We are constantly looking at ways to make Events Events more sustainable, from minimizing event material/handouts to reusing the badge lanyards, and are happy to champion some of the sustainability initiatives our Venue Partner and Caterer have shared:
Lighting and Energy: All lighting in the meeting rooms is motion sensitive, so when the room is not in use, the lights automatically switch off
Living wall: The east wall at the Mermaid London is a green living wall, helping to remove CO2 from the surrounding area
Water: All taps in toilets are motion sensitive and Automatically switch off when not in use.
The Venue useS the Brita Vireau system for water that is served to delegates at the Mermaid. The system offers filtered water (both still and sparkling) and is served in reusable glass bottles. We use glassware for delegates, the only variant to this is delegates who want to take water into the auditorium. In this instance it has to be decanted into a plastic cup. The reason behind this is plastic cups are crushable and do not restrict evacuation, whereas glasses can cause additional risk. We welcome delegates to bring their own water bottles, which can be replenished at the drinks stations.
Staff training: All staff as part of their induction process are informed of the need for sustainable practices and are expected to adopt them as part of their working life at the Mermaid London
Transport: The venue offers no car parking, delegates and staff are informed of the benefits of using public transport, particularly with the venue’s close proximity to Blackfriars Station and Blackfriars Pier. Additionally, to assist staff with public transport, as part of employee contracts, the Mermaid London offers a season ticket loan. There is a large Santander Bicycle stand accommodating 20 bicycles within 50m of the venue
Waste management: All waste material managed by The First Mile with the promise of nothing going to landfill, https://thefirstmile.co.uk/what-we-do
Responsible fishing: We work to ensure our suppliers source wild caught and farmed fish from fisheries that are responsibly managed and meet Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards. All our fresh tuna is MSC certified. Furthermore, we never serve seafood on MSC’s ‘fish to avoid’ list.
No pressure. We are an independent caterer with no external shareholder pressures, which allows us to concentrate on what we do best — create exceptional food, retail and event experiences. By simplifying our approach and avoiding unnecessary bureaucracy, we are able to empower our people to operate more efficiently.
100% confidence. We take a long-term view, working with our preferred suppliers and partners to continually raise supply chain standards through compliance and collaboration. We aim to give our clients and customers confidence in our service offer by increasing transparency in how all our products have been grown, sourced and made.
Better for animals. We’ve long-term relationships with our preferred suppliers to help ensure we deliver consistent animal welfare practices – 100% of our beef, chicken and turkey is farmed in the UK to Red Tractor Assurance standards as a minimum.
Farms not factories. We educate our kitchen teams in fresh food production to encourage the use of sustainable produce such as the use of cage-free eggs from the UK. 100% of our eggs are free-range supplied from British farms. We are working towards achieving the Compassion in World Farming’s Good Egg Award.
A menu for all seasons. Our menus change seasonally and our chefs have an open relationship with their suppliers to increase the use of seasonal produce throughout their menus. 90% of our seasonal fruit and vegetables are sourced from around the UK which in turn supports UK farming and reduces food miles. We also partner with regional dairies and supply all our customers with 100% British milk.
Provenance is king. We work very hard to identify quality, local suppliers and we always buy
locally and seasonally wherever possible. We always aim to source 80% of our ingredients from within 50 miles of our venues.
Knowledge is power. Engaging with our chefs is essential as they are key to introducing great tasting dishes across our menus that reflect consumer trends and habits. We are continually updating our Recipe Library with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and other allergy-friendly menus, as well as authentic menus from our chefs’ travels to reflect cultural and religious preferences.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy! We’ve increased the daily production of plant-based dishes across our kitchens in a move to raise awareness of the environmental impact of meat and dairy production. We have integrated more vegetarian and vegan dishes into our core menus in order to make a difference to people’s health, happiness and productivity by helping our customers eat well.
Proudly supporting Fairtrade. We’ve long-term relationships with our preferred suppliers, We champion Fairtrade and ethical farming, and source cocoa, bananas, sugar, tea and coffee from producers in the developing world.
Change your coffee. Change lives. We use award-winning ethical coffee from social enterprise Change Please. Our ‘Adventurous’ coffee is the highest quality 100% Arabica produced from a blend of beans from Costa Rica, Sumatra, East Africa and Guatemala. 100% of the profits made from every packet we purchase helps provide formerly homeless people with housing, London Living Wage, job opportunities and training.
Free Water Refill Points. We’re committed to reducing plastic pollution, so we are already participating in the national Refill practical tap water campaign which makes refilling your bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing free refill points at our venues.
Our clean Green Team. We fully integrate ourselves into delivering the ethos of our partner venues and we actively take part in monthly Green Team meetings at many of our venues. Our goal for 2020 is to ensure that every venue has a Green Team to review environmental performance and identify solutions.
Recycle. Reuse. Reduce. We’re never wasteful and our approach to waste is simple: we manage, monitor and innovate to reduce and reuse where possible, and where this isn’t possible, we maximise the amount we recycle.
Plastic is not fantastic. We’re working towards zero single-use plastic, phasing out single-use plastic items and packaging. We have already removed plastic straws and stirrers from our supply chain. We are continually working with our suppliers to determine recyclable, compostable non-plastic alternatives.
Equal rights for all fruit and veg! Our chefs champion the use of so-called ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables to avoid unwanted and rejected produce ending up in landfill or as animal feed. Our partners supply us with a selection of ’ugly’ fruit and vegetables. It might not look perfect but it tastes great all the same and our customers and clients would never know the difference.
Feeding bellies, not bins. We educate our chefs to use neglected fruit and veg creatively by incorporating them into soups, stocks, chutneys, jams and salads. We even use our cucumber, orange and lemon peelings for our sustainable fruit water for visitors to help themselves to. Orange peels can be used for citrus cleaning: by adding one part water and one part vinegar with orange peel, we create a citrus multi surface cleaner for the cafés. And we even use apple peel for our apple and ginger fruit tea.
Feeding the good life from the ground up. Wherever possible, we try and donate surplus food to local charities and communities that are connected to our venues. Where we can’t donate, we reuse. Recycling our coffee grounds is a great example where we use waste to generate energy through anaerobic digestion. Instead of just throwing our used grounds away, we collect it, package it and give it to our retail customers to take home to use as fertiliser on their compost.
Eco-friendly green cleaning solutions. We use an eco-friendly range of biodegradable cleaning products across our sites, offering genuine sustainable solutions that use recyclable packaging. We also reuse all of our spray bottles. We aim to increase our use of 100% biodegradable products by 2020.
Tree planting programme. We’ve committed to planting 100 fruit trees a year as part of The Grove Collaborative project at our farm estate in the South of England. Each tree will offset 700kg of CO2.
Carbon smart. Our venue management teams are tasked to continually monitor the number of deliveries received by their sites to ensure these are managed effectively and kept to a minimum. We also work with local suppliers, where possible, within a 50 miles radius of our sites.