Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) Acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Narrm, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present, and to Elders of all First Nations communities that visit MCEC.


The Simple Ways We're Making Events More Sustainable

By Bree Pagliuso|

Today's eventgoers are actively seeking events that push environmental and social responsibility. That's why we're committed to creating impact and helping event planners like you integrate sustainability into your next event.

Our sustainability journey is ongoing. We continue to invest in energy-efficient technologies, reduce waste through recycling and composting, and implement water-saving measures. We're always moving forward and looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact, and we are proud to share our progress. 

To work towards a circular economy, we're making small but impactful changes. Our goal is to reduce waste, eliminate single-use plastics, and use reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging at events.

So, what's new?

We're getting rid of things we don't really need. Starting 1 October 2023, you won't find notepads and pens in theatre-style setups. Instead of biodegradable plastic cups we’ll be providing either glassware or recyclable paper cups at water stations. And by 1 January 2024, notepads and pens will no longer be offered at events. 

"Within our venue, we've noticed that very few guests use notepads and pens because they prefer to use phones and other digital devices instead. These pens come individually wrapped in plastic and contribute unnecessarily to our waste footprint.  

We're also looking at our biodegradable plastic cups. Even though they're made from bioplastic, they can't be recycled or composted here. So, at our water stations we're switching to paper cups made from 100% recycled paper. They're also fully recyclable. Our tea and coffee stations at catered events will continue to serve reusable metal coffee cups. These are all steps towards our goal to ditch single use plastics and reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill." - MCEC Sustainability Manager, Sam Ferrier

There's more!

We're excited to unveil our brand-new Sustainable Events Guide . It's not just any guide; it's your roadmap for integrating sustainability into every facet of event planning, from food choices to setup, transportation, energy use, and waste management. Plus, it provides insight into our team's efforts to meet our sustainability objectives and showcases the environmentally friendly features of our venue.  

Below is a glimpse of how we can help boost your event's social impact and reduce its environmental footprint.

Food and Beverage 

Diversify your menu with vegetarian and vegan options to reduce your carbon footprint. Avoid food waste by ordering the right quantities and opt for eco-friendly hydration like water coolers or rented water trailers.

Waste Management

Streamline your waste management by leading guests and exhibitors to the right disposal bins. Provide clear recycling instructions, reduce waste with reusable signage and eliminate single use branded items, lanyards, and unnecessary packaging. 

Event Styling and Merchandise 

Opt for digital giveaways or prioritise recycled materials for giveaways. Design reusable lanyards, embrace digital technology over printed materials and steer clear of environmentally harmful items like balloons. 

Signage and Stand Design 

Minimise waste by designing and using digital signage. If you prefer physical signage, work with recycled content and collaborate with suppliers to explore takeback or reuse strategies. Ensure stands are hired or made to be reused. 

Transportation Choices 

Promote eco-friendly transport options for your guests by providing clear information. Plan your event with public transport access in mind, and champion ridesharing. 

Energy, Water, and Emissions Management 

To save energy, turn off power and lights overnight at your stand, power down unused devices, coordinate logistics suppliers to reduce track movements, and offset your event’s carbon emissions if you can.

Marketing and Communication 

Champion sustainability in your marketing efforts by engaging attendees with pre-event emails, using digital tools, and adopting online marketing instead of traditional print materials. 

Leverage our Vital Partnerships 

Our sustainability journey thrives on the strength of our community partnerships . These connections aren't just valuable for us; they extend their positive impact to our valued customers and guests. 

  • Our partnership with OzHarvest provides surplus food to those in need. In 2022, we donated 16,280 meals, diverting 8 tonnes of food waste from landfills. This partnership has thrived since 2014, aiding communities and preventing waste. 

  • Partnering with Returnr , we're adopting reusable coffee cups.  Disposable cups? We recycle them through Simply Cups. Eco-conscious coffee lovers are rewarded with discounts.  

  • IKON Services assists us in managing event waste efficiently. Tailored solutions and insightful post-event waste reports drive our sustainability mission. 

  • Finally, Bright Sparqe has been instrumental in redirecting surplus products to charities, reducing waste, and helping those in need. 

There's so much more to discover and engage with in our Sustainable Events Guide . Explore our initiatives and the numerous ways our team can help you create a lasting event legacy.