Award nomination recognises The NEC’s green success

One of Europe’s most respected exhibition venues has been nominated for a prestigious regional business award thanks to its environmentally-friendly ethos.
The NEC will contest the ‘Environment’ category at this year’s Birmingham Post Business Awards after leading a charge on sustainability over the past 12 months.

Having been seen as wasteful in the past, the exhibition and events industry has come a long way in recent years, typified by measures implemented at The NEC.

The introduction of the groundbreaking Waste Pre-Treatment Centre – an industry first – has had a telling effect on the centre’s day-to-day operations and has been integral to its sustainability success, processing an average of 4,500 tonnes of waste per year.

Prior to opening in 2009, 95% of waste management at the venue was sent directly to landfill – but that figure now stands at 0% meaning The NEC now has the ability to freeze waste management charges to organisers.

As well as leading the way itself, The NEC has also focused on influencing its suppliers to follow suit as Amadeus, the onsite catering company, has adopted a local and ethical food sourcing policy, as well as introduced fully recyclable packaging.  

Now, waste generated during exhibitions, events and from office areas, is separated into different waste streams and processed for transport to local recyclers.

Kathryn James, managing director at The NEC, said: “The events industry continues to make great strides in its positive contribution to a ‘greener’ world, and as the UK’s number one venue, we believe we should lead by example and make a positive impact on the way people think and behave when it comes to sustainability.

“Sustainability is now everyone’s responsibility and we work hard to monitor the environmental impact of our operations both at events and in our offices. We’re extremely proud that our efforts have not only been successful in minimising negative impact - such as achieving zero waste to landfill - but have also been recognised by key regional media through award nominations such as this.”

Stacey Barnfield, editor of the Birmingham Post, said: “The NEC is a name which is synonymous with Birmingham, so it is heartwarming to see that they have taken such steps to make themselves as sustainable as possible.

“The sheer number of people that visit on a daily basis means that any measures, no matter how big or small, are likely to have a huge impact on the environment and this deserves to be celebrated.

“The Birmingham Post Business Awards is all about toasting the best businesses in the region. We’ve had a record number of applications this year and that is testament to the way Birmingham has bounced back in recent years. This is a party five years in the making.”

The ceremony will be hosted by comedian Lee Hurst at the International Convention Centre on Wednesday 26th November.

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