Saffron to bolster BCEC green efforts

BRISBANE Convention and Exhibition Centre has appointed its first sustainability and community engagement advisor.

Saffron Benner

Saffron Benner, former sustainable development goals manager for Griffith University, will further the Brisbane venue’s environmental efforts in the newly created role.

The appointment forms part of the ASM Global-managed centre’s environmental future strategy and aligns with the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ goal to be the most sustainable Games in Olympic history.

Kym Guesdon, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC)’s general manager said the new role would help the venue align with the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) while building on BCEC’s existing EarthCheck platinum accreditation.

“BCEC’s aim is to integrate the goals across all operational practices, supporting our long-held commitment to working with our partners, the community and our staff to ensure our actions have positive social and environmental outcomes. This is an imperative for us going forward,” Guesdon said.

In the new role, Benner would focus on the environmental and social impact areas of sustainability within the organisation while working to promote initiatives that BCEC has implemented to reduce its environmental footprint.

More… Stars aligning on both sides of Brisbane River

Guesdon added: “We’re very proud of the achievements we’ve already accomplished at BCEC, but the challenges we all face in the future are significant. Having a dedicated role for sustainability allows the venue to continue to have an impact, but also provides the support required to increase our ambitions through collaboration to make the differences we need.”

BCEC was an early adopter of responsible sustainability practices having been an inaugural member of Australia’s Greenhouse Challenge in 2001, with general manager at the time and now CEO of BCEC, Bob O’Keeffe, declaring environmental integrity was fundamental to the daily operations of the venue.

Backgrounder… ICCA commits to food sustainability

Measures included a heavy clampdown on food wastage in the kitchens by acquiring the centre’s first organic dehydrator, the early establishment of a staff-led CSR Program, rainwater harvesting and the introduction of community service days were among the initiatives.

One of the first tasks Benner set herself on taking up the position at BCEC was to visit every department in the 172,000 sqm venue to meet management and staff. “Sustainability is relevant to every aspect of every organisation,” she said. “There is really no job, from cleaner to accountant to CEO, that isn’t impacted by, or important to, sustainability in some way. I need to understand how the whole of an organisation functions as an ecosystem.”

Main image credit: Ashley Roach

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>