Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre strikes Sustainable Gold

After more than a decade of sustainable practice, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has achieved coveted Gold Certification from EarthCheck, the world’s leading sustainable benchmarking organisation.
After more than a decade of sustainable practice, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has achieved coveted Gold Certification from EarthCheck, the world’s leading sustainable benchmarking organisation.

859 wheelie bins of waste, 5,355 cars of CO2 and 1,363 households of energy saved

After more than a decade of sustainable practice, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has achieved coveted Gold Certification from EarthCheck, the world’s leading sustainable benchmarking organisation.

Since joining the EarthCheck Certified program in 2007, MCEC has minimised energy consumption by 31.8%, and in total saved enough to power 1,363 typical Australian 4 person households. Greenhouse Gas Emissions were reduced by 36.7% for the same period, saving 15,958t of CO2 which is equivalent to taking 5,355 cars off the road each year. Waste sent to landfill has been reduced by approximately 103,000 litres or 859 wheelie bins.

Mr. Stewart Moore, EarthCheck Founder and CEO said MCEC’S achievement was impressive for the variety of sustainability practices the venue routinely incorporated in running large-scale events.

“MCEC goes well beyond the ‘tick-box’ approach, implementing unique and innovative sustainability measures which benefit both the environment and local community, and we know this helps them win major events for whom sustainability is a key performance indicator,” he said.

MCEC is the first public building in Australia to have a privately-funded grey water treatment plant, treating rainwater for re-use in the building.

Solar panels provide 100% of public amenity hot water requirements, and multiple streams for waste management including full composting facilities of food waste, a closed-loop recycling system on site that clients can use free of charge, renewable energy purchasing options for clients and support of Victorian charities.

During its ten years enrolled in the EarthCheck Certified program, MCEC has gained a reputation as one of Victoria’s most sustainable meetings venues, regularly working with organisers to achieve maximum sustainable, recycling and localised sourcing even for multi-million dollar exhibitions with thousands of delegates.

A recent example was the 2014 Engineers Australia Convention, a $4.35 million event with more than 2000 delegates, which placed event sustainability as one of the highest pre-requisites in its search for the right venue.

MCEC worked with the event organisers to minimise negative environmental, social and economic impacts, and exceeded all sustainability KPIs set, achieving 100 per cent electronic, recyclable or reusable signage, 93 per cent Victorian-supplied food, and 89 per cent of waste diverted from landfill. Four local charity organisations benefited from the event, and a mobile app developed for the event reduced paper use and the need for custom-made satchels.

 “The innovation and dedication shown by MCEC positions it as an Australian, and indeed world-leader in sustainable meetings and events,” Mr. Moore said.

“We believe what’s good for the planet can also be good for business, and we are thrilled to release such positive data-based evidence of resource savings for MCEC,” he said.

Leighton Wood, MCEC’s Chief Operating Officer, thanked the EarthCheck team for their ongoing support and said the venue was delighted to have achieved Gold Certification, an achievement made possible through collaboration with its Public Private Partnership (PPP) partners Plenary Group, BrookfieldGIS and IKON, and the contribution by motivated employees.

“The EarthCheck Certified program has buoyed up our commitment to environmental sustainability and positive community contributions, and seen MCEC become the venue of choice for some of the largest conventions and exhibitions in Australia,” Mr Woodsaid.

“What we’re achieving at MCEC is a lot more than just providing a ‘green option’ for our valued customers—the events industry must do its part to reduce its impact on the planet, and we are proud to be recognised as leaders in this area,” he said.

EarthCheck Certified is the world’s most rigorous and scientifically accurate program to help the tourism industry benchmark environmental, social, energy, legal and community performance and the design aspects of hotel buildings and their operations against peers in their sector, region and climate zone. Specific global benchmarking standards include sustainable development policy, water and energy utilisation, waste management, paper usage, chemical usage, and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

EarthCheck certification complies with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) 14064 range of standards for greenhouse gas accounting.EarthCheck Certification, has helped clients in 70 countries realise over $500 million in operational savings while reducing their footprint on the environment.

About MCEC

The internationally renowned Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) brings people together to deliver world-class events and create memorable visitor experiences.

Leading technology capabilities, award-winning food made in-house and exceptional customer service are just the beginning at MCEC.

Hosting over 1000 events each year, MCEC spans more than 66,300 square metres including exhibition bays stretching almost half a kilometre, 52 meeting rooms and the venue’s centrepiece, Plenary.

Located on the banks of the iconic Yarra River in South Wharf, MCEC is surrounded by some of Melbourne’s best bars, restaurants and shopping precincts, and only a short walk to the city centre. 

For more information on MCEC’s Green Approach visit


Keep up to date with news from EarthCheck:

EarthCheck Logo

of Country

There are more than 476 million Indigenous Peoples, found in all regions of the world, from the Arctic to the tropical forests. They make up more than 6 per cent of our global population.


In the spirit of reconciliation, EarthCheck acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout the world and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Indigenous Peoples today.


EarthCheck acknowledges that Indigenous Peoples are guardians of the forests and biodiversity hotspots we all depend on. Research shows that lands managed by Indigenous Peoples, with secure rights, experience lower deforestation rates, store more carbon, hold more biodiversity, and benefit more people than other lands — including protected areas.


We recognise and support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration is a positive document that maps out a path for Indigenous Peoples to be free from discrimination and secure in their identities and life choices.

EarthCheck Logo

EarthCheck Certified: Aligned globally

EarthCheck science and products were developed by the Australian Government Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre (STCRC) over ten years. Our science is reviewed annually to ensure that it meets international standards relative to greenhouse gas protocols, responsible tourism, and certification.

EarthCheck products and services are built on the Agenda 21 principles for Sustainable Development endorsed by 182 Heads of State at the United Nations Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992 and aligned to the SDGs.

EarthCheck Certified provides a framework for organisations to achieve the desired outcomes for sustainable development as set out in the final report of the World Summit for Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002.

EarthCheck Certified complies with the Mohonk Agreement (2000), which outlines the guidelines and principles for an international sustainable tourism certification program. It is also a Recognised program of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

EarthCheck Certified is a verification standard accepted by CDP. It is also an approved program of the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA), London & Partners, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism (SECTUR) and the City of Sydney.

EarthCheck Certified is an approved program for meeting the EU Energy Directive for the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle – BAFA) in Germany and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy) in the Netherlands.

EarthCheck partners with international research organisations to maintain the currency of EarthCheck science and our benchmarking systems.

The EarthCheck brand signifies scientific excellence, better environmental, economic, and social performance, improved community interactions, and savings through more efficient use of resources. It provides recognition and promotional support to a global consumer market.