Millennium Stadium is certified to lead on Event Sustainability

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The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is a signatory to the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Development Charter

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff has become the UK’s first certified sustainable event location, having successfully obtained BS 8901.

The standard for Sustainability Management Systems for Events confirms the venue’s commitment to managing the social, economic and environmental impact of events at the Millennium Stadium. Achieving the standard was a major feat for the iconic stadium which was built in 1999 without many of the innovative design elements in recently built stadia.

“Sustainability is about much more than just being green,” says Viki Bell, Portfolio Manager Sustainability at BSI - the organisation responsible for devising the standard. “Gaining certification to BS 8901 demonstrates that an organisation has taken into consideration its social and economic impacts such as community involvement and fair employment, is securing local investment and long term viability where possible as well as reducing carbon emissions and waste, as demonstrated by the Millennium Stadium.”

Stadium facilities manager Darren Crossman heads up the project which has introduced new ways to incur savings through reduction of waste, lower energy use and re-use of equipment and infrastructure.

“Sustainability is not just about being environmentally friendly; it is the understanding that the way that we operate also has social and economic implications. As I like to put it, it is making sure that what we have today is here tomorrow,” said Darren.

The stadium’s unique palletised pitch system has played an important part, with rainwater harvesting below the grass beds, the re-use of root zone and the recycling of the 40mm rye grass turf at rugby clubs throughout South Wales.

Additional design elements include infra-red controls fitted in the urinals to prevent unnecessary flushing, meters to monitor energy and water consumption, new LED lighting and controls, and alternative methods of water heating to allow boilers to be shut down in summer.

As well as the in-built design elements, sustainable operational initiatives are also important such as the promotion of public transport on event day. And the stadium's caterers ensure that all food on the menu is made from locally sourced ingredients.

The stadium is a signatory to the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Development Charter, an initiative that encourages organisations across Wales to put sustainable development at the heart of their work.

Speaking about the certification, Environment Minister, John Griffiths said: “Sustainable Development is all about making decisions that support the long term wellbeing of people and communities. The success of the Millennium Stadium reflects the Welsh Government’s own commitment to sustainable development as Wales is one of only three countries in the world with a statutory duty to promote sustainable development."

“I hope that other organisations in Wales will be inspired by the Millennium Stadium’s efforts to operate more sustainably and will be encouraged by the business benefits that sustainability invariably delivers.”

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