In an ever changing and evolving world, many companies continue to look at new ways to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible and one actionable approach to do this is through hosting sustainable events, meetings and conferences.
Before we go any further, we should briefly cover what a sustainable event entails and how they can help your business become more environmentally friendly. Generally sustainable events involve reducing unnecessary waste and making greener choices. Venues that have a sustainable action plan in place will work with you to reduce things like single use plastics at your event (cutlery, straw, name badges etc.), water stations vs. plastic water bottles, use of low-energy light bulbs throughout, onsite waste management and recycling, encouraging digital signage and app use over use of printed materials, perhaps including a carbon offset fee in the price of guest registrations and encouraging use of public transport when attending the event are just some incentives to help make your event more environmentally friendly. Next we will look at an example of a venue that has a sustainable event management plan in place and what exactly that entails for events hosted there.
Towards the end of 2020 Croke Park launched their sustainability e-book (available for download) titled ‘From Loft Ambition to Lived Dream: Our Sustainability Story’. Home to sport, host to the biggest acts in the world from U2 to Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay to Beyoncé, and home to over 2000 meetings & events a year, this flexible 110 space venue is one of Irelands foremost event locations. The venue and team at Croke Park are always ahead of the curve for all things meetings, events and conferences related, so it was no surprise to see their sustainable activities & milestones formalised and offers valuable insights for all who operate in the event industry some of the key themes that are sure to feature prominently over the coming weeks, months and years.
Although the e-booklet was only launched recently, Croke Park’s sustainability journey actually began over 10 years ago with the launch of the Cúl Green carbon emission reduction initiative, as well as energy monitoring systems installed throughout the stadium and its green waste management programme also launched in the same year. It was the first stadium in the world to achieve BS 8901:2009 certification in Sustainable Event Management, which was later transitioned to ISO 20121 certification, achieving a 0% waste to landfill during this period and a reduction of almost 75% in their carbon emissions. Culturally, it has become a core value of Croke Park to pursue best practice in sustainability and to encourage others to do so by following their example.
Clients booking with Croke Park are actively encouraged to consider sustainability in all elements of their pre-event, event, and post-event planning. Just some of the meetings and events environmentally friendly measures in place include;
Croke Park’s stalwart sustainable journey is further strengthened by their membership of the the Water Stewardship Programme, which is run by Irish Water. This programme, accredited to European Water Stewardship Standards (EWS), is designed to help reduce water consumption by employing more efficient water management and monitoring across the facility and operations.
The team have a strong focus on biodiversity and nature. In 2018 Croke Park purchased a farm to grow turf for the pitch, reducing carbon emissions associated with importation. The farm is now also used to grow herbs and vegetables for its kitchens, and uniquely they also have ten beehives producing honey. The catering team prioritises seasonal produce and regional sourcing in all menu options featuring over 85% local and regional produce in menus for matches, concerts, meetings and events.
Croke Park have an Environmental, Sustainability & Safety Management Group and ‘Green Team’ in place who will work to ensure your elements of your event can be made environmentally friendly, so if you are considering going green for you next event be sure to get in touch with the team on their listing here. You can also find out more about their sustainability journey and download the ebook from their website.