QMU awarded Green Meetings Silver Award for commitment to sustainability
Queen Margaret University is delighted to bolster its sustainability credentials with a new environmental award specifically for its excellent work in conference and events. The Green Meetings Silver Award from Green Tourism recognises QMU’s progressive work in sustainable practices across the university and conference and events department.
The Silver Award is great news for QMU’s Conference and Events team, which has been working towards achieving this goal for the past year. The Conference and Event team have taken part in specific Carbon Literacy training and are committed to stiving towards more sustainable events. Moreover, our work to now offer a range of meeting packages with a focus on sustainable practices has helped us win this prestigious award.
Green Tourism has measured the team’s work against three main criteria of Place, People and Planet. These criteria are aligned with the United Nations’ sustainability goals and encompass everything in the university from its use of energy and water, to catering and community involvement. QMU C&E have launched 2 new meeting packages, The Mindful Meeting Package, offering healthy & nutritious menus with lots of plant-based options, access to a peaceful contemplation area along with the beautifully landscaped grounds. Delegates also have the option of adding on a yoga or pilates session as part of their event. The Green Meetings package offers paper-free organisation, no disposables, in-house AV to support your event & healthy & nutritious menus.
QMU’s innovative campus set a new benchmark in sustainable design when it opened in 2007, and since then, the University has placed sustainability at the very core of its vision. The campus was recognised as an exemplar in sustainability within the higher education sector nationally and internationally and over the years has developed its holistic focus which takes account of the campus environment and everyday behaviours, but also extending it into curriculum development and the impact on teaching and research across the world.
Lynn Barclay, Commercial Manager with the Estates Team, explained: “At QMU, sustainability is the core of our vision, linking the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development to make sure we are doing everything we can to mitigate the climate crisis.”
She continued: “Our Green Travel Plan and Strategy encourages our students and faculty to take more sustainable routes to the campus and our Active Travel information provides delegates with information on options to travel sustainably. With Musselburgh train station minutes away from the campus, buses every 10-minutes and accessible bike rental services, we have made it easy for people to get to Queen Margaret in an environmentally friendly way. If travelling by car, we would suggest car sharing with colleagues, and even provide electric charging points for vehicles”
The University also has big plans in 2023 to further develop its attractive outdoor space to promote outdoor learning. Currently, the gardens encourage biodiversity with the creation of wetland, woodland, hedgerow and meadows habitats helping encourage diverse wildlife on campus. In addition, the creation of special wildlife corridors help to mitigate potential conflict between wildlife and human traffic.
Over 700 conference venues and hotels across the UK are using the Green Tourism standard to provide reassurance to procurement teams. They rate institutions based on three criteria: people, places and planet, looking at issues such as how well an institution promotes their green values to their employees, how well they integrate biodiversity into their spaces and better managing waste and food waste.
Lynn confirmed: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award from Green Tourism. It represents 12 months of hard work from QMU’s Estates Team as we have strived to bring our values of sustainability to every part of our work.
Lynn concluded: “Accreditation is an important way for us to measure how effective we are at limiting our carbon footprint, and the award confirms that our work we are doing in this area is as environmentally friendly as possible.
"Our efforts to achieve sustainability across all of our work, never stops – there is always more to achieve, and we look forward to building on this important work in the coming year."