The EICC has recently taken a big step towards fulfilling its ambition to become one of the most socially responsible conference centres in the world – by hosting Scotland’s first ever carbon-neutral event.
The 2017 Edinburgh Anaesthesia Festival (EAF) took place between 16 and 18 August. Bringing together national and international speakers, the event championed a wide variety of anaesthesia, intensive care and pain medicine related subjects.
With social accountability high on the checklist of priorities for event organisers, the EICC took the opportunity with the 2017 Edinburgh Anaesthesia Festival to prove the feasibility of carbon-neutral events – and the benefits of such an achievement.
Utilising the EICC’s partnership with Forest Carbon, the organisers of the EAF chose to offset all of the carbon associated with the three-day event. The parties worked collaboratively to calculate emission levels by taking into consideration factors such as delegate numbers, travel arrangements, energy consumption and related deliveries. ‘Carbon Credits’ were then purchased by the Edinburgh Anaesthesia Festival equivalent to the planting of 185 trees for a new area of woodland in the Scottish Borders.
“We have a long-standing dedication to working with partners like Forest Carbon and the Borders Forest Trust to deliver events that meet the highest possible standards”Marshall Dallas, EICC
In addition to environmental commitments being upheld during the event, the EAF organisers were equally keen to demonstrate social responsibility by utilising another of EICC’s partnerships, Mary’s Meals. Unused pads, pens and delegate bags were donated to the charity’s established ‘Backpack Project’, which sees backpacks containing such stationary and equipment gifted to schoolchildren in third-world countries. For many children, these backpacks will be the first gifts they’ve ever received. Surplus food, meanwhile, was distributed to Edinburgh’s homeless people via the charity Streetwork.
Marshall Dallas, Chief Executive of the EICC, said: “We have a long-standing dedication to working with partners like Forest Carbon and the Borders Forest Trust to deliver events that meet the highest possible standards, including social and environmental standards.”
This pioneering event follows on from a spate of sustainability, environmental standards and accessibility awards for the EICC in recent months. Last year saw the business move into profitability for the first time since the £35 million expansion – and with a record turnover – but that’s not what Dallas is most proud of.
“While the team and I are satisfied with the numbers we have produced recently,” he says, “perhaps our greatest achievement is increasing our reputation as one of the most accessible and environmentally sound conference centres worldwide.”