Council's Venue 114 achieves international EarthCheck verification for sustainability

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L-R Sunshine Coast Council Group Executive Economic & Community Development, Greg Laverty, Division 3 and Environment and Liveability Councillor Peter Cox, Venue Support Officer, Karen Coombes, EarthCheck Representative, Dr Natasha Montesalvo, Venue 114 Manager Louise Thompson.

As music artists and performers increasingly request the sustainability credentials of where they perform, Venue 114 – the Sunshine Coast Council owned and operated community venue at Bokarina – has had its sustainability commitment recognised by the world's leading scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for travel and tourism.

The EarthCheck Evaluate verification acknowledges the venue's sustainable practices.

The announcement coincides with the upcoming Plastic Free July, a month-long Sunshine Coast Council initiative to further encourage people to reduce their plastic use by bringing their own reusable items or switching to plastic free alternatives in their day to day lives.

Division 3 and Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said the venue had been working hard to implement sustainable initiatives across all areas of its business.

"The EarthCheck Evaluate verification shows the Venue 114 team is committed to operating a sustainable venue, something many artists and patrons now expect," Cr Cox said.

"Council's vision is to be Australia's most sustainable region and the actions that earned this verification are certainly another step towards that.

"Venue 114 is council's first facility to earn this status and we're also rolling out these types of sustainability measures at other locations where possible.

"Being sustainable is broadly about responding to change, and making active choices and decisions that support our local economy, reduces the use of natural resources, improves our wellbeing and builds the resilience of our community. This is important for us all.

"Sustainable living is core to our Environment and Liveability Strategy and these measures at Venue 114 are just one of the many projects and initiatives helping to achieve a healthy environment and liveable Sunshine Coast.

"We're demonstrating leadership in this area by embedding sustainability and resilience outcomes into council systems and processes, infrastructure and facilities, and services."

Venue 114 Manager Louise Thompson acknowledged her entire team for their drive to implement and maintain the sustainable actions.

"I welcome the growing interest and positive collaboration from hirers and artists performing here at Venue 114 and am excited to share our sustainability credentials and earth loving practices," Ms Thompson said.  

"Venue 114 hosts an array of environmentally focused events including Earth Hour – Love Song To Earth and Kids In Action while also attracting new events including Australian Wearable Arts Festival and Sustainability Events Expo.

"Although some of those were cancelled due to COVID-19, we look forward to welcoming these amazing events back in 2021 and continuing to attract and host more sustainability focused events like these in the future.

"It's important our artists, patrons and other venue users contribute to this sustainability focus, so we now ask for people to bring a reusable cup if they can and for events to be catered with reusable or compostable plates and cutlery."

Initiatives which contributed to Venue 114's EarthCheck Evaluate achievement include, but are not limited to:

·         installing a building management system which allows scheduled control of air-conditioning and heating to optimise individual energy use for each room

·         installing solar and timed security lights, and replacing many lights with LED (including those in the car park and main halls)

·         water coolers and fountains available for visitors to refill water bottles, glasses and jugs and two 20,000L underground water tanks used for gardens and toilets

·         placing recycling bins next to every waste bin and using reusable packaging, crockery and utensils

·         minimising waste with the onsite Zest coffee van by offering reusable cups and a $0.50c discount on BYO cups

·         encouraging car-pooling for events on the website and ticketing

·         requiring food vendors to have a commitment to sustainability and recommending external catering services that focus on local fresh produce and compostable packaging

·         demonstrating a commitment to social and cultural responsibility by including a Welcome to Country, partnering with the Eastbank Community Garden for composting waste, collaborating with Oz Harvest for donating leftover catering to people in need and taking lost property to Lifeline

·         using electronic forms in place of hardcopies, purchasing 100 per cent recycled paper and changing to compostable packaging.

To find out how to include reusable alternatives into your life and find out more about Plastic Free July initiatives, visit the Living Smart website.

Further details about the EarthCheck Evaluate program are available on the EarthCheck website.

 
Climate Change Conservation Entertainment Environment Sunshine Coast Council
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