ICC Belfast becomes first Green Meetings certified venue on island of Ireland

The International Convention Centre (ICC) Belfast, together with sister entertainment venue, Waterfront Hall, has been awarded the Green Meetings Silver Award, becoming the first meetings and events venue on the island of Ireland to receive the accolade.

The award reflects the organisation’s investment in sustainability and commitment to the development of a sustainable tourism plan, in line with Belfast’s transformational resilience strategy; and supported through a city wide sustainable Green Tourism partnership funded by Belfast City Council and delivered by Visit Belfast.

Last year, Visit Belfast and Belfast City Council launched the largest ever Green Tourism city partnership, funding memberships for Belfast-based businesses and providing an opportunity for local organisations to boost their environmental credentials and achieve the international sustainability standard.

The Green Meetings accreditation, launched by Green Tourism in 2021, was designed specifically for meetings and events venues and provides the opportunity to demonstrate the organisation’s commitment to sustainability and highlight the high environmental and sustainability standards and practises in place.

Julia Corkey, chief executive, ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall, Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Kate Nicholl, Jac Callan, sustainability and impact manager, Visit Belfast and Iain Bell, director of finance, risk and corporate services, ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall

Utilising 25 years of experience and incorporating examples of best practise from businesses throughout the world, Green Tourism measure venues’ sustainability standards ranging from energy, water and waste through to catering, communications and community involvement.

ICC Belfast/Waterfront Hall/Ulster Hall chief executive, Julia Corkey, said: “We are delighted to be the first venue on the island of Ireland to be awarded the Green Meetings Silver Award. This is a significant achievement for the venue, particularly as we welcome events back to Belfast and Northern Ireland.

“As custodians of the city’s international convention centre and iconic entertainment venues, we recognise the important role we play in supporting Belfast’s ambition through the delivery of world-class business and entertainment events and are committed to delivering these with minimal impact to the environment. We have implemented greener measures throughout all aspects of the organisation, such as sending zero waste to landfill, adopting a digital-first approach and utilising LED technology and lighting.

“This award truly embodies our dedication to providing a safe and sustainable environment for our team, clients, customers and community, alongside our commitment to ensuring future generations have the ability to successfully continue the legacy - today, tomorrow and beyond.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Kate Nicholl, continued: “A huge congratulations to all of the ICC Belfast and Waterfront Hall team on becoming the first meetings and events venue on the island of Ireland to receive the Green Meetings Silver Award.

“This is a marvellous achievement for the venue and, following Belfast’s recent recognition as one of the top 20 sustainable destinations in the world, again demonstrates our full commitment to sustainable development and growth, as outlined in our pioneering Belfast Resilience Strategy. If we all continue to work together, we can make this city region an inclusive, zero-emission, climate-resilient economy within a generation.”

Visit Belfast chief executive, Gerry Lennon, added: “Prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, tourism was one of Belfast’s success stories, playing a key part in seeing the city flourish as an increasingly vibrant and dynamic leisure, conference and cruise destination. By taking a critical look at our operations both at an operational level and collectively as a sector, tourism can now play a crucial role in supporting the city-vision of transitioning to an inclusive, zero-emissions, and climate resilient economy within a generation.

“Our visitors and business partners expect far more, and in recent years have shone a more critical light on tourism and its potential impacts on the environment and society. Placing sustainability at the heart of our operations makes business sense - by meeting rising market expectations it helps the city remain relevant and attractive in a hugely competitive market place, and future proofs Belfast for generations of visitors to come.

“Being the first meetings and events venue in the island of Ireland to receive the Green Meetings accreditation, ICC Belfast and Waterfront Hall have clearly demonstrated their commitment to sustainable tourism, setting a great example for our tourism businesses here and importantly it provides real stand out for the city as we secure new business and begin to rebuild our tourism and conference sectors – well done!”

ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall have recently launched their sustainability policy, outlining 11 commitments which are aligned to eight of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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