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ICC Wales: how venues can achieve their sustainability goals

At Worlds Better, we take every opportunity we can to amplify sustainability wins and pioneering work, and today we wanted to share the work of ICC Wales. Venue sustainability can be a challenge, as it requires a fair bit of investment and attention to detail to ensure standardised practices across all events at the venue (including staff), especially for larger conference and exhibition centres, but the ICC Wales is leading the way with some great initiatives to highlight.

A red dragon statue sits outside the ICC Wales building.
The welcoming entry to ICC Wales

As the ICC Wales only launched in 2019, sustainability was engrained in the design and construction of the venue. The venue has 26,000sqm of event space, with a 5000-delegate capacity. Their vision is to become a totally green, environmentally friendly venue, continually reducing their carbon footprint, water consumption, and waste production to ensure their venue has the most positive impact possible on their community and environment. Aiming for bigger and better progress is a core part of their ethos.

The ICC Wales have collaboration at the core of their success story, where they have leveraged relationships with Newport City Council to provide electric bus routes and discounted tickets for guests arriving via Great Western Railway. The venue has also fostered partnerships with local experts who support them in their waste management, working together to convert their oil waste into biodiesel, and their food waste generates renewable electricity across the south of Wales.

In addition to these, there are some great positive impacts on delegate experience in tandem with improved sustainability. The venue provides complimentary water refills at hydration stations which also offers reusable bottles to drink from. There is also the feature of the woodland walking trail that is connected to the venue, which gives attendees a chance to connect with nature on their visit and see local wildlife in their habitats.

A group of people sat on a tree trunk, looking over the ICC Wales and surrounding views.
Within the walking trail there are many places to stop and take in the views of the area, including wooden gazebos set up around the trail for outdoor meetings.

The ICC Wales team and staff across the portfolio of Celtic Collection hotels are also trained to be knowledgeable on sustainability through a series of educational programmes which encourages not just workplace behaviour change, but also outside of the venue, too. They have also implemented an anonymous reporting tool which allows employees to feel confident to push for improvements and change, which is incredibly empowering.

Because of all these wonderful initiatives, the ICC Wales has received numerous certifications and awards, including the Green Key International Accreditation and Green Dragon Environmental Standard Level 3.

The team at the ICC Wales continue the thread of collaboration and extend that to event organisers. The team are keen to guide event organisers towards achieving the most effective, sustainable event they can create. It just takes some simple steps to bring everyone from each team onto the same page to support each other on their journeys.

“Don’t be scared of the sustainable journey, just make small changes and build upon them over time.” Fitzroy Hutchinson, Energy and Sustainability Manager, ICC Wales

A banquet set-up meeting room with floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic views of the woodlands.
So many of the meeting rooms here have windows that make the most of the green woodlands, this would make us feel like we were in a treehouse!

We think that the ICC Wales is doing some amazing work that deserves to be shouted about. Through collaboration, innovation and supporting event organisers to produce the most sustainable events possible, we are excited to see what comes next for them!

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