Here at MEETinLEEDS our goal is to provide a conference and events service that doesn’t compromise our commitment to a sustainable University, as outlined in the Sustainability Strategy.
Our services blend the Living It Green campaign of Residential Services with the Great Food at Leeds policy of procuring ethical and sustainable food; with 65% of our suppliers being within 40 miles of the University (the bread served at the Refectory is baked by Fosters, which is a stone’s throw from where I grew up. The smell of freshly baked ice fingers sends me on a trip down memory lane akin to that described by Marcel Proust in Remembrance of Things Past). If you don’t think that this is very impressive, have a look at the origin of the items you fill your shopping basket with the next time you are at the super market: cucumber and rocket from Spain; tomatoes from Morocco; broccoli from Italy; lamb from New Zealand; the list is endless. The number of miles your food travels from origin to your mouth can be compared to that of the tennis balls used at Wimbledon (which were formerly made in my home town, not that I am trying to plug the fine place that is Barnsley!). Our support of, and reliance on, the local community and suppliers is just one of the many aspects that set us apart from the competition.
Both Residential Services and Commercial Services have signed up to membership of the internationally recognised Green Tourism Business Scheme. We currently have 10 service locations registered with the scheme, with 5 of our operational locations subject to an annual environmental audit.
All of our locations have been awarded either a Gold or Silver standard, which demonstrates our understanding of the importance of sustainable development and that the strategies and measures we have in place to guide our performance have us well on the way to becoming a Sustainable University.
If you are interested in planning a conference or event with strong environmental content MEETinLEEDS can offer the following:
- Hire of facilities accredited under the Green Tourism Business Scheme
- Wireless internet access
- Food and drink that is either Fairtrade; locally sourced; Food for the Brain or Rainforest Alliance accredited
- Conference call facilities available year round at University House
- Provision for reusable crockery and cutlery and all disposable items are recyclable
Thanks to Mike Leonard, Property Manager, Residential Services, at the University of Leeds who provided the information for this article.