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MCG’s green efforts rewarded

The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) has been recognised for its achievements in sustainability, receiving the inaugural #SEA Change Solutions award at the Sports Environment Alliance summit in Melbourne.

As a founding member of the Sports Environment Alliance, the MCC has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to operating Australia’s most iconic stadium, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), in an environmentally responsible manner.

Ongoing upgrades and efforts in water conservation, environmental protection, energy efficiency and waste management have significantly improved the stadium’s green credentials, and confirmed the MCG’s standing as one of the most sustainable stadia in the world.

The award comes in the midst of National Recycling Week, which runs from November 7- 13.

As host of more than 90 major sporting events and 3.5 million visitors annually, it is no surprise that the MCG produces a lot of rubbish – from pie wrappers and plastic cups to cardboard packaging and food waste.

However, thanks to comprehensive waste recycling efforts, in 2016 alone the stadium has been able to divert more than 1,377 tonnes of rubbish from landfill, recycling 77.7% of all waste created at the venue.

This is achieved through strict policies regarding the materials and products allowed to be brought into the stadium, and thorough waste segregation via 20 different streams – including glass, organics, soil and turf and soft plastics.

Peter Wearne, MCC General Manager – Facilities, said:

We are very pleased to receive this recognition from the Sport Environment Alliance. It is a fantastic endorsement by leaders within our industry that the MCG’s sustainability efforts are at the forefront of best practice.

Beyond this accolade we are proud of the continued improvement of our recycling facilities at the MCG. Approximately 10 years ago we were only recycling 10-15% of waste produced during events, so to now be above 70% and rising is a great achievement.

The MCC remains at the forefront of water conservation, with the innovative underground water recycling facility housed outside the ground providing secure, long-term sustainable water supply to the heritage-listed Yarra Park and MCG.

Working in tandem with Siemens the MCC has also recently completed a significant energy efficiency upgrade which has seen the MCG generate enough energy savings annually to power more than 835 houses for a year.

Wearne added:

We have a strong belief in the importance of operating the MCG in an environmentally responsible manner and we look forward to further improvements in the years to come.