London’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (QEIICC) is sponsoring an initiative designed to reuse conference bags and other items left by organisers at venues after their events.
The Westminster venue has launched a partnership with the Jarrett Foundation, a charity that works with businesses and schools to send unwanted furniture, conference bags and other promotional items to developing countries for children to use.
QEIICC Event Manager, Darren Jordan, said: “Last year I noticed that one of our clients had quite a few conference bags left at the end of their event. We have keen recycling and waste targets at The QEIICC so I was determined to do something about it.
“I have championed a centre-wide initiative, where we are working with all of our clients to ensure that any of their left over bags, pens, notepads, etc are donated to this charity. Once we have a client’s permission, we store the bags and the foundation picks them up from us. The initiative has only been going a month, but I think we have already given a few hundred bags to them.”
Clients participating in the scheme receive photos showing exactly how their company’s bags are being used. “It’s a win-win situation,” said Jordan, “they find good homes for these items and companies are saved the cost of sending them to landfill.”
CEO of the Jarrett Foundation, Pearl Jarrett, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with such a prestigious venue. Partnering with venues is the first step in our campaign and I urge other venues, suppliers and organisers to do the same.
“Obtaining stock is the first step of the journey; to ship one container costs us around £4,000 so we are also looking for cash donations and volunteers to help for a day – it makes a great teambuilding event for a company to do, and it ticks their ‘CSR’ box too. We would welcome the chance to work with other companies within the events industry on team building and fundraising initiatives. If anyone is looking for a ‘charity of the year’ we would be delighted to talk to them.”
Since its creation in 2010 The Jarrett Foundation has diverted over 70 tonnes of unwanted items from landfill and shipped them to schools in Gambia, Jamaica and Sierra Leone.
Venues and organisers wishing to get involved can contact email@example.com
Do you have news for CN? Email: Paul Colston