MCEC calls shots on apples, beer, coffee to hit green goals

APPLES and coffee were among the initial stumbling blocks faced by bosses tasked with pushing through sustainability targets at one of Asia Pacific’s  showpiece convention centres, Martin Donovan reports.

And when it came to finding a water-filtering system to replace the use of plastic bottled water at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) resorted to a local brewery.

MCEC’s chief operating officer, Leighton Wood, said that in addition to formulating inhouse sustainability, the venue also had to persuade suppliers to adopt more environmentally practices.

The venue’s main coffee supplier once made 20 trips per month to deliver coffee, until it was suggested that two larger deliveries twice a month would ease the carbon footprint instead of delivering each working day. 

Wood and his team also discovered that a grocery supplier wrapped each apple they sent to the centre in paper. Each apple was then unwrapped and put on display at the MCEC’s outlet. 

The grocer pointed out that this was standard practice for more attractive presentation, but he eventually saw the light when the MCEC’s policy was explained.

When the MCEC decided to eliminate the use of plastic-bottled water, Wood and his team turned to a brewery for help with developing a filtering system.

Wood and MCEC chief executive Peter King revealed some of the stories behind the venue’s Goldfields expansion and sustainability policies during a tour of the high-tech space during AIME 2019.

Watch out on for more stories from AIME, the MCEC’s impressive new space and much more.

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