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Banksia Foundation Built Environment Award 2009

Melbourne Convention Centre wins prestigious national environmental award

The Melbourne Convention Centre has been awarded the prestigious Banksia Foundation Built Environment Award 2009 at the Banksia Foundation’s 21st awards ceremony in Melbourne.

The Banksia Environmental Foundation is the leading national not-for-profit organisation that promotes environmental excellence and sustainability and Banksia’s National Awards are regarded as the most prestigious environmental awards in the country.

The award recognises the convention centre’s outstanding environmental features including a displacement ventilation system which literally allows you to breathe easier, the first privately funded black water treatment plant in a public building in Australia, and 8500 square metres of sustainable harvested timber veneer panelling in the centre’s foyer, plenary and grand banquet room.

Those innovative features have already led to the venue being awarded the world’s first ‘6 Star Green Star’ rating for a convention centre by the Green Building Council of Australia – who had to create an entire new rating system just to capture it.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s chief executive Leigh Harry says the government should be commended for its foresight.

“The government wanted to set an environmental benchmark for a building of this size, and with private sector partner Plenary Group, it has not only achieved that, but exceeded all global standards.”

Leigh says the centre not only sets the environmental benchmark in its actual design and features, but the way the entire venue operates is also a sustainability success story.

“We have assessed and continue to asses every single aspect of our business to ensure it demonstrates best environmental practice. We have a dedicated team of staff whose job it is to come up with fresh initiatives and new strategies to benchmark and progress the MCEC’s environmental performance.”

To add to its environmental accolades, the venue is the only convention and exhibition centre in Australia with both Green Globe and Waste Wise accreditation; and was the first convention centre in Australia to be awarded the AIPC Quality Standards Certification – where part of the criteria is environmental responsibility.

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