The National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), the largest teachers’ union in the UK, will be using solar power to run key parts of its Annual Conference 2009, courtesy of a firm that has previously helped light up the Glastonbury and Lovebox Weekender festivals. The conference takes place at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) from Monday 13th April until Thursday 16th April.
London based conference organiser, WPB Events, has enlisted the help of Firefly Solar to capture the glorious Bournemouth sunshine in order to power the electrics of the main exhibition stands in the BIC’s Solent Hall, as well as the media and reception areas at the venue. Should the fickle British weather fail to play ball, a standby generator that runs on recycled cooking oil will come to the rescue.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “The NASUWT is very conscious of the impact that carbon emissions have on the environment, and as such we are delighted to use such innovations to help cut our carbon footprints.
“As a trade union, we hold a major conference every year and the power use is considerable. Hopefully, with the help of WPB Events and Firefly Solar, this will mark a greener approach to these kinds of events, not just for the NASUWT, but other organisations as well.”
The main conference programme will take place in the BIC’s Windsor Hall, with fringe meetings taking place in the Tregonwell Hall. The exhibition in the Solent Hall, which will run alongside the 4 day Annual Conference, will feature over 30 exhibitors. Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families will be speaking at the event.
Richard Newton, spokesman for WPB Events Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be bringing Solar Power to the NASUWT Annual Conference - as far as we are aware this is a first for an event of this nature in the UK. We constantly strive to minimise the carbon footprint of all our events and this is another step towards producing events with zero emissions.”
Approximately 1000 delegates are expected to attend the four day event at the BIC. This will being an estimated £1m to Bournemouth’s economy through business tourism spend. Recent statistics value Bournemouth’s business tourism at £127.6m, of which the BIC and its sister venue Pavilion directly contribute £73m through the conferences and exhibitions staged at both venues.
Peter Gunn, Managing Director of the BIC added: “Whilst we have an ambitious environmental policy and Green Team, this is a first for the BIC. As a major venue we need to constantly work with clients to promote the green agenda and find innovative ways of providing environmentally friendly events. It’s great that NASUWT are so proactive and we hope this leads the way for other clients.”
Click here for the News Archive