we are thrilled to release such positive data-based evidence of resource savings for MCEC,” Mr Moore added.
MCEC Chief Operating Officer, Leighton Wood thanked the EarthCheck team for their ongoing support and said the venue was delighted to have achieved Gold Certification, an achievement made possible through a collaboration with its Public Private Partnership (PPP) partners Plenary Group, Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions and IKON, and the contribution by motivated employees.
“The EarthCheck Certified program has buoyed up our commitment to environmental sustainability and positive community contributions, and seen MCEC become the venue of choice for some of the largest conventions and exhibitions in Australia.
“What we’re achieving at MCEC is a lot more than just providing a ‘green option’ for our valued customers – The events industry must do its part to reduce its impact on the planet, and we are proud to be recognised as leaders in this area,” he said.