The best venue for a sustainable eventThe Valencia Conference Centre is an ideal venue for holding green meetings since it complies with the criteria set by the main organisations which are concerned with carrying out sustainable events.
The United Nations Environment Programme´s (UNEP) Green Meeting Guide 2009 sets out a series of factors to be taken into account when choosing a suitable venue.
- Location: The accessibility of the venue to accommodation and to the city centre (on foot or by public transport) is essential to minimising the need for local transportation. [The Valencia Conference Centre has 1,000 hotel rooms within walking distance and is connected to the city centre by underground, tram and bus]
- Energy: Meetings are highly energy-consuming. Thus, the selection of energy-efficient buildings which optimise the use of natural light and have heating and air-conditioning systems that guarantee minimum consumption are recommended. [Low-energy light bulbs, presence detectors and a microprocessor to control the heating and air-conditioning system have all been installed at the Centre.]
- Waste: Organisers should bear in mind the large amounts of waste produced during an event and select venues which have appropriate systems in place for collecting and recycling these waste materials.
[The Valencia Conference Centre has its own waste-recycling centre.]
- Management: The way a venue is managed, and the commitment of its operators to environmental improvement, is essential to reducing its environmental impact. Event organisers should select venues which have environmental policies that encourage participants to be green. It is also advisable to choose a venue which is certified through an internationally recognised system. [The Valencia Conference Centre has the integrated ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications, the EFQM Recognised for Excellence (4 stars) award, and has more recently obtained the UNE 216301:2007 for Energy Management Systems certification.]
- Catering and cleaning: The possibility of contracting a catering service which uses organic produce, the way cleaning systems are carried out and the use of disposable plates, cups, etc., can have a substantial influence on the environmental and social impact of an event. [A catering service is available at the Valencia Conference Centre which provides food from controlled sources.]
In addition to these requirements, the Green Meeting Industry Council suggests considering buildings with photovoltaic solar panels. These enable the amount of energy used by an event, as well as the amount of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere, to be reduced. It also considers that the amount of water used is important and recommends that water usage should be controlled through the installation of flow-regulation sensors, and more efficient technology, such as low-energy light bulbs.
In short, the Valencia Conference Centre, through its Global Sustainability Plan, which is part of its strategic plan, has implemented measures which have made it the best venue for holding green events.