Why Event Sustainability Matters at Croke Park Meetings & Events

18/04/2018

Meetings and events business at Croke Park is up 100% over the past 3 years. We invested in our facilities and our team, and revenues doubled.

That’s just a fact - we’re doing well. In doing well we also want to do good and we believe the two are intrinsically linked – you do well by doing good. 

In the day-to-day business of running a busy venue, we focus first and foremost on our clients.  But what’s important for both Croke Park and our clients is that we keep our eye on the ‘greater good’ – the things that are bigger than all of us and critical to future generations. We are supporting the Earth Day 2018 campaign to end plastic pollution.
Future Generations: Our Sales Manager Sabrina Curran with her daughters Farrah and Sadhbh

As Natural As Brushing Our Teeth

We are leaders in event sustainability – another fact. For us this is not a passing fad or a cynical “green washing” exercise.  It’s part of what we do here across the stadium campus.  Our event sustainability journey started over 10 years ago when we launched CĂșl Green, our environmental sustainability initiative to reduce our carbon footprint. We became the first carbon neutral stadium in the world.  New building management systems were installed to help us manage utilities, recycling projects were developed and water management processes were put in place.  We’re proud that we have built on our initial success to make venue sustainability a habit as natural to us now as brushing our teeth in the morning!

We became the first stadium in the world to be awarded BS8901 for sustainability in event management and have since been awarded the ISO 20121 and ISO 14001:2015.

0% Waste to Landfill  

And how do we keep our focus?  An internal ESMG or Environmental Sustainability Management Group keeps us motivated and committed to continuous improvement. We share what we do in campaigns such as Greener on and off the Pitch and Changing the GameWe celebrate big wins like delivering 0% waste to landfill over the last 4 years and we beaver away on smaller projects like recently doubling the amount of bike spaces around the stadium. 

Social responsibility and local community programmes are close to our heart and initiatives such as our Community Fund, camps and coderdojo classes for kids, social events and community recycling allow us to give something back to our neighbours.

Earth Day, Recycling & Recreating

We are supporting Earth Day 2018 on 22nd April which is dedicated to providing information and inspiration needed to change human attitude and behaviour and end plastic pollution.  Much of the waste we recycle at Croke Park is plastic and two members of our ESMG team go onsite with our recycling partner Thornton’s Recycling after every match day to ensure we segregate and manage our waste correctly.

Specifically for meetings and events, we manage all the aforementioned elements under our control but also have an advocacy role where we help clients create “Green Meetings”. A key player in this and our representative on the ESMG is Event Facilities Executive David Adams.

David Adams, Croke Park ESMG

“Meeting and event sustainability is no longer a peripheral conversation had by left of centre event professionals with an agenda. It’s now mainstream and our decade-long experience at Croke Park along with our sustainability credentials allows us to lead the conversation” explained David.

He continued “In terms of delivering meetings it starts with energy awareness. Lights and screens are only fully powered on when the event starts and are powered down as soon as the client exits. To minimise energy use, our security team does a full “power walk” each evening to ensure no AV / TV / catering equipment has been left on.

100% Compostable Cups

Recycling is a huge focus for event sustainability. After conferences, clients often abandon lots of stuff, pull up banners for example. We work with an Irish company called Recreate who can re-purpose these items for creative re-use. It’s a classic win-win scenario and helps us exercise social responsibility too.

Croke Park Recycling

A big issue from a sustainability operations perspective is food and compostable waste. RuairĂ­ Boyce, our Head Chef, is deeply committed to farm to fork principles and local sourcing. Thornton’s Recycling transports any food waste and grass waste from the pitch to their facility nearby in Co. Meath and we make the compost available to the community for local groups / gardens.  All of our take away cups at Croke Park are 100% compostable and biodegradable”.

Increasingly we find both corporate and association clients are mandated to operate their meetings and events in accordance with best sustainability practice. Many clients proactively choose to run their events with us because our sustainability credentials and work practices matter. We are all doing well by doing good and that is good news!  We don’t need to explain why it matters – just take a look at Farrah and Sadhbh with their mum and our Sales Manager Sabrina.
Fun with Mum at Croke Park

Read more about sustainability at Croke Park

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