Well Met, the conference office at Leeds Beckett University, is putting sustainability at the heart of its day delegate rate (DDR) for 2019 with the introduction of a series of products and processes to bolster the conference organisation’s green credentials.
Initiatives include the introduction of a paper-free booking process, a wider provision of vegan catering choices and a Vero water purification system that provides mineral-quality water and removes the need for plastic water bottles on site.
Clare Vidler, Conference Manager at Well Met, said: “We’ve adopted new approaches to our catering and booking processes to ensure that our DDR packages are built with sustainable conferencing at the heart.
“This is something we’ve been working on since opening the building in 2017 and the move has been largely driven by enthusiasm from the team responding to concerns of climate change by challenging behaviours, and making greener, sustainable choices wherever possible.”
The Well Met team has seen an increase in requests from customers for more vegetarian and vegan catering choices for health reasons and to conscientiously reduce the impact of meat and dairy farming on the environment. The chefs at Cloth Hall Court are expanding their range of vegan cuisine in response to client’ requests and are now looking to include a vegan option on every menu, with options for a fully vegan menu if required.
Well Met has invested in measures to reduce the environmental impact of the booking process, including a guided 360-degree video tour of Cloth Hall Court to help bookers visualise the space in as much detail, saving them time and travel. Alongside the new initiatives, the organisation is also redoubling its efforts to communicate the sustainable credentials already sewn into the building.
Paul Mason, Project Manager at Leeds Beckett University, said: “Thanks to careful planning and robust policies of the University’s Estates department, we were able to weave a number of energy- saving initiatives into the building’s refurbishment giving us an excellent head-start when it comes to sustainability.
“This includes BEMS (Built Environment Management System) controlled heating, cooling and lighting which ensures the building is as energy efficient as possible. Wherever possible, materials and products used in the refurbishment were selected utilising suppliers with a strong commitment to sustainability such as Bolon vinyl flooring and Interface carpets. The Vero water purification system also helps to provide mineral quality water with no reliance on plastic.”
As an academic venue operating within Leeds Beckett University, all Well Met’s profits are reinvested into the institution, contributing to the local economy and supporting vital teaching and research. The service shares its waste management with the University too, and thanks to its partnership with waste contractor AWM, 98% of all its waste is diverted from landfill.
Like many UK cities, Leeds is striving to improve its air quality, set minutes from the train station, Cloth Hall Court is conveniently placed for public transport. Clare Vidler explains: “We’re exceptionally well-placed to offer environmentally conscious event planners a sustainable service. Public transport is the natural choice for delegates travelling to Cloth Hall Court and Leeds is so easy to get to from right across the country.”