Warwick Conferences, the award-winning collection of meeting venues on the University of Warwick campus, has been awarded Gold accreditation by Green Tourism for its newest venue – The Slate – just seven months after opening. In addition, its three other dedicated conference venues – Arden, Scarman and Radcliffe - have received Silver accreditation as part of the organisation’s mission to create an eco-friendlier environment.
In order to be accredited by Green Tourism, businesses must satisfy specific criteria which covers all aspects of sustainability, from energy and water efficiency, waste management and biodiversity to social and ethical choices. As part of the world-leading University of Warwick, Warwick Conferences has aligned its objectives with the University’s mission to make the campus greener, resulting in both organisations working together to ensure a positive impact on the wider community.
The Slate, which opened in December 2016, was designed and built with sustainability in mind, and boasts low-energy consumption. It’s Gold standard accreditation indicates an ‘inspirational and outstanding’ commitment to sustainability with the use of the latest technologies, efficient control of resource use such as flow control values on all taps and WCS to reduce water consumption, and the use of sustainable fish and meat products.
Arden, Scarman and Radcliffe have all achieved an ‘excellent and progressive’ Silver accreditation, with the venue teams already working towards securing Gold in the coming year. Each of the venues has demonstrated significant use of recycled products, the sourcing of supplies from ethical and local areas, as well as energy and water efficiency.
Food at each venue is crafted with locally sourced ingredients, while all meat complies with the UK Animal Welfare Standards and fish is consciously sourced, in accordance with the Marine Conservation Society’s guidelines. Warwick Conferences commitment to ethical, sustainable and fresh food has also been rewarded with Bronze level accreditation with the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark. All of the organisation’s lunch and dinner menus now meet the exacting standards from the association.
Low flush toilets, including dual flush or displacement devices, have been introduced at Scarman, Arden and Radcliffe, alongside the use of dishwashers that are at least ‘A’ rated. A herb garden has also been planted at Scarman for the kitchen to source produce.
As part of Radcliffe’s £6.5m refurbishment, the venue has undergone heating and ventilation modifications, a full replacement of external windows to achieve an improved thermal conductance, and has been fitted with modern double-glazed units to help reduce energy usage through improved thermal performance and light transmittance. This work is set to be completed in September 2017 when the venue re-opens.
Richard Harrison, Head of Conference Centres, said: “We are committed to exploring new and innovative ways to reduce any negative impacts our business may have on the environment. To have four of our venues accredited either Gold or Silver by Green Tourism, the natural leader in green grading, is an outstanding achievement. We’ve made significant investments at each of our venues to ensure that we meet the exacting standards, while reinforcing the importance to both staff and clients of being a sustainable and ethically run business.
“When Radcliffe reopens in September following its refurbishment, clients will notice that we’ve not only revamped the venue with a new modern design for the bar and lounge, but we’ve implemented significant changes to create an eco-friendly environment, which is now evident across each of our four venues.”
As part of its mission to tackle food wastage across the business and to encourage its customers and audience to use up their leftovers, the team at Warwick Conferences will be creating a number of seasonal and locally sourced recipes with this in mind. The first food vlog to be released sees Head of Food Mark Ralph reveal how to make a pork burrito using leftover ingredients [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOkl49Z0RVA].