Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to the venues and events industry, from lowering carbon emissions to responsible catering and paperless event technology. As part of the University of Oxford, OUEV is committed to reducing our environmental impact by following, and encouraging sustainable best practices, and supporting the University in achieving its ambitious targets to achieve net zero carbon and to achieve biodiversity net gain, both by 2035.
If sustainability is high on your agenda when choosing a venue, you can be assured that we have lots of great initiatives in place. Here are just some of the ways we have been changing how we do things…
- Accreditations – we are proud to be recognised by the Meetings Industry Association for our sustainability commitments. The regular audits ensure we are meeting the high standards of sustainability that they expect from their members, and continuously improving on our performance.
- Landfill policy – we have an absolute commitment to our zero to landfill policy. All waste is sent to anaerobic digestion which means it’s converted into electricity to power many local Oxfordshire homes.
- Localisation of our supplier base to minimise carbon footprint – all food on our menus comes from just three local Oxfordshire businesses – Roots, Aldens and Mayfield. The food is then prepared in our purpose built kitchen in Oxford.
- Sourcing food in a responsible way – we only use MSC fish and Red Tractor meat.
- Vegetarian and vegan menus – our award-winning chefs have crafted delicious vegetarian and vegan menus with a variety of interesting and nutritious dishes.
- Planning food carefully to avoid unnecessary waste – where possible our knowledgeable team can advise you on your catering requirements to minimise food waste. Inevitably some waste does occur and when this happens we partner with OLIO, to minimise what we throw away by redistributing unwanted food to those in need in the local community and to minimise what we throw away.
- Reducing our energy consumption – we aim to build energy efficiency into our venues using automatic lights and energy saving lightbulbs. We monitor our energy consumption and our electricity comes from renewable sources.
- Procuring Fairtrade – as a priority we want to widen the range of Fairtrade produce and products we supply on our menus. Current high volume items that are fair trade include tea, coffee, sugar sticks, chocolate bars and bananas.
- Reducing single-use plastic – we want to remove unnecessary single-use plastic and use biodegradable alternatives for coffee stirrers. Where possible we supply water in jugs, if that’s not to a client’s taste we offer fully recyclable bottles and as a last resort offer end-of-life recyclable plastic bottles.
- Introducing electric vehicles – our caterers use electric vans to transport all catering that cannot be made within the venue.