All over the country and indeed throughout the world, there is a growing demand for sustainable, eco-conscious venues for events. As sustainability and the environment is being included as part of the design brief for architects in new builds, there are venues who realise that they can do a lot to decrease their own carbon footprint as well.
As we’re based in London and this is where we most often work, we’ll give some examples of venues in the city that have embraced this. First what are the reasons for venues to be more sustainable? As well as reducing a venue’s footprint, it creates a more healthy place to work and enjoy events in, with better air and water as well as numerous other benefits. There are financial benefits too with money saved on electricity, water and recycling. Smart lighting and heating, which is a flourishing industry cuts out on a lot of waste, especially in larger venues. Low flow water systems cut back on water waste. Digital signage, used in venues like BMA House and the reduction of single use plastic (straws, water bottles, etc.) all make a big impact. A venue can incorporate thorough recycling facilities that are clear and easy to use and will make a lot of difference to waste. Use of solar panels is another great possibility. The list can go on. There are always lots of ways of adapting and modernising existing venues and no shortage of information out there. Plus there are many companies that specialise in helping venues to modernise environmentally in the most economical and efficient way.
The Crystal in London is an all-electric building with solar power and a ground source heat pump to generate its own energy. The building incorporates rainwater harvesting, black water treatment, solar heating and automated building management systems. So no fossil fuels are used. As a building, it has achieved outstanding BREEAM accreditation and Platinum LEED accreditation – these are extremely strict standards for sustainable design and construction. The venue has sustainable catering and a great in-house AV team to help make the most of the 270 seat auditorium for your event. The shape of the building creates unique spaces inside, including the auditorium, conference facilities, meeting rooms and office spaces. With its location on London’s Royal Docks, the Crystal architecture provides an eye-catching contrast to the surrounding skyline, the O₂ and Canary Wharf.
15 Hatfields in London is another highly sustainable venue. As a modern conference and meeting room venue in central London, it has 7 flexible event spaces for up to 550 delegates. With great facilities made to high environmental specs, the venue has a strong sustainability policy. It has the Green Tourism Gold Award and a certification of the NQA Sustainable Development Management Scheme (and was the first venue in the UK to receive the NQA). With 100% recycled glass water bottles and its own water filtration system, it can keep delegates fully hydrated whilst avoiding plastic bottles altogether. This venue takes its sustainability aims really seriously and works hard to maintain and indeed improve upon its own high standards that were set out a few years ago.
Cavendish venues which include Cavendish Conference Centre, Asia House and De Morgan House are the first venues to become accredited landfill neutral. That’s not the only first – they’re also the first venues that introduced a carbon calculator. This makes it possible to quickly find out the cost of offsetting carbon for your event. They work with CNI, a leading Carbon Consultancy to do this. Other excellent actions this venue are taking include aiming to reduce waste year on year and create more efficiency every year – and sourcing all their meat from a single farm less than 50km from all their venues. All their food waste is composted in south east London. They’ve introduced manned coffee stations as coffee machines are far less energy-efficient. And all their energy is sourced in a sustainable manner.
The Good Hotel in Royal Victoria Docks has deliberately chosen to make working connections with local and neighbouring businesses to partner with and create the often missing business ‘community’ in London rather than source from further afield. They therefore have a stronger social impact in the local area which has its obvious sustainable benefits. They are also heavily invested in upcycling, using natural, durable and re-purposed materials. Innovative measures include making locally-crafted wooden furniture, using the wood of their building before it was renovated. They’ve also saved energy by having natural ventilation and water reclaiming systems integral to the design of the hotel and with materials only sourced from the local area.
There are of course other venues in London that are sustainable and we’d strongly encourage you to seek out as many as possible and look out for new ones that are now springing up. In the world we now live in and with the knowledge we have, it is essential that venues have the necessary adjustments to be more sustainable. In addition, the more awareness and use of the venues that already have or were built in a sustainable manner originally, the more other venues will be forced to address this as much more than a passing fad. Rather they will see that it’s the only way forward to set the groundwork for future generations. With the possible waste and carbon footprint of an event being so potentially large, we have to do all we can to redress the situation as many companies, venues and individuals are already doing. It’s not that hard but does involve a strong commitment.
To find out more about sustainable venues for your forthcoming event, get in touch with us.