Green Tourism silver award for Conference and Events

Green Tourism logo
Posted on 12 October 2015

Keele University Conference and Events has achieved silver status in the highly accredited Green Tourism Scheme at the first attempt - the only academic venue in the Midlands to be recognised for its conference and events business.

There are 69 venues in the UK accredited as a conference venue and seven universities. Every two years each of the Green Tourism Members are visited and assessed by a qualified professional to ensure standards are maintained as follows:

They are committed to sustainable tourism and minimising its damage to the environment
They operate in accordance with all relevant legislation and regulations
They meet standards of good practice across a range of sustainable development indicators
They are committed to providing a good quality of service

Green Tourism reports that there are many examples of excellent green practice in place as a result of the University’s  commitment to sustainability, as well as the enthusiasm from the staff.  Effort has been made to move to more low energy lighting, high efficiency boilers and water saving measures, as well as renewable energy projects.

They say a good amount of Staffordshire and ethical/sustainable food and drink is part of the event menu, giving guests a real taste of the area, while low carbon travel is promoted.

"A focused team is in place which will help future green measures to fall into place very easily," says Stuart Park from Green Business (UK) Ltd.

Keele impressed in areas such as:

Commitment to Sustainability

Carbon Management Plan

Monitoring Waste and Recycling

Local Social Community Projects

Fairly traded Food and Drink

Solar Hot Water Heating and Storage

Head of Marketing for Keele University, Marcus Wilson, said: “This is a fantastic result for Keele University Conferences and Events, our customers, and above all, the team within conferences and events and the University who have contributed to us achieving this award. We have a commitment to serving locally resourced foods in our catering outlets across campus and our teams are committed to delivering exceptional conference and events with sustainability in mind.

Keele University has been a Fairtrade University since 2008 and we will continue to strive for green success through a number of innovative initiatives and will be aiming for Gold status at our next assessment. We wanted to demonstrate that we listen to our customers and are firmly committed to sustainability. For our conference business this excellent accreditation underpins this superbly.”

Green Tourism is the largest sustainable certification programme of its kind and exists to make greener tourism and develop sustainability in the hospitality industry. A Green Tourism award
shows that a business has been independently assessed and certified, so customers can choose the greenest option with confidence. It has more than 2,000 members across the UK, Ireland and Canada, making it the world’s largest and most established sustainable certification programme in the world.

Keele's Environmental Manager, Huw Evans, commented: "This accreditation reflects the University’s strong commitment to the environmental and sustainability agenda. Over the past few years Keele University has been recognised for its commitment to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact from its operations. It’s great news that the commitment and hard work is gaining further recognition and the University can now also demonstrate a commitment to ‘greening’ the experience of conference and events delegates. "Visitors to the University will be made aware of Keele University’s Sustainability efforts through promotion and practice. This could be through staying in accommodation powered by Solar PV, waste recycling and sustainable food, to name a few. The award will incentivise further environmental improvements in conferencing and events on campus."

Notes to editors

Keele University Conferences and Events is based in Staffordshire and nestled on Keele’s rural University campus. Within easy reach of Birmingham and Manchester, Keele offers a large range of impressive spaces to accommodate delegates.

The University has availability to host more than 4,000 events each year, with 21,000 beds available annually on campus. Delegates can also use the Keele Management Centre, a year-round purpose-built training centre, which offers 11 meeting rooms, a 200-seat restaurant, lounge and internet café and 38 en-suite bedrooms.

As well as providing state-of-the-art conferencing facilities, Keele provides a full event management service to ensure that every event is a success. All bookings are managed by a dedicated events team and delegates will benefit from free parking, free Wi-Fi and high-tech AV equipment.