Brighton Centre inspiring conferences to be sustainable

The Brighton Centre has been shortlisted for the UK’s ‘Best Sustainable Conference’ award alongside the Scottish Event Campus which hosted the worldwide climate conference COP26.

The 3-day PraxisAuril conference took place in Brighton in June and welcomed more than 450 delegates. The Brighton conference was the first the organisers had held since the pandemic. With the help of The VisitBrighton Convention Bureau, they were able to stage their biggest ever conference.

Some of the things they did were:

  • Measured waste throughout the conference and worked closely with in-house caterers Be Seasoned to create a zero-food waste event. All food & drinks were calculated with no lunch bags left over
  • Ditched their regular gift bags and instead donated £500 to Stanmer Wellbeing Gardens
  • Asked delegates to consider the personal impact they made both to the community and the environment. 
  • Encouraged re-use – 70% of lanyards were returned after the conference so they could be re-used 
  • Provided compostable name badges – 95% of delegates took their badges home to compost

Leaving a sustainable legacy

PraxisAuril chose Brighton & Hove because, as well as being an attractive location, they were able to put their sustainable principles into practice. Brighton & Hove has good public transport connections as well as being part of The Living Coast Biosphere Reserve.

A professional organisation of knowledge exchange professionals, PraxisAuril brings people together to ensure the results of university research benefits society. 

Emma Thurlow, Business & Sales Manager for The Brighton Centre, said: “We worked closely with PraxisAuril from the beginning to ensure that the conference focused on creating benefits that were local and sustainable.

“PraxisAuril wanted to leave a sustainable legacy in the city and we helped connect them to local organisations. They chose to give a donation per delegate to the Brighton and Hove Food partnership which went towards creating wheelchair access to the wellbeing gardens in Stanmer Park.”

Sustainability at the Brighton Centre

The Brighton Centre is committed to being a sustainable venue and is proud to have achieved two world class Standards for Environmental Management (ISO 14001) and Sustainable Events (ISO 20121). It is also accredited for the Soil Association’s Food for Life Served Here bronze award. 

The Brighton Centre team has been working to make the building more energy efficient and reduce waste, helping to reduce the effects of climate change.

They have replaced plastic bottles with water fountains, installed LED lighting and provide clients with a sustainable suppliers list for their conference.

Twice a year they organise a beach clean with the VisitBrighton team to encourage staff and stakeholders to take personal responsibility for the impact created by events in the city.

Working in partnership

Councillor Martin Osborne, chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, said: “This collaboration resulted in a positive impact for the community, the city and the climate. Form the very beginning, PraxisAuril worked in partnership with our conference team to understand issues that were important to the local community and the city’s 2030 carbon neutral commitment

“Sustainability is part of our conference culture, but we can only reduce the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss with the help and support of people, organisations and businesses. 

“We’re proud to have worked with PraxisAuril to host a successful conference and create a long-term sustainable impact from their event. They have set the foundation for subsequent events to pass on to future delegations and conference organisers.”

More information

The award for best sustainable event is one of 9 categories in the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) excellence awards. The other finalist in the category is the World Congress of Soil Science. Winners will be revealed on 9 December.

Find out more about sustainability at the Brighton Centre

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