Business Design Centre

London's oldest, and most iconic, conference and exhibition centre wanted to become a sustainability leader and show that its operations were environmentally responsible. But how do you mitigate your environmental impact when you host a packed programme of changing events?

Business Design Centre

Holding 80 major exhibitions and 250 conferences annually means that the Business Design Centre (BDC) works with new clients every year and does not have total control of its carbon footprint. In order to establish a carbon reduction programme it worked with The CarbonNeutral Company to be the UK's first CarbonNeutral® venue. In addition to managing energy consumption and waste where possible, the offset programme has ensured the venue takes responsibility for all its emissions and has a net zero footprint.

We conducted a carbon footprint assessment of the BDC’s total waste, energy, and travel consumption which helped them set clear internal reduction targets. Since 2008, the BDC has reduced its landfill tonnage from 805 tonnes per year to 170 tonnes annually, with the aim of sending no waste to landfill. It also recycles 80% of glass, plastic and cans, and has saved the equivalent of 451 trees through paper recycling. Reducing energy consumption is another key focus: the low energy lighting introduced has resulted in a 30-40% energy reduction and Dyson Airblade hand driers fitted in washrooms have reduced energy use by 81%.

We then offset the remaining emissions through a portfolio of specially selected carbon reduction projects. For every tonne of carbon dioxide the BDC produces, it pays for an equivalent amount of CO2 to be reduced at an offset project in Tanzania, Colombia or India. These projects not only meet the highest global offsetting standards but also offer additional benefits to the surrounding local communities.

After becoming the UK’s first CarbonNeutral® venue in 2010, the BDC hosted The Carbon Show – the UK’s leading annual event on energy efficiency and the low carbon economy – and has been recognised for its green and internal engagement initiatives, receiving a number of industry awards including Exhibition Venue of the Year Award at the 2010 Event Awards.