Huge support for first Sports Environment Alliance Summit

Tiffany Cherry welcomes delegates to the Sports Environment Alliance SEA Summit 2016
Around 100 attendees heard the latest sustainable developments in sports at the SEA Summit 2016  on 8 November.

Sports Environment Alliance (SEA) is a not-for-profit organisation launched almost a year ago, and looks to empower the sport industry to better engage with the circular economy through knowledge sharing and networking. It

Its first conference was held on 8 November at the MCG, as the Melbourne Cricket Club is one of its foundation members. Senior executives representing many of Australia’s sporting organisations, including Tennis Australia, AFL teams and Golf Australia, and leading sporting venues were gathered to learn more about improving materials management, recycling and overall sustainability for their organisations, members and fans.

Chairman Malcolm Speed AO and Executive Director Dr Sheila Nguyen welcomed delegates to the event, for which sports broadcaster Tiffany Cherry performed MC duties.

The keynote speaker was sustainability innovator Joost Bakker, who shared insights into some of his work for the Victorian Racing Club and other projects around waste avoidance and materials reuse.

Given his experience in introducing ideas such as food composting in restaurants and reusing waste to make a full racing viewing pavilion, Mr Bakker’s message to attendees was pragmatic and inspirational.

“Don’t ever think an idea is so small it won’t make a difference. It just takes time,” he said. “Tiny projects can influence how the world behaves.”

Other key speakers included Richard Griffiths from AFL club Greater Western Sydney, who spoke about embedding sustainability at the heart of its culture, while Victoria Racing Club’s James Reid talked about the recycling and waste reduction achievements during the recent Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington and the plans to roll out some of these initiatives more broadly.

Delegates were also given privileged back-of-house tours of the MCG and Margaret Court Arena to see how they combine sustainability and recycling with their wider provision to sports fans and visitors as world-class sports venues.

=The SEA Summit also saw the presentation of inaugural #SEAChange Solutions Award, which recognises leadership and innovation in sustainability in a sporting venue or organisation. The prize went to the MCG, and was presented to Peter Wearne, its General Manager – Facilities.

More information on SEA and how organisations can get involved as foundation partners and members is available on its website.

MCG General Manager - Facilities Peter Wearne received the SEAChange Solutions Award
MCG General Manager – Facilities Peter Wearne received the SEAChange Solutions Award
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