In his latest blog, Heni Fourie – sales and marketing director at Lane End Conference Centre, a Venues of Excellence member – shares an insight into how the site is working for a greener future.
Our 50th birthday celebrations this year provide us with a great opportunity to pause and look ahead at what the next half-century could hold for Lane End Conference Centre and the wider meetings and events industry, too.
And, while it’s difficult to predict how technology will change or how the way we do business will evolve, one thing is certain – the need to seek out more environmentally-friendly ways of working.
That’s why we’ve introduced our five-step Sustainability Plan, to do our bit in helping make the planet a better place.
#1 Going paperless
This is an area that with a little thought and investment it is easy to see a timely improvement. We’ve invested in dual monitors in our sales offices and we use an online tool to request signatures for contacts and to enable our teams to sign supplier orders and contracts – no more standing at the printer whilst lengthy documents are printed out.
We’ve also set ourselves a target in the sales office to reduce the use of paper by 90%. To help us achieve this goal we are no longer printing out emails or contracts.
Our printing now consists of bedroom registration cards, two sets of weekly function sheets and one delegate list for each event – we’re sure that we can find alternatives to printing these items and we’re working on it.
#2 Ecosia Search Engine
Again, a simple swap, but one that has huge environmental benefits. Lane End’s sales and admin offices are now using Ecosia as our default search engine.
Ecosia is like any other search engine, but with one major difference, they plough their profits into planting trees and so far Ecosia users are responsible for over 56,000,000 trees planted – and counting.
Trees are planted all over the world where it is needed the most. The trees benefit people, the environment and local economies. We are proud to be part of the movement helping to make a positive environmental impact in this way.
#3 Repurpose used coffee grounds
As you can imagine, a lot of coffee is drunk here at Lane End. Conferences and events call for coffee on tap and our delegates do enjoy the taste of one of the country’s most loved beverages. To reduce waste and repurpose our used coffee beans we provide bags at our coffee stations for customers to take home used coffee grounds which can be used as compost in their gardens. This is something that always gets our customers talking and we know they enjoy being involved. These small steps help to create a culture of awareness and every little helps.
#4 Recycle Cooking Oil into Bio Fuels
By looking at each and every element of the service we deliver we were able to identify the impact that Rapeseed oil can have on the environment.
We’ve pledged to only use Rapeseed oil that is produced from non-genetically modified British rapeseeds and is high in monounsaturated fats. All the oil we use at Lane End is then recycled into Bio Fuels.
#5 Lane End Orchard
Our latest initiative is the Lane End orchard. We have recently planted a variety of apple, pear, plum, greengage and persimmon trees to create an oasis for wildlife and provide fruit which will be used by the conference and events centre.
Sighted on the top corner of the amenity field, our orchard will provide a visually pleasing mixture of colourful bloom in the Spring as well as fruit, which we will be processing into our own pasteurised juice blend which we will then serve to our customers.
We will also be planting a herb garden to supply our kitchen with a few types of herb such as thyme and rosemary.
We can make a difference
We know that the steps we are taking will have a positive impact on the environment and we are urging others within the industry to look at how they operate and identify ways in which they can improve their green credentials. We all have to play a part in improving the environment for future generations, together we can make a difference.
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