At ICC Sydney we believe that knowledge is indeed power and education can bring about progress. To this end, we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations, working with our partners and clients to facilitate sustainable events. We also recognise our responsibility to demonstrate leadership and make a positive contribution towards the waste crisis in Australia and the business events industry.
Key waste management systems and processes are critical to the achievement of this objective.
The challenge in the business events context
The global convention and exhibition industry is one of the largest producers of waste in terms of industry size. As we emerge from the COVID crisis, we need to turn our attention and efforts to the climate crisis. For ICC Sydney, this means working with our clients as partners so that together we can reduce and divert waste from landfill.
ICC Sydney’s CSR Plan
ICC Sydney recognises the importance of leadership and its responsibility to make a positive contribution towards the waste crisis within Australia. Through a proactive approach to Corporate Social Responsibility, ICC Sydney engages with a broad range of stakeholders to drive positive financial, social and environmental impacts across New South Wales and through the events it hosts. ICC Sydney’s innovative and industry first Event Legacy Program formalised the process through which clients can deliver sustainable events, connect with Sydney’s vibrant communities and deliver lasting event legacies
ICC Sydney’s CSR Plan aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
# 8 Decent work and economic growth
#10 Reduced inequalities
#11 Sustainable cities and communities
#12 Responsible consumption and production
#13 Climate action
#17 Partnerships for the goals
Waste management guided by United Nations SDG #12: Responsible consumption and production
Responsible consumption and production, SDG #12, is critical to the achievement of ICC Sydney’s sustainable operations targets. With this in mind, we formulated a waste reduction project guided by the refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover methodology. A SWOT analysis assisted the team in identifying the objectives, strategy and planning required to achieve a successful waste management program for the exhibitions and events industry.
We took a multi-faceted approach to our waste reduction project, acknowledging the scope of the task. All aspects of event waste and stakeholder landscape were considered with actions created to address a broad range of opportunities available, whilst building a strong foundation for future developments.
Targets of our waste reduction program:
- In 2021/222 we are aiming to divert 75% from land fill.
- Zero captured organic waste to landfill.
- Reduce waste tonnage year on year.
Waste reduction – practical, visible and streamlined
In 2021, through a very thorough review process across all Departments, ICC Sydney’s CSR team has enhanced our waste signage program by identifying additional waste streams and seeking out educational and communication avenues for our clients, team members, suppliers and event attendees where to place their waste materials.
Located throughout ICC Sydney’s front and back of house areas at various touch points, the refreshed waste signage features striking colours and appealing imagery. This simple but effective messaging increases the ease with which event attendees can identify the correct place for their waste while further streamlining the waste management process, encouraging further diversion from landfill.
Top tips to help you recycle and divert waste from landfill – at a glance
1. Do the right thing – divert organics from landfill
Did you know that when placed into the appropriately labelled bin, composted organic waste can later be turned into fertiliser and energy?
Organic matter may include items such as food scraps, tea bags and coffee grounds as well as compostable packaging (think ICC Sydney’s paper BioCup coffee cups, paperboard trays, lunchboxes, sugarcane bowls and napkins). Note that not all coffee cups are compostable. Remember to read the label and when in doubt, place the product into general waste.
As part of ICC Sydney’s commitment to deliver better environmental outcomes from waste, we source certified commercially compostable packaging for use within food and beverage. Furthermore, we have engaged EarthPower, a local waste facility, to process compostable packaging. EarthPower was selected as they generate the best output; fertiliser and green energy.
Another avenue for diverting our edible centrepieces or food that would otherwise have landed in waste, is to redirect and donate food to the Matthew Talbot Hostel. Matthew Talbot Hostel serves food to men that are homeless or at risk of homelessness.