Sustainability matters at Warwick Conferences
Warwick Conferences partnered with a charity to host a five-week intensive learning programme. Frontline, a charity that recruits and develops social workers, worked with Warwick to deliver an eco-friendly event.
Frontline’s Summer Institute offers intensive residential training, designed to build upon recruits’ knowledge and skills before starting social work placements. Held annually, it brings together prospective career changers and alumni to provide them with a thorough programme in preparation for the future.
Throughout the running of the programme, participants had the added benefit of enjoying Warwick Conferences’ green spaces and its multi-million-pound Sport and Wellness Hub. Between 400-500 people attended the five-week programme, hence their aim to demonstrate how events could be more sustainable if small changes were implemented.
Warwick Conferences and Frontline worked in partnership to develop the Green Package, a catering service made exclusively for the event. This included the provision of reusable items, including, a keep cup, water bottle and a lunch box. The products were all designed to minimise energy usage and plastic waste and were dual branded for the event.
To use the lunch boxes, delegates were offered a variety of buffet options. The lunch box’s transportable element allowed attendees to enjoy their food outside; helped by the extra comfort of picnic blankets provided by the venue.
Participants committed to washing their reusable supplies in the kitchen residences and reused them the next day. They also used their keep cups when enjoying refreshments in the restaurant.
Eliminating the need for single-use bottles and coffee cups, as well as reducing dishwasher loads, the scheme successfully helped to keep plastic, energy and water consumption to a minimum.
Participant’s feedback mentioned the perks of being given something to take away from the event, while reducing their own environmental impact at the same time.
In total, a whopping 50 hours of energy and water usage was saved (the same amount of energy as running an ‘A’ rated fridge freezer for three years). Furthermore, transporting equipment between buildings was eliminated by the reusables, saving the equivalent of 20 journeys of a Luton sized van over the programme.
Josie Whitworth, head of programme management, at Frontline said, “We are proud to be working with Warwick Conferences to deliver a more sustainable event. It is great to be able to not only become more environmentally friendly, but also be involved in influencing others to follow in those footsteps too.”
Emma Willis, account manager at Warwick Conferences commented, “As an industry, it is important for us to implement changes like these where we can, especially when it comes to running events on such a large scale. Hopefully those who attended will be prompted to consider what they could be doing to help the environment in the future.”
There are high hopes for the future following the success of The Green Package. With the programme set to continue to be held at Warwick Conferences for the next three years, both organisations plan to continue their efforts to operate more sustainably and work together towards this goal.