Organisation: Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre, 53 Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2RS

Edgbaston Park Hotel has achieved the gold standard award for Green Meetings, from Green Tourism. Led by its business development manager, Krishna Pastakia, the 12-month journey saw green initiatives put to the front of day-to-day strategies and decisions, earning the hotel a well-established accreditation, just two weeks into the new year.

The award recognises UK businesses who have adopted smart and sustainable practices in their economic, environmental and social policies. The hotel has worked conscientiously to fulfil each one, reviewing procedures across the board, from conferences and meetings, hotel guest experience, and staff wellbeing.

As part of its aim to make meetings “greener”, Edgbaston Park Hotel has removed all single-use plastic, with water now only available in glass bottles. Clients are encouraged to use public transport when possible, and travel via train, using the University of Birmingham’s train station. It also claims to be one of very few hotels in Birmingham to offer six electric car charging points for electric cars, to promote sustainable travel.

In addition, all event menus are created thoughtfully, changing with the seasons and including locally grown ingredients wherever possible. Vegan dishes are taking pride of place, instead of a being a dutiful “extra”. The hotel has also introduced activity e-brochures, encouraging delegates to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing by visiting nearby Winterbourne House and Garden and the University’s Sports & Fitness centre.

Hotel staff have benefited from various schemes including cycle to work, paid volunteering days towards their preferred choice of charity, and participated in a two-day course regarding Mental Awareness at work. The team also supported local charity, LoveBrum- which funds “hidden-gem” projects in Birmingham communities, donating over £1,000 and hosting its family fun day.

Business development manager Krishna Pastakia was elated with the achievement: “It means a lot to the hotel. We’re supporting the global conversation tackling climate change and making better choices for the planet now, not tomorrow. Our accreditation shows that we are working towards the key pillars, Planet, People and Places, and every decision or policy that we’ve made so far, is working to enrich the customer journey, promote staff’s values, and engaging with our clients to help them deliver on a more sustainable event.”

Edgbaston Park Hotel is a part of the University of Birmingham, which is dedicated to a more sustainable future. The recognition of this gold accreditation supports the institution’s mission, and shines light on the work that the hotel has undertaken, including its long-term vision to further adopt sustainability.