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Sustainable Venue Spotlight: Manchester Metropolitan University

Imagine an event where all your delegates had travelled sustainably, helped by green travel plans sent from the venue beforehand by a Conference Team who are all carbon literacy trained. The venue they’re heading to is ISO 14001 accredited, has a zero water, waste and carbon strategy and even its own energy centre. When they get there, they are treated to hospitality from an award winning vegetarian, single use plastic free cafe, and part of the profit from the event is gifted to a local homelessness charity who help get people off the streets and into accommodation.

If this is the kind of embedded, holistic approach to sustainability that you want at your conference or event, then the Conference Team at Manchester Metropolitan University would love to talk to you about it.

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to being carbon free by 2038 and the five strategic themes our sustainability policy is built upon include fossil free investment and becoming plastic free.

Manchester Met has recently been rated as one of the most renewable energy friendly universities in the UK according to the Uswtich Renewable University Report 2020. Our estates masterplan includes the building of two more energy centres on the University Campus, and a number of our buildings feature borehole cooling technology and solar panels. We are also leading the way in harnessing renewable energy with our new £4m technology hub, the Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre.

Arts and Humanities Building

As a Conference and Events Team, we are very lucky to work with a range of venues and halls of residence underpinned by these credentials, and we aim to further embed sustainability at every touchpoint of a customer’s journey with us.

  • At the beginning of your planning, we can provide assistance ensuring all delegates can get to us as sustainably as possible, creating travel plans for you to distribute to attendees.
  • We provide guidance on how to use the best local suppliers for everything from sustainable social nights and conference dinners to AV, badges and bags.
  • Our pads and pens, available on request, free of charge to anyone who needs them, are made from recycled materials.
  • If you’re staying with us in summer, all the products we provide in our halls of residence are sustainably sourced, and our en-suite and townhouse options are Green Tourism Gold accredited.
  • Most of our fresh fruit and vegetables are provided by local supplier Manchester Veg People and the majority of the produce grown within 50 miles of our campus.
  • As part of our commitment to offering vegetarian and vegan options across campus, we have opened GROW Café, a meat free café supported by our nutrition students offering activities to promote healthy and sustainable life styles. GROW’s menu is part of our conference offer, which means we can give delegates the opportunity to go out of their comfort zone a little if they’re not already vegetarian or vegan. We can even offer activities to go alongside this such as Kimchi making sessions to promote the value of a sustainable lifestyle.
  • The whole team have now also undergone Carbon Literacy training, during which they made pledges to help reduce Carbon usage both in their personal and professional lives.
  • We also believe in wider sustainability, contributing to community projects such as Big Change MCR, to whom we donate £1 of every day delegate rate we receive.

James Charnock, Conference and Events Sales and Marketing Officer thinks one key thing underpins their approach to sustainability:

“We care about it, put plainly! Sustainability is about much more than just the environment – it’s about working together, working to help the community and considering the future we want to run events in. We’re lucky enough to be part of a University that values this very highly, and once you get into it, you start thinking ‘what else can I do’ be it eating less meat, cycling to work or volunteering at a local project. If you embed it in what you do, then you quickly realise you can influence both your internal stakeholders, and external clients, which has to be good for everyone!”


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