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Sustainable Conference Centre 

Building a sustainable future

As one of the oldest meeting places in the UK, we know first-hand that sustainability is a vital ingredient for our future.

We recognise that our operations have a local and global environmental impact, and so we are committed to reducing this as much as possible by, following sustainability best practice, and proactively encouraging sustainability wherever we have influence. We also have a robust CSR policy in place.

Our management objectives and targets are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are in line with our environmental policy, which we communicate to all employees. We also help our clients and service partners to minimise the impact of their activities with us.

Our environmental policy

As part of Central Hall Westminster’s environmental policy, we ensure that we:

  • Monitor our energy use and consumption
  • Reduce our water consumption
  • Reduce waste wherever possible
  • Monitor and work to reduce travel emissions undertaken for business purposes
  • Encourage responsible procurement practices wherever possible, such as using local suppliers, recycled materials, biodegradable chemicals and purchasing fairly-traded products
  • Provide sustainability information and support to all our staff, so that all staff exercise their environmental responsibility and contribute to good sustainability practice
  • Encourage our clients and visitors to produce events that are environmentally sensitive, with procedures in place to minimise noise and disturbance to neighbours
  • Promote environmental best practice to our service partners, encouraging a shared responsibility to protecting the environment
  • Regularly review and verify the effectiveness of our environmental management goals and systems through certification to ISO14001:2004 – ensuring that we comply fully with environmental legislation

Sustainable catering

In conjunction with our on-site catering partner KUDOS, we also ensure sustainable catering practices. As part of this, we:

  • Plan food requirements carefully to avoid unnecessary waste
  • Plan meals using seasonal local produce wherever possible
  • Source fish from fisheries that have been through the Marine Stewardship Council auditing processes
  • Source meat from suppliers that have been recognised by the Red Tractor Scheme.  This ensures that we can trace food from farm to fork, and that the food we procure is reared to independently audited standards of welfare and husbandry
  • Procure Fairtrade produce as a priority, including: tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate, and red and white wine
  • Minimise the use of individually packaged food/drink items – for example by providing milk or cream in jugs rather than individual plastic cartons, and use reusable crockery, glassware and cutlery
  • Bottle our own water on site, thus reducing transport emissions

Promoting greener events

An increasing number of our events organisers and clients are concerned with sustainability and environmental policy around their events.

To help us all reduce our collective environmental impact, we have produced a useful checklist for promoting greener events:

VENUE CHOICE

  • Choose a venue that has good access via public transport for disabled people
  • Ask potential venues for their in-house environmental policy
  • Choose a venue interested in sustainability issues, and let them know that is why you chose them
  • Consider venues offering in-house technical equipment and support (e.g. staging, audio-visual kit) to reduce equipment transportation
  • Consider video conferencing and/or recording your event for wider access via the internet

CARBON EMISSIONS (INCLUDING TRAVEL)

  • Take measures to reduce CO2 emissions from delegates travelling to the venue, i.e. provide information about local public transport (with pedestrian routes) and encourage its use. Where appropriate, consider promoting car sharing also, e.g. by circulating attendee lists in advance
  • Minimise unnecessary lighting, heating, or air-conditioning to offset CO2 emissions arising from the event

REDUCING WASTE – PRE-EVENT

  • Use websites and mailing lists to promote your event
  • Use double-sided printing for promotional materials and hand-outs, and use recycled paper where possible
  • Use portable display materials that can easily be transported by an attendee and re- used
  • Seek naturally lit meeting and exhibition areas
  • Format any hand-outs to minimise the amount of paper used
  • Where possible, write material in a re-usable format – so make content general rather than event specific
  • Minimise the length of your registration form or use electronic registration where possible and publish your event itinerary online
  • Ask your venue to recycle paper and cardboard waste, and to provide suitable recycling bins
  • Make your own note pads from scrap paper

REDUCING WASTE – PRE-EVENT

  • If you are providing delegate packs, choose reuseable folders and give these to delegates when they register on arrival instead of beforehand, to avoid duplication
  • Avoid mass distribution of hand-outs – allow attendees to download copies from the internet
  • Ensure your presenters are aware of electronic presentation facilities and that their presentation will be distributed electronically after the event
  • Provide re-usable name badges and remember to collect them at the end of the event
  • Minimise use of accessories that are harmful to the environment, e.g. plastic leaflet wallets
  • Feature your event name and date on a holding slide rather than creating single-use stage set graphics
  • Minimise use of high wattage stage lighting
  • Promote energy and water efficiency to participants – e.g. encourage them to switch off lights when rooms are not in use
  • Use dry mark eraser boards rather than paper in workshop presentations
  • Request that any unused items be collected for use at another event

REDUCING WASTE – POST-EVENT

  • If not issued at the event, send feedback questionnaires to your delegates or venue by email

Helpful Links 

Carbon offset your event

We’ve teamed up with Green Tourism, to offset the carbon for your event at Central Hall Westminster.

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