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Leeds urges event planners to go greener

ConferenceLeeds drives focus on sustainability, following results revealing it's a priority for just 1 per cent of planners

Pictured: More than 80 venues in Leeds have green-friendly accreditation

ConferenceLeeds is urging event organisers to adopt a more environmentally friendly outlook, saying they have the ability to influence "hundreds of people at a time", as the destination focuses on developing its green credentials.

The destination counts 84 venues that are recognised with the Green Tourism Business award, and aim to see this number continue to grow by encouraging best practice and innovation.

Jennifer Young, director of visitor economy for VisitLeeds and ConferenceLeeds, said: "We feel that environmental factors really should be taken into consideration given the conferencing industry's ability to affect hundreds of people at a time at large-scale conferences.

"We are extremely proud of all of our unique venues throughout Leeds and the ConferenceLeeds team works hard with each venue to ensure that Leeds, and all events that come to Leeds, are as sustainable as possible."

It comes as results from the latest British Meetings & Events Industry Survey (BMEIS) revealed that just 1.2 per cent of corporate buyers and 0.4 per cent of associations chose 'meeting environmental and green concerns' as a key influencing factor, among a list of other factors.

Young said sustainability should be higher on event planners' radar, and added Leeds was an ideal destination to tick off environmentally-friendly practices.

"Given the compact nature of Leeds city centre, we have a natural capability to reduce the need for transport throughout the city as a lot of our venues are within walking distance of the train station. Delegates can also make use of water taxis along the canal from the train station to get to the Royal Armouries."  

Venues that have achieved gold standard accreditation include Royal Armouries International PLC - which recycles props following large events - as well as Weetwood Hall Conference Centre and Hotel and University of Leeds.

Leeds' 84 accredited venues compares to 49 in the Midlands and 55 in the North East.

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