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Our Meetings and Events Green Story : Technology & Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde
The Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) is the University of Strathclyde's world-class research facility, offering conferencing facilities for up to 600 delegates in Glasgow's city centre. In September 2018, the Conferencing and Events (C&E) Sustainability Team was established to develop the venue's green credentials and deliver sustainable changes.
The team has made substantial progress in developing TIC's green agenda and has been instrumental in delivering and supporting the following initiatives:
- Reduction in the amount of food waste generated through event catering orders, decreasing finger buffet options from 5, 7 & 9 items to 5, 6 & 7 items to minimise leftovers
- TIC catering team now using Vegware, which is being made in to compost after use and then distributed in the University Community and Residences' Gardens, creating a lovely circular economy
- Installation of a new plumbed in water dispenser for all visitors, reducing single use plastic waste by encouraging visitors to refill their own bottles
- Embraced a new University initiative where electric vehicles can be hired for meetings. The team has used these cars to visit other organisations to share best practice in relation to green improvements
- Introduction of new stationary in TIC's Conference Rooms with single sheets of paper being offered instead of full pads and, pencils instead of pens, minimising the use of non-recyclable resources
- Played an active role in maintaining and developing the University's Community Garden as well as providing input into the Heart of the Campus plan to create a stunning centrepiece by pedestrianising and re-landscaping the University's green space.
These initiatives have undoubtedly had an impact in reducing costs associated with waste, energy and water, demonstrating an outstanding commitment towards people, places and the planet and these will continue to be monitored over the longterm. The team supports the University wide engagement programme, JUMP, the first of its kind in Scotland that rewards employees for taking part in a range of Sustainability and Wellbeing related actions. The TIC team was one of only a few teams which took part in the year-long pilot and has supported the programme since the University-wide launch a few years ago, successfully winning twice in a row!
In March 2019, the team achieved the Green Tourism Gold Award. A celebratory event was attended by Glasgow City Councillor Anna Richardson, Convenor of Sustainability and Reduced Carbon Reduction as well as representatives from Green Tourism with social media around the event reaching a vast audience.
Since TIC welcomes a high proportion of public sector and corporate clients, public recognition of TIC's sustainable credentials and practices is really important for revenue and reputation. This accreditation is helping the team influence organisers to make their own events greener and also encourage delegates to adopt a sustainable approach when attending events. The opportunities for the team are plentiful and with collaboration being a University value, the environmental improvements will continue to grow!
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