Taking environmentally sustainable event initiatives to the next level
How Staging Connections aligned its practices to the environmentally conscious message of the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014
Last month Staging Connections Key Account Manager, John Schryver, spoke at the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) Professional Development on how they delivered the IUCN World Parks Congress. As a Congress founded on the conservation and preservation of parks and wildlife, the focus for Staging Connections was to minimise their environmental impact whilst also providing the technical support required.
Held only once every 10 years the IUCN World Parks Congress took place at Sydney Showgrounds 12 – 19 November 2014 and attracted more than 6000 attendees from more than 170 countries. Staging Connections was contracted by ICMS Australasia to provide the technical direction, operation and supply for all audio visual and internet requirements across the 250 individual events and eight conference streams.
Mr Schryver says Staging Connections took the opportunity to improve practices by ensuring every activity was completed in line with the ISO standard, ISO 20121:2012 Sustainable Event Management System. This framework identifies potentially negative social, economic and environmental impacts of events by removing or reducing them, and capitalising on more positive impacts through improved planning and processes.
As Mr Schryver says, “We were determined to leave a positive legacy on this historic event and future events of this scale. Right from the beginning, we set about changing our processes and technologies, updating equipment and reshaping the mindset of all involved.
“This has led to permanent improvements in our environmental and sustainability policies and procedures for all future events.”
“We implemented a multitude of practices including using a combination of LED and incandescent lighting fixtures. Rechargeable radio microphones and wireless communication units were used across all plenary sessions ensuring a reduction in battery consumption of approximately 100 AA batteries per day.”
The team committed to using lower energy consuming thin film transistor (TFT) and liquid crystal displays (LCD) as opposed to plasmas with vision monitors.
Lecterns were constructed using existing materials recycled and finished with low VOC materials to look brand new, and have now been put into inventory for future use. In addition, Staging Connections committed to avoiding any set elements ending up in landfill.
The operations department worked extensively to reduce truck and vehicle movements ensuring transport impacts were minimised.
In addition to making significant changes to their operations, this event was also a huge technical and logistical feat for Staging Connections.
“Over the course of the event there were eight conference streams. These streams were then divided into three break-out rooms each. Our challenge was to ensure the right equipment was in the right place at the right time across all 250 plus events,” Mr Schryver says.
“Our team gave over 5,000 hours of labour across 85 technicians, nine technical directors and two event directors. We supplied 100% of the technical equipment which took 8 semi-trailers to deliver.”
With over 750 employees and operating on a national scale, Staging Connections takes their part in sustainability very seriously and will continue to align their practices in this way for events to come.