Mt Eden Village Centre in Auckland is paving the way in terms of environmental performance and financial sustainability. It’s a great venue for anyone looking for a location for a sustainable event.
The Mount Eden Village Centre operates as a community centre and Methodist church. The centre’s vision is to support community participation by offering a venue for a range of activities, programmes and events.
The centre was opened to the public in 2010 and has quickly become a hub for the community, with around 2000 people going through its doors each month.
Financial and environmental sustainability was an important consideration in the business model adopted by the Mt Eden Village Centre Trust. The centre’s operations are completely self-funded, which means the income covers all expenses.
The centre has established an environmental policy which outlines its commitment to minimise the environmental impact of its operation. Here are seven ways the centre ensures it operates sustainably.
- Education is paramount: the centre manager works closely with hirers and suppliers to ensure that waste management and minimisation guidelines are met. All hirers receive a brief on how to use the centre, including options to reduce their environmental footprint.
- Reducing energy use: recommendations from an energy audit have been implemented, with underfloor insulation and bicycle stands installed. Energy-saving light switches which use a timer to turn off lights have been installed to help save power. Hirers are encouraged to use public transport to get to and from the venue.
- Supply chain considerations: the centre prefers to use suppliers with a similar commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, including a cleaning company which only uses plant based cleaning products. Bathrooms are fitted with special soap dispensers that don’t require bagged refills or batteries.
- Zero waste: all food scraps are composted in the on-site worm farms. Water filters have been installed at the sink to remove the need for bottled water, and there are clearly marked bins for compost and recyclables. all hirers must take their own waste home at the end of their event.
- Re-usable supplies: the centre offers table cloths, plates, cutlery and catering facilities for hirers, to prevent the use of single-use or disposable packaging.
- Sustainable funding model: the centre is managed by a Trust, including representatives from Auckland Council, the Methodist Church and local community members, which allows the centre to operate with no council funding.
- Paper-free communications: the centre opts for these where possible, and has trained the centre manager in social media and other digital communications techniques to minimise the use of printed flyers and posters. An online booking system and a free service to help promote the event are available.
The centre has hosted events ranging from markets to dance and music classes to art exhibitions and is an ideal venue for Christmas functions or birthday celebrations. Regular events at the centre include dance, yoga and music classes for kids and adults. The centre is also a great place to host a wedding or funeral, as hirers are welcome to bring their own pastor.
The centre will be holding its fourth birthday celebration called the ‘Little Day Out’ on Saturday 7 March 2015. Featuring a recycled market for children, sustainable food, entertainment and more, this event will have something to please everyone.