Paperless Meetings at Croke Park

19/10/2018

With a naturally high consumption of energy, paper products and food, the creation of sustainable meetings and events has come into focus for everyone organising business events, whether it's an international association conference for 5,000 or an internal training workshop for 15.  In a recent Skift Take about events producing less waste Allan Leibowitz said that as environmental awareness grows, everyone in the meetings supply chain has to demonstrate their green credentials. 

Bright lights, customised stage sets, thick wads of high grade logoed stationery, fancy branded water transported from the other end of the country, vast volumes of uneaten food - the rudimentary ingredients of a typical meeting or event but certainly not elements contributing to a greener, more sustainable environment!

More Sustainable Meetings & Events

The meetings and events industry has been reacting, though some would argue not quickly enough.  Many organisers now produce apps or go on-line with conference programmes instead of creating expensive printed brochures. There are associations, organisations, conferences and summits aimed specifically at the topic of sustainable meetings and events providing knowledge, content and inspiration to organisers around being green and sustainable.

Amongst these various initiatives is Positive Impact, the organisation behind the Sustainable Events Summit. For the past 4 years SES has been inspiring real action by bringing together corporations, associations, agencies and event suppliers around innovative ideas, thinking and practices in support of sustainable meetings & events.
 

Sustainability at Croke Park Meetings & Events

Truly savvy corporations and associations are cynical about mere “green washing” and want evidence of sustainability commitments embedded in the business ethos and policies of the venues they contract with. As a venue, Croke Park is imbued with the sustainability spirit.
 
Sustainability is not only about addressing the energy and waste impact associated with hosting over a million match-goers every year, the venue wants to use its status as the third-largest stadium in Europe to become an example in terms of policy, practice and innovation.
 

"Since 2014 Croke Park has maintained a zero waste to landfill record, with all rubbish produced in and by the stadium recycled, repurposed or reused"


Croke Park was the very first stadium in the world to obtain certification to the newest international Environmental Standard ISO 14001:2015 and was the first stadium in Ireland and Britain to secure both ISO14001 and ISO 20121 standards. That naturally extends to sustainable meetings and events as Míde Ní Shúilleabháin who is responsible for sustainability at Croke Park, explains:

Sustainability is mainstreamed across all aspects of Croke Park’s operations. Since 2014 Croke Park has maintained a zero waste to landfill record, with all rubbish produced in and by the stadium recycled, repurposed or reused with a focus on single use plastics. The ongoing stadium upgrade to LED lighting across all departments is part of a broader energy-efficiency programme that will reduce the stadium’s energy usage footprint and the introduction of compostable tea and coffee cups, has been a significant step in the move away from single-use plastics.

No Plastic Bottles and Paperless Meetings

The stadium is continuing its pioneering focus on reducing the amount of waste, with sustainable meetings & events very much at the heart of these initiatives. Single use plastic bottles have already been eliminated from meetings replaced with still and sparkling water presented in more sustainable glass bottles.

The most recent initiative is Paperless Meetings. Previously all meeting rooms were automatically laid out with pens and paper. Internal research showed that this approach was leading to needless waste and the decision was taken to remove the stationery from internal meetings and to make it available on request only.

Every Little Helps  

“Croke Park branded notebooks are available but making them ‘request only’ helps reduce waste and encourages our clients to join the wider sustainability community in thinking about the choices we make and about how in our everyday lives we make small decisions that can have big impacts. As the Irish proverb says bailíonn brobh beart / every little helps!”

5 Tips for a More Sustainable Meeting or Event

  1. Replace bottled water with filtered water served with ice in attractive re-usable jugs
  2. Serve coffee and tea in reusable mugs or, at least, in compostable paper cups
  3. Insist on LED and low wattage lighting for all event needs
  4. Go paperless by only using digital platforms and screens for all meeting and event communications
  5. Avoid food waste by reducing serving sizes

Talk to our team about going Paperless at your next meeting at Croke Park Meetings & Events - email us or call us on +353 1 8192300.
 
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