ICC Sydney’s Waste Reduction Program Wins UFI Sustainability Award
When it comes to combating event waste, ICC Sydney appears to have one of the event industry’s leading environmental issues under control. In recognition of its comprehensive waste management program, the Australia venue recently won the 2020 UFI Sustainable Development Award, designed to recognize companies that have implemented successful exhibition waste management protocols.
According to UFI officials, the award’s jury panel selected ICC Sydney as the winning entry because of its clear, comprehensive and practical approach to managing and reducing waste, with impressive results.
“Waste management is one, if not the, most important environmental issue of exhibitions,” said Philippe Echivard, director of environment and security at Geneva, Switzerland-based Palexpo and chair of the UFI Sustainable Development Working Group. “The extremely high level of the selected entries demonstrates that the industry can develop strong programs in that area, as part of their overall sustainability strategy,”
ICC’s winning program targets key waste management issues in alignment with Goal 12, Responsible Consumption and Production, of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, according to UFI officials.
By following multiple sustainability initiatives, the facility exceeded its original 2019 waste diversion target of 75 percent, diverting 86 percent of its dry and 100 percent of its organic waste. Efforts to achieve these included progressive on-site waste segregation streams; donating unused food and event items to charity; recycling food waste into green energy and fertilizer via a local waste facility; offering sustainable alternatives to plastic water bottles and straws; and implementing commercially compostable food and beverage packaging.
“As a venue, we are committed to sustainability and fostering positive event legacies for our clients,” said Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney. “We also recognize our responsibility to demonstrate leadership and make a positive contribution towards the waste crisis in Australia and the global exhibitions industry. We look forward to expanding the program, guided by lessons learnt, to continue to create ongoing positive waste management outcomes.”
Other UFI Sustainable Development Award finalists included Greenbuild International Conference + Expo (the only “single exhibition organizer” among the finalists); UK-based Olympia London and RAI Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for their long-standing commitment to zero waste; and Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Stockholmsmässan, Sweden, for their strong recent achievements in sustainability.