Pioneering Innovation with Feeding Your Performance Program

16 May 2018

University of Technology Sydney research reveals venue is delivering major economic, social and environmental advances

Research released by University of Technology Sydney (UTS), reviewing International Convention Centre Sydney’s (ICC Sydney) all-encompassing Feeding Your Performance (FYP) program, has heralded the venue as a blueprint for innovation, delivering economic, social and environmental advances for Sydney and New South Wales (NSW).

Embedded across ICC Sydney’s operations, the FYP program strives to feed the performance of ICC Sydney delegates and visitors, team members, and the local economy, through a unique New South Wales-focused supply chain, a progressive sustainability approach and an industry-first Legacy Program.

The report noted ICC Sydney delivered a total A$8.3 million to the NSW economy in 2017 through its food and wine purchases. This represents a direct investment of more than $A4.3 million in a network of more than 85 NSW producers and farmers.

Overall, delegates attending events at ICC Sydney generated A$785 million in direct expenditure for the State in its first year of operation.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Regional Water and Trade & Industry, Niall Blair applauded ICC Sydney’s approach and said the research reinforced the venue’s reputation for innovation and excellence across the board. “ICC Sydney is pioneering a commercial model which is driving a triple bottom line, delivering significant economic, social and environmental gains for New South Wales, and establishing a benchmark for best practice across sectors.

“For example, ICC Sydney’s approach to working hand-in-hand with local suppliers could be adopted by other venues to provide financial security for farmers and producers, driving employment and growth opportunities in regional areas. The culinary aspect of the FYP program is also showcasing the state’s outstanding produce on the global stage and creating new markets for agriculture and tourism,” he said.

ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy believes it is vitally important that convention centres measure the full impact they have on their supply chain.

“We are immensely proud to be looking beyond the borders of Sydney to feed the business performance of our suppliers as well as the communities in which they’re located.

“As urbanisation increases, cities and their convention centres have a role to play in supporting the regional areas that feed them and support their event delivery. If our success is underpinned by delivering restaurant-quality produce, then we have an important role to play in supporting the supply chain that enables this.”

According to the research, key benefits of ICC Sydney’s FYP program include:

Economic development

  • Direct expenditure of $A4.3 million to NSW food and beverage producers in 2017
  • Supporting NSW producers and regional development
  • Providing demand for seasonal, fresh produce that counters market volatility inherent in the food industry
  • Driving employment growth opportunities
  • Increasing cash flow for farmers and producers, boosting production and supporting improvements to infrastructure.

Environmentally sustainable practices

  • Supporting local producers in alignment with state government sustainability strategies while endorsing CSR and stewardship
  • Reducing food miles and smaller carbon footprint while improving efficiencies
  • Partnering with OzHarvest to donate unused excess food to disadvantaged members of the community
  • Partnering with Sydney Water to save 775,000 plastic bottles from use, indirectly reducing gas emissions by 400 tonnes
  • Focusing on recycling, reduced use of chemicals, reduced waste and effective waste management.

Community benefits

  • Encouraging awareness and concerns for farmers and local communities
  • Supporting farmers to grow high quality, sustainable, and new and speciality produce
  • Building staff morale with inclusive recruitment program
  • Supporting local and diverse communities, including First Nations peoples and businesses
  • Collaborating with local producers and other firms in the supply chain
  • Unique multi-streamed Legacy Program providing event organisers with opportunity to partner with local organisations through four diverse streams – Innovators & Entrepreneurs, Generation Next, First Australians and Sustainable Events.

Donaghy said key to the venue’s ongoing success will be driving continuous improvement.

“In the years to come, we are committed to continuing as we’ve started, supporting further investment in agritourism, building job opportunities and facilitating growth within our network of suppliers and beyond. This includes continuing to track impact across all sectors of the business and our supply chain so that the NSW community continues to thrive.”

Read the Feeding Your Performance: Creating a Legacy first year report here