Prague Congress Centre: When Sustainability is not just a Sexy Claim!

26th Sep, 2023

Sustainability is not just a trend, but also a journey. The Prague Congress Centre has successfully followed it, combining vision with technology and a proactive approach to prove that even monumental spaces hosting large congresses and social events can be run sustainably. And the events it hosts at the highest level are also sustainable, in a neo-functionalist gallery space with more than 200 works of art.

Great location and breathtaking views.

PCC stands out not only for its unique central location and unrivalled views of the medieval Prague panorama. It is a living gallery of the now-so-trendy 80s art & design with more than 200 artworks. Being located directly on the metro, PCC is a perfect fit for every kind of event. No wonder people such as Barack Obama, Vaclav Havel or the Dalai Lama have attended events here as well as top European politicians during the Czech Republic's EU Presidency in 2022. At the moment the centre is preparing to welcome over 4,000 guests from 96 countries attending the upcoming 27th World Road Congress.

Green life and green events         

PCC encourages a holistic approach towards sustainability starting from big system changes all the way to staff engagement. Employees across the company minimise single-use products and materials, replace paper signage system with digital, pack promotional items in recycled packaging, or use soda fountains.

Most importantly, sustainability has become the foundation of the PCC event management – from arrival of guests to the last cherry on the catering table. The centre promotes use of public transport with free tickets for congress participants. It has set up one of the largest electric car charging hubs in Prague. And it choose business partners with the same eco-friendly approach. Visitors enjoy refreshments from Zátiší Catering, prepared directly in-house – eliminating transport costs, disposable packaging and waste. Moreover, any leftovers are placed in free community fridges. The food is prepared from local ingredients and herbs grown on the centre's own terrace. As the centre's Sales & Marketing Director, Roman Sovják points out, "We take sustainability seriously and don't just flaunt it as a sexy claim. Come and try us for yourself."

Environment and savings go hand in hand

Every year the PCC hosts approximately 200 events with half a million visitors passing through the gates each season. In 2016 PCC embarked on the most technologically complex energy saving EPC investment project in the Czech Republic, and has managed to introduce a state-of-the-art complex energy management system. A combination of modern, smart energy-saving technologies include system of heating using the excessive heat from the kitchens or "free cooling” with the help of fresh air from the outside. Dozens of sensors placed around the building monitor the level of carbon dioxide in the air and regulate ventilation in each room separately as needed. "First we calculated we could save up to EUR 9.8 million on energies and reduce consumption by 30% in the next 10 years. However, our savings have already amounted to EUR 1.226 million per year. As an example, we now save three Olympic swimming pools full of water every year," says Luděk Bednář, Technical Director of PCC.

Last year, the largest rooftop solar power plant in central Prague, the size of a football pitch, was added to the centre's roof, saving 10% of total energy consumption and significantly reducing the building's carbon footprint by over ten tonnes of CO2 every year.

The Prague Congress Centre is a place where technology meets the environment and a strong belief in the meaningfulness of the green change. The result is not only savings, but also unforgettable sustainable events. This unique combination makes the centre an inspiration for other international congress venues who want to bring the congress tourism a step forward towards a sustainable future for the industry.

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Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.