With corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability now integral to many companies’ policies, it is only natural that these priorities have also found their way into meeting places and corporate events venues. If your company is looking for a London business venue with green credentials, you’ll be pleased to hear that the capital has come a long way. But how do you go about finding a sustainable venue?
What is a green business venue?
The first hurdle in your search for a green venue is how to verify the claimed green credentials of any events venue. There are no official measures that can be used to prove or disprove them. At present, the best we have are these 3 organisations who will certify venues as environmentally friendly:
- British Standards Institute
ISO 20121 is a standard for organising events that came to prominence during the preparations for the 2012 London Olympics and its commitment to be environmentally responsible. ISO 14000 is the standard that venues must achieve in becoming more eco-conscious in their daily operations.
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the world’s largest established method of assessing, rating and certifying building sustainability. Certification can be awarded to new or existing buildings in consideration of the efficiency (improvements) of the building and the sustainability of the construction materials used.
- Green Tourism Awards
Green Tourism is a non-profit scheme supported by VisitEngland which accredits and monitors environmentally friendly tourism/leisure businesses including meeting spaces and conference venues. Members are audited every 2 years on improvements made to buildings and business processes, and are awarded gold, silver or bronze status.
What’s the best way to approach your search for a green venue?
If environmental responsibility is a key factor in your choice of the perfect business venue, you must treat it as a deal breaker. Give preference to conference venues, meeting and event spaces whose sustainability policies align with those of your company.
Look far and wide, and outside the usual brief, to source the right venue for your event. Consider unusual, quirky and unique spaces that fit the sustainability brief and may be available for corporate hire. As the choice of totally sustainable venues in London is unfortunately still limited, you may need to compromise to find a space that fulfils the majority of your criteria.
Of course, while you’re searching for the best fit, it’s important not to neglect all the other important requirements for a suitable business venue, such as location, style, size, budget, configuration, facilities etc.
5 green corporate events venues in London
We’ve scoured the capital for some suitable venues to get you started on your quest for the perfect green business venue – here are out 5 favourites:
- The Crystal
The Crystal on London’s Royal Docks is a unique and innovative venue in addition to being one of the world’s greenest buildings. Its green credentials are truly impressive and include a gold Green Tourism award and a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating among others. The quirky building is run entirely on solar energy and ground source heat, while rainwater harvesting and black water treatment and automated building management systems are built into the contemporary design. There are 9 multi-purpose meeting rooms with additional breakout areas available to dry hire, as well as an auditorium with a capacity of max. 270 delegates, complete with state-of-the-art conferencing equipment. Generous event space abounds both inside and out, and there’s even a permanent exhibition showcasing The Crystal’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
- 15 Hatfields
Claiming to be Central London’s most sustainable venue, this contemporary and versatile conference and meeting room venue offers 7 flexible, functional and very stylish event spaces for up to 550 delegates in the heart of London. Boasting cutting edge facilities to high environmental specifications, 15 Hatfield has a strong sustainability policy, carries the Green Tourism Gold Award and a certification of the NQA Sustainable Development Management Scheme. With organic, locally sourced and fairly traded food provided by sustainable a sustainable catering firm, the venue has also implemented measures to help towards its zero waste to landfill initiative.
- The LookOut
Tucked away among beautiful gardens in the heart of Hyde Park, The LookOut is a tranquil eco haven in a busy city, offering flexible blank canvas event space to fit any corporate brief. With wooden terraces, natural sculptures, ecological ponds and nature all around, this is a very special place – perfect for summer entertaining, press launches, business presentations, workshops, conferences and more. The bright modern indoor venue has a maximum capacity of 100 delegates and comes fully equipped with SMART board technology and WiFi. For imaginative outdoor events, stretch tent and tipi hire, fire pits and wood burning pizza ovens are available on request. The gardens and adjacent Edwardian Gatehouse are lush locations for al fresco lunches and breakout areas.
- ORTUS Learning and Events
Located in Camberwell, South London, ORTUS prides itself on being is a multi award winning, high tech and eco friendly event venue with over 1,500 square feet of dedicated flexible event space over 7 levels. ORTUS’ green credentials are impressive, starting with the building itself which received a BREEAM ‘excellent’ status for its sustainable and environmentally friendly architecture and construction. All event suites can be configured to meet any corporate brief – including dining/buffet style, theatre style and classroom layouts – for functions for up to 80 delegates. The building makes full use of innovative technology and boasts panoramic views over the capital from the top-floor terrace.
- Church House Conference Centre
Overlooking Westminster Abbey, this beautiful Grade II listed venue offers a historic environment for daytime and evening events with 19 function rooms and a capacity of up to 664 guests. The venue’s commitment to sustainability is in evidence through its many initiatives including measures to minimise the carbon footprint, efficient lighting systems, a commitment to recycling, reducing food miles and fair trade policies. There’s also a dedicated Green Events package.