10th December 2008

Natural England sets example for green event organisation

According to Environmental Research Web, the independent government advisory organisation Natural England has decided to. . .

<p>According to Environmental Research Web, the independent government advisory organisation Natural England has decided to make the conference sector greener by embracing modern technology. The body advises the government on environmental issues and wildlife and has made the decision to use cutting edge communications to cut down on the carbon footprint of business tourism in the UK.</p><p>Conference venues around the world are making a conscious effort to improve their carbon footprint and energy efficiency. They have little choice, given the global focus that has shifted to environmental issues within the last few years and the economic downturn which is forcing event venues to think creatively and diversify.</p><p>While conference venues strive to reduce their consumption, however, organisations such as Natural England are considering ways to set the future standard by changing the way in which we do business. This involves utilising the technology that routinely enables us to communicate with each other instantly, regardless of where we are in the world. </p><p>Natural England recently made a great stride to this end by facilitating a single meeting of its members across seven different conference centres, with the latest state-of-the-art technology allowing every member to communicate with each other fully and effectively.</p><p>The conference sector is struggling in the UK, with many event venues having to diversify beyond business tourism as their normal guests are responding to the credit crunch by cutting down on conference travel. However, with advances in internet communication and videoconferencing, business people can talk with their colleagues by travelling only as far as the nearest relevant receiver. For Natural England's meeting, the organisation linked 2,500 delegates in the seven conference centres but proceeded as though everyone was in the same location.</p><p>Alex Adam, communications manager at Natural England, told the website: "Everything during the day has felt like a large-scale one-venue conference to maintain the networking buzz that internal conferences should deliver, plus reduce the environmental impact of traditional style one-venue events."</p><p>In this sense, the technology makes location almost irrelevant and could point the way forward for businesses putting a priority on effective communication rather than picturesque setting. In the current economic climate this is more likely to suit corporate needs, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) where travel costs can be a major drain on the finances. </p><p>Natural England made a point of choosing event venues which had good public transport links in a bid to reduce the number of delegates who would feel the need to arrive by car. Many leading conference centres already offer close proximity to transport and indeed local amenities such as bars and restaurants, as business tourism brings great benefits to local economies. The trick then becomes ensuring that delegates don't have far to go when it's time to return home.</p><p>In other news, Environmental Data Interactive Exchange reports that the Conservative Party has announced plans to create a green economy. The shadow environment secretary, Peter Ainsworth, called for the environmental industries to be fully developed to be ready to play a more active role in Britain's economic future. The party will announce more details in the New Year.<br/><img alt="ADNFCR-1753-ID-18921248-ADNFCR" src="http://feeds.directnews.co.uk/feedtrack/justcopyright.gif?feedid=1753&it..." /></p>