The NEC Group
As one of the largest exhibition and events companies in the UK welcoming over 4 million visitors per year, the NEC Group is setting the benchmark for sustainability in the industry, aligning its sustainability goals with its business ones. NEC Group was a runner-up in the 2011 JB Green Business Award hosted by Music Week and the only arena to be shortlisted.
NEC Group has worked closely with the Carbon Trust for the past 15 years, and have had a full time Energy Manager in place for the last 25 years. NEC Group has an exemplary relationship with Birmingham City Council which has resulted in investment in local infrastructure that will benefit the local community as well as the NEC Group itself. By utilising energy for the ICC and the NIA from the Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP) in Birmingham City centre, over 10,500 tonnes of carbon have been saved since 2007. The Group is also currently involved in the Industry Green certification programme to measure the carbon emissions of the LG Arena and the NIA and has committed to reducing its Group-wide carbon by 26%-32% by 2020 and 60% by 2050.
In 2009 £330,000 was invested in building a waste pre-treatment centre on site that enables the collection, segregation and processing of all waste from the NEC site, making it available for recycling. In 2011 the centre diverted 1,262 tonnes of waste from landfill, saving £48,000 in landfill tax alone. Furthermore waste processed on site travels no more than a 30 miles radius to reach recycling suppliers, which has reduced transport by 60%. All the LG Arena’s catering packaging is recyclable on site, as is paper, card and wood. In 2011 the LG Arena and the NEC achieved an overall recycling rate of 43% and are aiming for a 50% rate within the next year. The NEC team has an ambitious target of achieving zero landfill by 2014.
In 2010 the NEC introduced an enzyme treatment into all of the men’s toilet facilities saving 64 million litres of water. The ICC has had its roof ‘greened’ to enable researchers to monitor urban wildlife diversity and help to conserve the black redstart. Moreover biodegradable packaging has been introduced by Catering, along with recyclable bags and cups.
Staff are also actively involved in the Group’s sustainability efforts. Offices have no individual waste bins, but instead all waste is separated into recycling bins and centrally disposed of. Where possible, all marketing materials are produced on recycled and/or recyclable stock, and there is motion sensor lighting installed throughout the offices.
Although there are 20,000 parking spaces on site staff are encouraged to take advantage of the local train station and bus services available. If an employee gives up their travel pass, the Group will pay half their public transport fees. Furthermore there is a rail link transporting audience directly on site to encourage the use of public transport, and the Group is working with the local authority on a project aiming to make travel on public transport a more pleasant experience.
The NEC Group is a Julies Bicycle Associate member, which supports the NEC's leadership ambitions and generates wider awareness of the initiatives and programmes it has established.