EEAA Sustainable Events 2030 Pledge
Having a sustainable business is imperative in any environment. Having a business that acts in a manner that respects the environment through good sustainable practices is equally important.
Environmental sustainability is strongly desired by the Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia, our members, and the wider events industry. Our Association body is committed to actively support all sectors of our industry, namely, venues, suppliers, and organisers to collectively reduce any negative environmental footprint and to drive positive sustainable outcomes for the sector.
The EEAA Sustainability Program has been developed in collaboration with members, environmental experts, and with the support of Tourism Australia, to achieve another positive, meaningful shift and commitment to a shared vision of change.
The program is a broad umbrella of guidelines, lessons, business tools, and inspiration to support and nurture individual members to improve their practices pertaining to operating a sustainable environment business practice.
The program is an extension of many excellent programs, procedures and industry policy that already exists within our sector. Industry members have for many years, some decades, recognised the value of protecting the environment through good sustainable processes and procedures.
The program adds further education, guidelines and business tools to support individual businesses further their good environmental practices.
The program has identified the following collaborative commitments, with goals to be achieved by the end of 2023 and 2025 across the following seven key impact areas during the planning and delivery of exhibitions and events:
· Exhibitor waste
· Attendee waste
· Food & beverage
· Staging, signage & promotions
· Custom stands
· Audio / Visual equipment
Extensive stakeholder engagement, testing and revision has ensured these commitments are actionable, achievable and address both the interests of stakeholders and the scientific impacts of delivering events.
Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia’s Sustainability Program encourages members to commit and sign up to a set voluntary common goals that will guide our sector toward an even more sustainable future.
The Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia sees its Sustainability program as being an ongoing activity that will use experience, international best practice and lessons from experts to continuously review, update and educate our industry for the betterment of the environment.
The Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia’s Sustainability roadmap, guidelines, recommended processes, and procedures, as well as the “Footprint Calculator” are all available to members by accessing the Members Area of our website. Members having difficulty accessing these documents can call the EEAA office for assistance.
EEAA members who have signed our “Memorandum of Commitment” can choose to carry this logo on their event collateral.
Coleman Group Sustainability Initiative
Coleman Group & BlockTexx
Description of initiative
Paying close attention to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues has become increasingly critical for all companies across all industries. Coleman Group has taken on a multifaceted approach to battle the threats to the environment posed by left over signage wastage and Co2 emissions. This approach includes their partnership with BlockTexx. BlockTexx is a clean technology company that recovers polyester and cellulose from textiles and clothing. The company diverts unwanted textiles away from landfill and converts the fabrics into high value raw materials for reuse.
When it comes to sustainability, a do-nothing approach can result in a larger loss in the future. Many industry leaders are becoming cognizant of the need to reuse and recycle and are moving toward a circular economy. Coleman Group is one of these leading organisations. Through partnering with clean technology business, BlockTexx, Coleman Group can divert their textile wastage away from landfill to recycle and repurpose these materials for other industries to use. The combination of chemical recovery technology and advanced manufacturing processes transforms cotton and polyester blend textiles into high grade cellulose powder and recycled PET pellets that can be used for a variety of industrial applications. Coleman Group’s reclaimed cellulose is then used to make hydro-mulch and fertiliser to aid land reclamation, whilst the polyester is used to create useful consumer items such as shopping baskets and engineering outcomes such as geosynthetic fabrics. This has been a fantastic achievement.
Blocktexx is critical to repositioning the textile industry as it is located at the end of the textile value chain where raw materials and end-of-use solutions have the highest environmental impact and revenue potential. 1kg of unwanted textile waste processed is equal to 30kg of CO2 equivilants. BlockTexx is pioneering new technologies and harnessing the power of people who see the urgency for climate change solutions. Consumers and industry movers are demanding end of life solutions to divert unwanted textiles and clothing away from landfill. We are here to provide the
solution. It’s a worthy but confronting task with global textile waste predicted to hit 140 million tonnes by 2030. Every year in Australia, one million tonnes of textile waste ends up in landfill. We had a dream for a future textile resource recovery industry to drive textile and fashion businesses towards sustainability and influence government circular economy policy. An industry that reduces environmental impact and creates jobs. Our dreams have become actions as we build and commission our world-first, commercial scale, textile recovery facility. Coleman Group offers all clients the option of storing their fabrics in an effort to encourage the reusing of graphics. If ‘opted-in’, we fold the textiles, load them into cardboard boxes, and store them within the storage area in our factory for later use at the client’s discretion. This minimises fabric waste, ensuring maximum sustainability.
Grand Stand Events Sustainability Initiative
Grand Stand Events + Eco Flooring
Description of initiative
Eco Floor is made from a developed recycled plastic formula designed especially for the product and its application. The product if destroyed can be recycled once again causing 0% waste, this makes Eco Floor an environmental flagship product for the Event & Exhibition industry. Eco Floor was designed and manufactured in 2008. Eco-Flooring is made of 100% recycled plastic which means it creates zero waste. It is durable, light weight and hard wearing. It also has better load distribution which allows it to handle heavy loads. We will no longer use MDF flooring which is not recyclable and has to either be incinerated or end up in landfill. By using Grand Stand Events, you can be confident that you are working with an organisation that is committed to protecting the environment.
From January 2020 Grand Stand Events are now using environmentally sustainable flooring on our stands at no additional cost to our clients. We are making a conscious effort to reduce our carbon footprint and this a massive leap in the right direction. Eco flooring is made of 100% recycled plastic, and this means it creates 0% waste. Eco flooring is durable, lightweight, extremely hardwearing and has better load distribution so it can handle heavier product. This flooring will replace the MDF flooring we previously used. MDF cannot be recycled, it has to be incinerated or it ends up in landfill. MDF is also toxic and extremely harmful when inhaled by people when its cut with by power tools. Our new eco flooring is not affected by liquid spills and is a clip together system with cable access ports so there is reduced use of tools and less wear and tear, therefore making Eco floors reliable and longer lasting. We are working hard to take action and reduce the impact our work has on our planet, and we will continue to makes changes to do better and deliver better solutions for you the people we work with.
MCEC – Sustainability Initiative
MCEC & OzHarvest partnership
Description of initiative
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) took the opportunity to grow its longstanding relationship with OzHarvest in September 2021 by becoming an ‘awesome partner’ with Australia’s leading food rescue organisation.
The flagship of the partnership is OzHarvest’s corporate engagement program Cooking For A Cause. MCEC provides a kitchen and supports OzHarvest to deliver cooking classes using rescued food as team building packages, with the resultant meals feeding those in need.
In 2021, MCEC helped OzHarvest deliver an additional 26,873 meals and diverted over 10,000kgs of food that would otherwise have gone to landfill. Pre-COVID in 2019 MCEC delivered 74,265 meals and diverted 24,755kg of food from landfill.
The new partnership includes:
Donating leftover or unused food from events, exhibitions, or functions to reduce food waste and increase diversion from landfill
Facilitating the relationship between OzHarvest and Melbourne SkyFarm (also a sustainability partner of MCEC) for the donation of freshly harvested produce
Providing a dedicated kitchen at MCEC to host the Cooking for a Cause program up to three days a week
Providing space, service, and event planning support for hosting Cooking for a Cause Plus dining sessions
Additional venue support of up to $10,000 per financial year to enable OzHarvest to hire part of the MCEC
Contributions through MCEC’s Workplace Giving Program, an opportunity for staff to donate directly to OzHarvest through their pay
Proactive engagement with MCEC employees to volunteer with OzHarvest
Additional fundraising activities for OzHarvest at MCEC
Promotion of OzHarvest and CFAC through their marketing and communications channels
Another organisation benefiting from MCEC’s OzHarvest partnership is Melbourne SkyFarm, an urban farm set on the rooftop of MCEC’s Siddeley St car park. In a Victorian first, a large section of a rooftop car park in the heart of the Melbourne CBD has been transformed into a thriving urban farm.
MCEC has played a key role in facilitating a relationship between OzHarvest and Melbourne SkyFarm. Through their existing working relationship with OzHarvest they identified an opportunity for fresh vegetables harvested at SkyFarm to be donated to OzHarvest.
In 2021 alone, MCEC supported OzHarvest:
10,165 kgs of food saved from ending up in landfill
67,089 kgs of CO2 emissions mitigated; and
3,506,925 litres of water saved
MCEC’s partnership with OzHarvest supports their commitment to achieving the national target of halving food waste by 2030, this is a shared goal of Sustainability Victoria aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal.
In the short term, the MCEC and OzHarvest partnership allows them to deliver more sustainable business events for their customers, giving the peace of mind that leftovers will be donated to OzHarvest, wherever possible, and not go to landfill. It also supports the provision of meals to vulnerable people in the community who need them most, saving energy, emissions, and water that would otherwise be required to produce these meals.
In the long term, MCEC’s continued partnership with OzHarvest results in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from food waste that would have otherwise gone to landfill. Food waste has a wide range of negative environmental, social, and economic impacts. As much as 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed. Food waste is a problem, not just because of the quantities that end up in landfill, but also because of the wasted resources – seeds, land, water, energy, fertiliser, and labour that goes into producing, processing, transporting and cooking food that is not eaten. Greenhouse gases are produced at every stage, including methane when food rots in landfill. In fact, food waste generates more than four times as much greenhouse gas emissions as the aviation sector.
Harry the Hirer – Sustainability Initiative
Harry the Hirer
Description of initiative
For more than 35 years, Harry the Hirer has been a name synonymous with hiring equipment, furniture and AV equipment for parties and events around Australia.
More recently, Harry the Hirer have implemented a range of initiatives, and a long-term plan for implementation of improvements across the entire business.
The company is in the process of ramping up recycling programs for a whole range of different materials, as well as sourcing new environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative materials to some of the older, more problematic ones.
Quantity demands for the Biogone biodegradable bags at Harry’s has grown significantly with several thousand bags being used per month during peak use times.
During Harry the Hirer’s growth and success, they have been very strategic and methodical in how they connect with like-minded organisations in their operations and sustainable thinking and execution.
Biogone is one of those companies which ticked all the boxes in offering landfill-biodegradable products to businesses which supports sound sustainable practices. According to Ben Walker, Manager Procurement, Harry the Hirer, Biogone has been a perfect fit for the company.
It was explained that Harry the Hirer have thousands of items that require individual use of a bag to be the first line of defence against dust and debris in the warehouse.
While there have been many different alternatives tried, bags have proved to be the best option.
The environmental impact of the bags has always been a big problem in the company, but Biogone’s landfill-biodegradable bags have helped to solve that problem. Biogone has been able to meet the obligations of Harry the Hirer’s randomly sized furniture as these items often require a specific custom bag.
Ben Walker says that plastic bags have been used by Harry’s for a long time but were made from virgin material and not biodegradable.
He mentioned that “As much as we could we’d recycle but this was not always possible, having this landfill- biodegradable option means that in the instances where we can’t recycle them, we can feel a little better about knowing they’ll actually break down if they do end up in landfill.”
The company also regularly uses thousands of metres of Biogone’s landfill-biodegradable pallet stretch, instead of the conventional type.
Harry the Hirer were using a large number of bags and had come to realise that the disposal problem they were causing was extremely detrimental to the environment. Through the partnership with Biogone they have now managed to utilise a far more environmentally attractive product and done so in a commercially competitive way. For Harry the Hirer, there are now plans for all their bags to cross to the Biogone versions. This has outlined the importance of people in management like this who can see long term visions not only for their business but for the impact their business has on the environment, that will be the people leading us forwards to reduce our plastic waste problem.
According to Dr Ross Headifen, founder, Biogone, the company is always delighted to find a new company who understands the plastic waste problem and is prepared to do something about it.
ICC Sydney – Sustainability Initiative
ICC Sydney & Salesforce World Tour 2023
ICC Sydney supported Salesforce to deliver its annual World Tour, hosting
over 8,000 Salesforce customers,
employees, innovators, VIPs and C-suite executives in its convention and
exhibition centres. Occupying more than
31,000sqm, ICC Sydney’s Convention Centre was home to a pre-function space
for 250 VIPs and C-suite executives while keynotes, cocktail function spaces
and breakout rooms were delivered in the Exhibition Centre.
With the support of ICC Sydney’s audio visual team, Salesforce was able to
broadcast the speeches with closed captions from the Exhibition Hall into
the Convention Centre and delivered additional staging, lighting and audio
set up for private question and answer sessions in Pyrmont Theatre foyer.
Environmental sustainability as well as a strong security overlay were
prominent features of the large scale event with ICC Sydney supporting
Salesforce to meet its objectives through event delivery and post-event
corporate social responsibility reporting.
Highly secure events
As a high-profile event with hundreds of C-suite executives and VIPs in attendance, ICC Sydney’s highest
priority was the safety and security of all attendees. Delegates were required to go through rigorous security
measures including metal detectors and identification checks to ensure safety.
Empowering sustainable solutions
Sustainability is a key value of Salesforce and was a core focus in the event planning process. Salesforce looked to
ICC Sydney’s leadership in sustainable events to support initiatives across solar power, food, water and waste management at the venue and was inspired to activate further initiatives to reduce the environmental footprint
of the event.
ICC Sydney’s Presentation Services team provided a customised waste streaming system to assist visitors to
dispose of their waste. Refillable water stations were installed throughout the Exhibition Centre and the team
provided additional BioCups to support the event’s zero plastic mission and encourage attendees to bring and
reuse their own water bottles. ICC Sydney served several carbon friendly meal options across the cocktail,
morning and afternoon tea menus to lower the overall carbon footprint of the event.
ICC Sydney provided Salesforce with a waste report detailing the outcomes of the event and opportunities
for future improvement across environmental and social action plans. The report supports the venue’s journey to
Net Zero Carbon Events and empowers event organisers to take control of the event’s environmental footprint.