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.

Two women, one in an orange jumper and the other in teal top are walking through an exhibition talking to one another.

Simple Steps for Planning a Sustainable Event

By Sam Ferrier|

MCEC Sustainability Manager Sam Ferrier offers her top tips for minimising the environmental impact of your next event.

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the size of their environmental footprint and organisations are expected to do more than simply pay lip service to sustainability.

With so much education and innovation now readily available, there’s simply no excuse for planning events that create unnecessary environmental or community impact.

We had a chat with MCEC Sustainability Manager Samantha Ferrier to get her five top tips for planning more sustainable events.

Three people in high visibility vests sifting through recycled materials.

Choose a venue that uses renewable energy where possible and has a formal sustainability strategy in place. Look out for a good third-party sustainability certification and ideally your venue will have a sustainability manager who can partner with you to help design and plan your event with an environmental focus.


Menus should be based on seasonal availability and, where possible, sourced from local producers. Be sure to include plenty of plant-based options in your menu as these create a far smaller and more sustainable environmental impact.

Waste management

You can minimise waste creation by avoiding problematic single-use plastic like straws and spoons and using reusable cups and environmentally-friendly (ie. recyclable or reusable) food packaging. Make sure your venue has a waste data collection program and donate any surplus food and beverage to a food rescue charity like OzHarvest .


Make sure you provide plenty of information on walking, cycling and public transport routes to your event. Consider offering incentives to attendees (like free coffees or discounted Mykis) to choose alternative modes of transport.

Sustainable partnerships

There are some incredibly innovative businesses and charities doing amazing work in the social and environmental sustainability sectors, so don’t waste the opportunity to explore some mutually beneficial partnerships. Ask your venue’s sustainability manager for their recommendations or check out our community partners .

Man in polo shirt sitting at a table eating food from a stainless steal bowl smiling to someone off camera.

Sam Ferrier is a Sustainability Manager and expert in driving environmental sustainability programs for non-for-profits, private companies and government. She specialises in waste management and education, sustainable events, behaviour change, circular economy and corporate social responsibility.

Learn more about how Sam and MCEC are working to make our venue and events more sustainable with an ambitious and comprehensive five-year sustainability strategy.