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MCEC welcomes 35th National Banksia Sustainability Awards

5 April 2024

For the third year, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Banksia Foundation partnered to deliver the prestigious sustainability awards.

The National Banksia Sustainability Awards celebrate excellence across agriculture and regional development, climate technology, diversity and inclusion, sustainable leadership, marketing and communication, net zero action and sustainable tourism.

This year MCEC was proud to sponsor the Circular Economy Award, celebrating initiatives that aim to eliminate waste and pollution, keep products and materials in circulation and regenerate nature.

An organisation taking great strides towards a circular economy, MCEC is one of only six convention centres worldwide that have achieved EarthCheck Platinum Certification. This recognises efforts in reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainable practices within the events industry.

MCEC has an ambitious sustainability strategy to eliminate unnecessary and problematic single-use plastics, achieve zero food waste to landfill by 2025 and become 100 per cent powered by renewable electricity by 2028.

Achieving these targets requires work across many fronts. Last financial year, MCEC donated 8,738kgs of food to community partner, OzHarvest, which equates to more than 17,000 meals for those in need.

Other circular economy initiatives include featuring local and sustainable produce on menus, using an organic dehydrator to turn food waste into nutrient-rich dirt which is then used to generate power, and collecting rainwater from the roof, which is used for cooling and irrigation.

MCEC’s Sustainability Manager Sam Ferrier was particularly proud to sponsor the Banksia Circular Economy Award.

“At MCEC, we’re striving for a circular economy. We’re reducing waste, using resources efficiently, and making responsible choices to preserve resources and reduce our impact on the environment. We have sustainability targets for our organisation, and we have resources and expertise to help event organisers deliver more sustainable events.”

The Circular Economy Award, sponsored by MCEC, was awarded to The Reconnect Project, a social enterprise dedicated to giving second-hand mobile devices a new life by providing them to people in need.

“Congratulations to The Reconnect Project, they’re well-deserving of the award. And congratulations to all finalists recognised for their outstanding achievements,” Sam said.

Finalists included Bright Sparqe, Cultivated, ECORR, Goterra, and ReSource, showcasing the diversity of circular economy initiatives, from donation services to sustainable organic waste to circular construction solutions.

“By showcasing and celebrating sustainability, the National Banksia Sustainability Awards not only demonstrate leadership and achievement, they inspire individuals and organisations to make a difference and create a more sustainable planet.”

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