A Cleaner and Greener Future at MCEC
By Laura Chodowski|
As the first convention centre in the world to be awarded a 6-Star Green Star environmental rating, sustainability remains at the core of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (MCEC) business priorities.
Over the past two years the venue has decreased energy consumption in the Exhibition Centre by 30 per cent, due to the introduction of ecological and sustainable infrastructure.
The venue has invested in a new CO2 monitoring system, variable speed drives, energy efficient chillers, an energy management system and are currently trialling LED lights in the Exhibition Centre bays to further reduce energy usage.
MCEC’s Chief Operating Officer, Leighton Wood said as one of the largest pieces of public infrastructure in Melbourne, MCEC has an increasing responsibility to support the community through sustainable business practices and partnerships.
“From replacing over 600 light fittings to energy-efficient alternatives to eliminating the use of all plastic water bottles in catering, these initiatives demonstrate that MCEC goes beyond a ‘tick box’ approach to sustainability by implementing unique and innovative measures which benefit both the environment and the local community,” Mr Wood said.
“After more than a decade of sustainable practice, MCEC achieved the coveted Gold Certification in June 2016 from EarthCheck, the world’s leading sustainable benchmarking organisation. This places us as a leader in a unique worldwide group of sustainable tourism operators and in particular, confirms our status as the regional leader in both potable water consumption and waste diverted from landfill.”
Although the venue is set to grow by 25 per cent when the expansion project reaches completion in mid-2018, MCEC is working to ensure its carbon emissions don’t increase through sourcing power from renewable energy.
Significant milestones achieved in 2017 include:
Reducing carbon emissions to 205 kg CO2-e per square metre, a nine per cent reduction since 2015.
A significant increase in waste being diverted from landfill, with 63 per cent of all waste from the venue now being recycled using 15 waste streams.
Replacement of 614 halogen lights with LED lights and a further 1079 in 2018.
The venue also continues to grow its partnerships with food rescue organisations, to ensure optimal levels of donation of excess food. In 2017 MCEC achieved over 100 pick-ups (equating to 28,542 meals) to OzHarvest’s food rescue donation program, compared to 10 pick-ups in 2015.