Business Climate Guidance Case Study: Business Design Centre

Business Design Centre’s decade of climate change action

A ten-year record of climate action through funding climate impact reduction projects, changing operations and influencing event delegates.

BDC Mezzanine(4)

Business Design Centre (BDC) has been a carbon neutral company for the past ten years. This includes establishing a ‘Sustainability Team’ to lead on climate action and working with an external company called the Carbon Neutral Company. This has helped BDC to better understand how to achieve its climate impact reduction goals.

BDC holds over 250 events per year which attract almost one million visitors. This gives it an extensive reach amongst industry exhibitors and patrons. Being an ethical company is key to how it operates. It also supports sustainability and climate impact reduction projects in the community and offers funding to local community projects through it’s charitable arm.

Being a relatively small company and team, the BDC initially focused on the ‘low hanging fruit’ of reducing its carbon footprint. This approach allowed it to make several quick wins. These included changing inhouse lighting to low-energy lighting, upgrading air conditioning units, improving recycling and introducing a policy of zero waste to landfill. Working with the Carbon Neutral Company has allowed BDC to offset emissions it cannot yet reduce by changing its operations.

Key Drivers:

  • Ethos: BDC holds importance in improving the environment in which it works. Working with the Carbon Neutral company has entailed further costs. However, it believes in leaving the world in a better place.
  • Infrastructure: BDC is limited in some of the actions it can take onsite as it is housed in a Grade 2 listed building. This encouraged BDC to take more creative approaches to successfully achieve carbon neutrality.
  • Public perception: Playing a meaningful part of the local community and supporting low-carbon or sustainability initiatives has been a priority for BDC.

Challenges:

  • Cost: It has been a challenge to encourage exhibitors, suppliers and other stakeholders to prioritise climate action over cost.
  • Knowledge: Energy and effort is required to research and find new approaches or services that are more in line with sustainability and climate concerns.

Benefits:

  • Collaboration: Committing to positive action has allowed BDC to share learnings across the industry. This has enabled it to develop policies on sustainability and promote alternative sustainable options to partners.
  • New business: BDC’s transfer to more sustainable and climate friendly operations and practices has attracted new clients. They recognise it is an industry leader in this space.

Read the Creative & Recreational framework

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