Save both money and the environment with our look into creating a sustainable venue with one of the best in the business.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly more integrated into the day-to-day operations of the events industry, with delegates now expecting that every aspect of an event considers the impact it will have on the environment. This includes the venue that the event is held in. Sustainable practices are not only good for the environment, but also can help reduce operation costs. We consulted with Louisa Watson, Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort, one of the UK’s leading sustainable conference venues, to find out how to make your venue sustainable.
Minimal environmental impact is fast becoming something that is not just nice to have, but genuinely necessary, both for the environment and for your business: “I think all businesses have to consider the environment and sustainable practices if they want to stay relevant, innovative, creative and competitive,” Louisa explains. “If we want to be around in the years ahead and we want to attract dynamic, successful people to our venues, we have to be looking at ways to be sustainable. We have to look at the effect our venues are having on the environment and limit the impact on natural resources. We also have to consider rising costs and look at ways we can reduce the impact of consumption and generate less waste and be kinder to the environment overall. There is some great best practice out there in hospitality and some people doing some impressive things.”
Even small changes to your current practices can reduce your venue’s environmental impact without causing upset to the venue’s usual operations: “Tech offers an opportunity to be more sustainable and in most cases to take out the necessity for paper. In our Business Venues we re-examined the way we do things. We replaced traditional flip charts with squiggle boards and Smart Kapp- Digital Flip Charts which help you create, capture, and share content remotely with colleagues anywhere in the world. All delegate paper and name cards were changed to be recyclable and also available on request. And we launched our Room2Grow scheme in June which so far will plant 5000 trees on the resort before the end of the year.
Implementing sustainable practices is not one-size-fits-all. The best way to approach it is to find out what is achievable for your venue and focus on that: “Being sustainable doesn’t mean doing just one thing, it’s a combination of lots of things that make up the sum total and sometimes that is why it’s so daunting. We look at how we do business and challenge ourselves to see if there is a better way. We are very clear that we want to try and limit the impact our business has on natural capital, we want to ensure that we use less energy and where we do, that it is from renewable resources. We want to generate less waste and where we do generate waste that we are putting it back into the circular economy.”
Focusing on sustainability is not only necessary from a moral standpoint, it is also good business practice and could end up reducing operating costs and saving you money: “Bringing sustainability into the business model and making better decisions around tech, waste, and energy can reduce cost. But more importantly it will increase revenue as you will get likeminded customers wanting to do business with you and you will find new opportunities. Bringing in sustainable practices also offer us the opportunity to make some great, impactful investments, such as our Green Energy Plan. This is a £5 million investment over four years, which will ensure we are producing all our energy onsite using a combination of solar, wind turbine, and water source heat pumps, eradicating gas and LPG, and replacing all plant equipment. This will also allow us to produce excess capacity to help businesses nearby switch to locally produced renewable energy.”
Wyboston’s Sustainable Facts
- We’re proud to maintain a nature reserve supported by the Wildlife Trust.
- From 2015 we have been zero to landfill 100% of the time.
- The only type of paper we encourage the use of is Toilet paper.
- We are aiming to have zero food waste leave site by 2023.
- Our lighting systems have been upgraded across the site to save energy.
- Room2Grow campaign launched in June 2022 and is at a total of 6200 trees to be planted and counting!