When Conference Care’s sustainability action group Plan-It! wanted to meet in person, it required a venue which boasted sustainable credentials to match the agenda. As it was the first time the team had met in a face-to-face setting since the launch of its Carbon Consultancy service, it was essential that it worked with a venue that had the same sustainability outlook and beliefs. As a result, the meeting took place at Warwick Conferences, using Carbon Consultancy to determine the carbon impact of the event.
Launched last year, Carbon Consultancy by Conference Care enables event organisers to measure carbon emissions generated by an event. It has three core aims:
- to enable event organisers to calculate emissions generated for an event;
- to provide solutions that educate, create behavioural change and deliver a reduction of emissions; and
- to offer a range of carbon programmes which allow the remaining carbon footprint to be offset.
According to Conference Care, travel contributes to 60% of a typical event’s carbon footprint. Energy consumption (20%), food and beverage (15%) and ancillary services (5%) make up the remaining carbon impact areas event organisers should look to address.
To put its calculator into practice, Conference Care wanted to ensure it selected a sustainable venue as part of its annual team meeting. Working with Warwick Conferences, Conference Care implemented its own Carbon Consultancy method to deliver a blueprint for sustainable meetings.
To deliver a successful meeting, Conference Care wanted to establish clear social and economic benefits. As such, it was planned differently to its usual meetings, with a requirement to be accessible via more efficient transport. Situated at the heart of the UK, Warwick Conferences’ access to transport links made it an ideal location. Attendees were encouraged to travel by train, or car share, while those with electric cars could take advantage of free charging points.
Another key aspect was maintaining creativity. With more than 18 months’ worth of meetings held virtually, returning to a face-to-face environment meant the venue had to inspire and engage. As the creative spaces in Scarman had been sold out during the week of the meeting, Warwick Conferences worked to transform one of its traditional meeting spaces in Radcliffe to achieve the desired outcome.
The final crucial aspect of the event lay in the food and beverage. To ensure the menu was sustainable, Warwick Conferences’ award-winning chefs created a plant-based meal as the Carbon Consultancy calculated the significance of replacing red meat with vegan options. Boasting both Green Tourism and ECOsmart Gold Status by Greengage accreditation, Conference Care knew it could rely on the team to deliver a carbon-friendly menu.
A Positive Impact
Overall, the meeting was a great success, as Pauline Beattie, Sales Director at Conference Care explains: “We are passionate about educating the industry on sustainable best practice. As such, it was so important that we established an environment that would meet the expectations we set as part of our Carbon Consultancy.
“The meeting environment set up by Warwick Conferences was ideal and met all of our expectations. From the paperless and plastic-free environment to the plant-based menu, we were extremely pleased with the event and we had glowing feedback from every attendee. In fact, the layout has made us reconsider how we set up our own office environment and we are now looking to introduce more plants and breakout areas.”
As part of the meeting, Conference Care used its Carbon Consultancy to calculate the footprint of the event. Achieving a .01 rating, the meeting met all expectations from the organisers. Pauline concludes: “It was fantastic to put our Carbon Consultancy into practice, and we are delighted to see the impact – or lack of impact – our meeting has had on the environment.”
Justine Meek, Business Development Manager and Sustainability Lead at Warwick Conferences, added: “We are passionate about sustainability, and we have made great strides to ensure we are providing the very best service to our customers. We have set up a new Sustainability Committee which meets regularly to help us assess and analyse our services, which will help us improve our initiatives even further. We have enormous pride in the very low score from the Carbon Consultancy, and it only motivates us further to continue our sustainable commitment.”