Venues trial 'carbon labelling' on food to guide conference delegates

Sustainability /  / 
Carbon Labeling NEC Photo Credit: Supplied

Two of the UK's biggest meeting venues are trialling menu 'carbon labelling' to help conference delegates make 'more informed, sustainable choices'.

The trial is taking place across the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and the International Convention Centre (ICC),  in Birmingham, where more than 1,800 recipes will be assessed for their carbon impact and labelled to reflect that. 

The project comes in collaboration with a study conducted by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), which funded the project, and the University of Birmingham (UOB) on food sustainability labelling and behaviour change. 

Food technology and sustainability specialists Foodsteps is also involved in the trail to provide a cloud-based platform, as well as labelling capability and QR codes. On the platform, food providers can upload recipes and view the sustainability impact of each ingredient. It can be used to monitor targets, develop new recipes and improve a menu or product's sustainability.  

NEC Group conventions and exhibitions managing director, Ian Taylor, said: “We have a strong focus on sustainability and we’re delighted to introduce this carbon labelling trial at the NEC and ICC. 

“We know from customer feedback that our visitors love the quality of food and service at both venues, so we’re excited that our carbon labels will help them make low carbon choices and reduce their carbon footprint.” 

NEC Group food and beverage director for caterer Amadeus, said: “Innovation is front and centre in our work across the live events industry. We’ve been looking at carbon labelling for a while, but it is something we were able to implement quicker thanks to the input of WMCA. We want to empower our visitors to make more sustainable choices and educate themselves about the carbon impact of food and this is a great step towards that. 

“We’re thrilled to be able to introduce this with the help of Foodsteps’ technology and we’re really interested to see how this labelling will affect customer’s behaviours. We’re constantly looking at ways to review and improve our sustainability methods and it’s something we’d love to roll out across our wider venue portfolio.”

Find out more about the project here.

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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