Lane End Conference Centre have exceeded green initiative targets for the year by reducing single-use plastic by 75%.
At the beginning of 2019 we joined the Meetings Industry Association in a pledge to cut the presence of single-use plastic throughout the venue by 20%, an ambition quickly realised.
Indeed by October we had already surpassed that figure and proudly announced a 25% reduction. Almost immediately however we reset our targets and focused efforts on reducing usage by 75%, a milestone we hoped to reach by the end of the year. Now we've have managed to do just that in a fitting end to our 50th anniversary.
Our commitment to green initiatives and sustainability have drawn much praise and recognition form the IACC.
Two months ago Lane End was awarded the coveted European Innovation Award for our determination to make the planet a better place. And what started as 5 green initiatives back in January quickly tripled in size as we took it upon ourselves to find solutions that will secure the very future of our industry.Here are those fifteen steps in full, measures we believe are making a real differnce:
#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 80%. 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 re-purpose 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 where 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 fifth 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.
#6 WAR ON PLASTIC
Having already exceeded our pledge with the Meeting Industry Association to reduce single use plastic by 20% year-on-year, we're looking forward to continuing the challenge over the next five years.
We have put in place an internal management system to identify all single use plastic items in order to actively find solutions or replacement products to single-use plastic.
#7 ON LOCATION WATER BOTTLING PLANT
Having made a start on reducing plastic, we have removed all plastic water bottles from our bedrooms and no longer sell water in plastic bottles.
Finding an alternative solution has come in the form of introducing our own water bottling plant to supply filtered water in reusable glass bottles. We encourage guests to drink filtered water rather than buying mineral water.
#8 FOOD - SOURCE AND RECYCLE WASTE RESPONSIBLY
Our chefs are committed to sourcing food responsibly. For example, we no longer offer cod on our menus because it is not a sustainable source of fish.
We also have a food waste monitor system in place to actively reduce waste and reuse or recycle 100% of our food waste. Recycling food waste has benefits including reducing methane emissions and improving soil health.
#9 100% RECYCLING
We are dedicated to recycling 100% of paper, card waste and electronic waste.
We've mentioned going paperless previously in our initial Sustainability Plan, ensuring that anything essential we have to print is done so on 100% recycled paper. Now we are ensuring all electronic waste gets recycled through our local collection service.
Almost all electrical items with a plug or a battery can be recycled and doing so prevents harmful toxic materials leaking into the environment.
#10 REUSE REPLACED FURNITURE
80% of furniture that is replaced during refurbishments gets reused by staff or donated to the British Heart Foundation.
The British Heart Foundation collection service is an easy way to ensure your furniture sees another home while also supporting the charity in their mission to beat heartbreak forever.
#11 ECO-FRIENDLY AMENITIES
According to the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, tourism contributes about 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With this figure expected to grow, we are doing our part by switching our amenities to the following:
- 100% eco showerheads and flow reducers on taps
- 70% water efficient toilets
- 60% LED lighting planned to be 100% installed throughout our facilities within the next twelve months
#12 GROUNDS MAINTENANCE
We're eager to contribute more to Lane End's environmental performance to support local wildlife, improve health of our trees and replace dying trees. Our plan to compost and shred all appropriate grounds waste will help ongoing maintenance and will maximise the grounds potential.
#13 REDUCE AND RECYCLE STATIONERY AND MARKETING MATERIALS
We have reduced paper/pen distribution on-site and make clients aware of our sustainability efforts to reduce the use of paper pads and pens.
We no longer print or distribute brochures and all marketing materials are recycled and responsibly sourced to promote sustainability.
#14 RESPONSIBLE DISPOSAL OF GREASE TRAP WASTE
We're investigating the best way to properly dispose of our grease trap waste to ensure it gets recycled.
Grease trap waste can be reused as biodiesel, an additive to energetic resources or a raw material in other manufacturing processes.
#15 OFFSET ALL COMPANY FLIGHTS CO2
We use co2.myclimate.org to offset all company flights. Myclimate is a nonprofit organisation that essentially puts a price tag on the carbon dioxide used in the flights we take as a company and integrates this spend back into climate protection through renewable energy efforts and carbon offsetting.
By offsetting company flights via myclimate, we're making a measurable contribution to climate protection.
At Lane End Conference Centre, we are continually researching new ideas to help us make a difference. Our eco-friendly crusade continues as we consider switching to a company such as Ecotricity as an alternative to our current electricity supplier, Solar Panels and Tridios Bank.
We are keen to ensure that the conferences and events held at Lane End are as eco-friendly as possible, so attendees can rest assured that sustainable efforts they make at home are matched here on site.