For over 20 years Messe Congress Graz has been a participant in an ‘eco-profit project’ inaugurated by the City of Graz. ‘Green Meetings’ were a general point of conversation here long before they became fashionable.
However, we didn’t want to stop there, so we initiated our own gala to honour the best congresses of the previous 12 months a couple of years ago and in 2012 we did this for the first time with the full official backing of the Austrian Ministry of the Environment as a certified ‘green meeting’. This year’s gala will also be held in accordance with the criteria of a ‘green meeting’. At the beginning of 2013, as a member of the Historic Conference Centres of Europe we took another step down the road toward better sustainability by officially agreeing to comply with the EVVC ‘Right & Fair’ sustainability code.
So how can we show you we are actively involved?
Photovoltaic units on the roof of hall A
As we speak we are cooperating with Energie Graz on a large-scale construction on the roof of hall A. This autumn the 11,000m2 of roof surface will be taking a total of 1512 photovoltaic modules that officially produce 385 kWp, and consequently providing many homes in Graz with naturally produced power. That is the equivalent of an annual CO2 saving of around 160,000kg. In comparison, 32,000 trees would be required to absorb this amount of CO2. What’s new about this model is that individual members of the general public can also sign up.
‘On the one hand, sustainable operations are part of our corporate philosophy. On the other, we have immense amounts of surface area that are ideal for the generation of solar power’, explains Armin Egger, Director/CEO at Messe Congress Graz Betriebsgesellschaft m.b.H.
Waste separation using a deposit system
Environmental sustainability begins with mundane aspects such as deposits for cups and glasses, the separation of waste during events, and a preference for local catering services.
Agreement with public transport providers for the city
In 2012 an estimated 382.4 tonnes of CO2 were avoided. How? A highly sophisticated visitor transport system organised in cooperation with ‘Graz Linien’ ensured additional tram services were made available to serve events, and visitors from outside the city were able to benefit from a Park & Ride system allowing them to arrive and depart on public transport. Furthermore, each event ticket also incorporates a ticket for public transport, an opportunity every person attending an event is happy to use. This agreement has been in place since 2006, saving a total of 2193 tonnes of CO2!
Our employees are also trained to use the earth’s resources as sparingly as possible. This begins with turning off lights, but certainly doesn’t end with the environmentally aware use of cleaning agents (all of which are certified for being environmentally friendly). Operational mobility management allows us flexibility when planning work rosters, in turn allowing car-sharing groups to be organised. Moreover, mcg|graz provides its employees with free tickets for public transport for all work-related trips.
What do we hope to achieve?
Quite simply, a healthier environment. Unlike most other areas of the business world, we hope to attract as many imitators as possible!