ECOCity World Summit 2017 Hosted by the World's Most Liveable City

2nd Nov, 2017

Melbourne’s sustainability commitment was strengthened by the arrival of the globally respected Ecocity World Summit 2017 (ECWS17), a prestigious forum held every two years, that unites the world’s leading environmental specialists, urban planners and city architects to discuss and debate the most complex ecological challenges that face the rapidly evolving and urbanising world.

With Melbourne leading the way in its commitment to a green future and as Australia’s knowledge, research and innovation capital, the city qualified as the ideal location to host a sustainable event of this calibre. The ECWS17 provided a platform for over 900 urban planners, environmental specialists and architects from around the world to discuss and debate urban ecology and sustainable city initiatives, within the 6-star green rated Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).

The city embraced the arrival of the summit, with iconic Melbourne landmarks such as the Bolte Bridge, the Arts Centre Spire and AAMI Park Stadium lighting up the skyline in green to welcome the most prominent experts in the ecological urban planning field. Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) actively contributes to the city’s sustainability credentials, reinforcing the city’s suitability of an event of this nature. MCB is member of the Global Destination Sustainability Index, an initiative that drives the adoption and recognition of sustainable practices in the business events and the tourism industry. Al Gore, Former US Vice President and Chair of The Climate Reality Project, was the principal speaker delivering his insights on the role of cities in meeting the global climate challenge, and engaging with the Victorian State Government on its sustainability commitments.

Melbourne is setting the pace when it comes to sustainable initiatives. Melbourne has the highest percentage of new Green Star buildings in Australia”, declared the Hon. John Eren Minister for Tourism and Major Events.

In recognising the ecological impact of bringing together delegates from a range of countries, the organisation of the summit was aligned with sustainable principles.

Global and national air transport carbon offset was encouraged, with Qantas the official offset partner for the summit. ECWS17 organisers also collaborated with Melbourne Water where local volunteer conservation groups worked to regenerate wetlands along the Maribyrnong River planting 600 ground cover and shrubs at Newell’s Paddock in Footscray, a site of severe land degradation. Following the summit an additional 400 trees were planted. As the host city, the event brought greater visibility to Melbourne’s expertise in the sustainability sector.

This was highlighted when Former Vice President Al Gore, met with Victorian State Government Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, to launch Victoria’s renewable energy plan. 

As the first convention centre in the world to be awarded a 6-Star Green rating, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is committed to ensuring that outstanding customer service and protection of the environment go hand in hand and was the ideal host for ECWS17.

Incorporating sustainable design features and event processes, MCEC actively seeks out strategies to further reduce the environmental impact of events held at the venue. Consequently, MCEC has been accredited Gold by EarthCheck, the world’s leading sustainability benchmarking organisation, and performs 51 per cent above the benchmarked for water conservation, and 80 per cent above the benchmark for waste diversion from landfill.

MCEC is committed to supporting the local economy, and in FY16/17 directed 83 per cent of expenditure towards Victorian businesses. As such, the venue was ideally placed to partner with local suppliers to minimise food miles for ECWS17 and ensure a focus on fresh, seasonal produce and worked alongside ECW17 throughout the planning process to develop a menu that showcased local ingredients.

Additionally, no disposable packaging was used for any food served during the event, and waste separation steams were available throughout the event to minimise landfill and encourage recycling. MCEC also partnered with Oz Harvest to donate all left-over food from the event to food shelters located throughout Melbourne. Additional sustainability features at the venue include rooftop solar panels that provide hot water to all public restrooms, and sensorcontrolled lighting turns off when rooms are not in use.

The venue uses energy efficient radiant slab heating and cooling throughout the Convention Centre, and offers customers the option of tracking energy consumption and waste diversion rates.

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