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Croke Park Celebrates World First

6th October 2010



Croke Park is celebrating the distinction of becoming the first stadium in the world to receive the prestigious BS 8901:2009 certification for sustainable event management, the highest accolade of its kind. To mark this achievement, the stadium presented compost from its recycling initiatives to pupils from O’Connell’s Primary School to plant a commemorative tree in the school garden.

Croke Park was awarded the Certification in May of this year for achieving the highest standards in sustainable event management, demonstrating commitment to constant improvements in the stadium’s sustainability record and showing that sustainability is at the centre of all stadium activities. No other stadium in the world has ever received the BS 8901 Certification. BS 8901 is designed to help events organisations, such as the GAA/Croke Park, to recognize their impact on the economy, society and the environment. 

As a result of becoming the first stadium in the world to receive the certification, Croke Park is now being used by the awarding body, SGS, as a case study in best practice sustainability for other stadia all over the world. Furthermore, Croke Park now attracts even more events from businesses and organisations looking for ‘green’ venues to host their events and conferences.  In fact, the stadium will host its own green conference, entitled ‘Greener Games’ on Saturday 30th October.

In addition to BS 8901, Croke Park boasts an impressive list of environmental achievements in recent years, including ISO 14001: 2004 environmental management systems certification (May 2009), the successful development of the CĂșl Green initiative with ESB which has made Croke Park a carbon-neutral stadium and the 2009 Repak Partnership Award for outstanding achievements in recycling and waste management. 

Some specific environmental improvements which Croke Park has also managed to deliver were instrumental in helping the stadium receive the coveted BS 8901 certification. Noteworthy improvements include:
• reducing electricity consumption by almost 30% since 2007;
• saving 312,000 litres of water per day through fitting solenoid valves in toilets;
• opening recycling and composting facilities throughout the stadium;
• increasing recycling from 21% in 2008 to 52% in 2010;
• sourcing all the stadium’s electricity from wind farms.

As a stadium which has focused on building strong relationships with the local community, it is fitting that Croke Park mark the occasion by inviting neighbouring O’Connell’s Primary School to plant a tree in the school garden, using stadium compost which they will collect today on a visit to Croke Park.

Commenting on the BS 8901, Peter McKenna, Stadium Director, Croke Park, said:  “This is a remarkable achievement for the stadium to become the first in the world to be recognized for achieving the highest standards in sustainability and we are delighted to share this celebration with the local community. Sustainability is now the primary pillar in the successful management of Croke Park which hosts close to 100 major events every year. It is essential that we not only maintain the high standards we have now set, but seek to constantly improve them. In so doing we will ensure Croke Park makes a positive impact on our economy, our society and our environment.”

Paraic Duffy, GAA Director General, said: “We are extremely proud that all of the hard work by the team of people working in the stadium has been recognized at the highest level possible. While Croke Park is the official home of the GAA, the stadium attracts in the region of 2million visitors a year to a range of sporting, cultural, musical and conference events, all of which have a large impact on our environment. It is our role to make sure that this impact is a positive one and the certification confirms that we are heading in the right direction.”