The National Convention Centre’s (NCC) comprehensive in-house environmental program has won the venue a $12,000 community grant from the Keep Australia Beautiful National Association.
The only business in Canberra to be recognised by the grant scheme in 2010, the NCC will utilise the funds to further reduce its impact on the environment through enhancing its recycling program and environmental awareness training initiatives.
While the venue already sends an average of 4.5 cubic metres of recyclables per week to the local recycling plant, the NCC will triple its recycling capacity with the installation of four new bins, purchased with Coca-Cola Foundation-funded grant.
The NCC also will develop its in-house training program to include regular field trips to the recycling plant to educate staff on recycling and waste reduction.
NCC manager Cindy Young said the grant win reflected the venue’s long-standing commitment to boosting environmental awareness in the local community and within the business events sector.
“As Canberra’s largest dedicated meetings and events facility, we consider it our role to advocate participation in recycling and responsible waste disposal, not only within our own operation, but also amongst the organisers, suppliers and delegates involved in the hundreds of events and conferences we host at the NCC each year,” Cindy said.
The NCC’s comprehensive program of environmental practices is aimed at reducing water and energy consumption, maximising recycling rates, engaging with environmentally-aware partners and providing staff training and resources to divert material from landfill.
In 2009, the NCC strengthened its environmental commitment with the introduction of a Recycling Project Team, comprising key staff members acting as champions for the venue’s waste management initiatives.
Among numerous projects, the team has developed partnerships with food rescue program OzHarvest to donate surplus food, and Able Organics, who receives organic waste from the centre and delivers it to a local worm farm at Mount Stromlo. The NCC now recycles 1120 litres of organic waste each month.
Other initiatives at the NCC include the installation of bicycle racks, carbon monoxide (CO) monitors in the car park, dual flush systems fitted in bathrooms, timed air conditioning systems and LCD screens for room signage to minimise paper signage.
The NCC also collects discarded or unused conferencing materials, such as satchels and promotional items, for re-gifting to orphanages and schools in India, Nepal, South-East Asia and Africa.
Through these recycling and organic waste disposal initiatives, the NCC has halved its general waste to landfill since July 2009.
The venue’s environmental program has been recognised with coveted accolades, including Green Globe Bronze accreditation and ACT Government’s ACTSmart Business accreditation achieved in April this year.