For over ten years, MCG has been an Ökoprofit (eco-profit) partner and is attracting plenty of attention with its 1512-module photovoltaic project on the roof of hall A.
Being aware, sustainable and green – these are the buzzwords for a successful business in tomorrow’s world. While MCG previously only hosted green events such as a Biomass Conference or an e-mobility event, it has now integrated environmentally friendly equipment and practices into its own activities.
Photovoltaics - a mega-trend: 1512 photovoltaic modules on hall A
A large-scale green infrastructure project was installed on the roof of hall A in cooperation with Energie Graz. The roof surface offers 11.000 m² of space, on which 1512 photovoltaic modules were installed with a 385 kW peak to provide homes in Graz with naturally generated electricity. This is equivalent to CO2 savings of around 170,000kg/a. What is new with this model is the fact that individuals can also participate. "Firstly, sustainable business operations are a crucial part of our corporate philosophy. Secondly, and equally importantly, we can offer immense spaces that are perfect for making use of solar energy", explains Armin Egger, Director and CEO of Messe Congress Graz Betriebsgesellschaft m.b.H. The photovoltaic system on the roof of Stadthalle Graz has already been extended to include another 780 modules.
The green MCG
Another essential aspect of MCG's corporate philosophy is taking responsibility, particularly in respect to environmentally sensitive issues. The company partnered with "Ökoprofit" and for over ten years it has been working on saving energy and production costs. The employees were made aware of this focus and the company received an internationally accepted certification for being a "green business". Sustainable activities comprise aspects such as deposit systems for drinking glasses and waste separation at events. Ecologically sustainable action starts on a very small scale with initiatives such as placing a deposit on beer glasses, the separation of waste at events, and can be reflected in ideas like the practical MCG bicycles used by members of staff to cover the distances between various locations. Another innovation in 2016 is the production of promotional materials made of ecologically sustainable substances. Instead of plastic bags, visitors receive Goodie Bags hand-made from felt. Instead of paper bags, MCG visitors are now handed carrier bags made from biodegradable materials and printed using environmentally friendly inks. The most popular of all give-aways, the MCG ballpoint pen, is made of environmentally friendly rolled paper. Since 2016, another contribution MCG has made towards environmental protection has been the introduction of marked boxes for used batteries at various MCG locations. Once full, MCG also ensures the boxes are disposed of in a proper, ecologically sustainable manner.
It's not only the MCG team that thinks green. The venues also participate in the ongoing development of their energy efficiency. Since August 2015, as a consequence of the ongoing renovation of the Merkur ice stadium, the two natural gas boilers, used for heating and for warm water production, have been replaced with environmentally friendly district heating. In early 2016 a high-temperature heat pump was also installed. The heat lost from the cooling system at approximately 40°C is boosted to around 85°C. In this way, in the winter months and the cooler transition periods, a large proportion of the ice stadium's heat requirements can be provided for internally, and in the summer this energy is exploited efficiently by feeding it into the City of Graz district heating network. It is estimated that these changes have led to an amazing annual saving of 332 tonnes of CO2!
The award show "Congress Awards" is hoseted by MCG in cooperation with the office of the Mayor of Graz and the Graz Tourismus GmbH. Awards are given to congress organisers in a wide range of categories. The show was first staged and certified as a "Green Event" in 2012.
On the way to international benchmarks with EVVC
MCG sets international standards as a long-serving member of the EVVC, the European Association of Event Centres. The "fairpflichtet" programme defines ten principles with which business activity must comply – from taking over responsibility, the common good, a conscientious approach to dealing with resources and energy, transparency and respect, to strategic behaviour – the entire list being aimed at encouraging businesses to take over responsibility for their corporate activities. MCG plays a leading role in the implementation of these principles. As a public business entity MCG does not just have green in its logo: By implementing a series of measures, it has already shown that it also accepts responsibility for the environment. The new photovoltaic system is yet another step along this path.
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