Scottish Event Campus Makes Food Offering More Sustainable Ahead Of COP26

Here's to a more sustainable future:
Courtesy of the SEC
– Here’s to a more sustainable future:
Debbie McWilliams, Director of Live Entertainment at SEC, Wallace Hendrie, Hendrie Brothers farmers (one of the SEC suppliers) and Kevin Watson, Business Director at Levy UK + I.

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC), which hosts the UN’s climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow, Nov. 1-12, announced a new food strategy committed to using 80% of produce sourced in Scotland.

Going forward, visitors of any SEC venue, including its live entertainment flagship, The SSE Hydro, will find “sustainable, responsible, and healthier choices sit at the heart of the venue’s events,” the announcement states.
The new approach has been developed over the past two years with the SEC’s catering and hospitality partner Levy UK + I, the sports, and hospitality division of Compass Group UK and Ireland. 
“It includes a pledge to source at least 80% of its food from Scotland, with all produce sourced from high-welfare producers with sustainable agriculture processes (…) in areas such as fruit and vegetables, meat and bread. The food and drink offering at the landmark Glasgow venue will offer a broader range of plant-based options alongside premium and low-impact, local animal protein sources,” the announcement continues. 
The new offer will complement the old, “giving people a variety of choice,” the SEC’s director of live entertainment, Debbie McWilliams, told Pollstar.
A glimpse of the Scottish Event Campus
Marc Turner
– A glimpse of the Scottish Event Campus
The Armadillo (left) and the SSE Hydro.

She said, the new food strategy would go live as soon as the buildings reopen for events. “We’ve got several events planned as we go through the year, ahead of COP26, and we’re liaising with event organisers who are closely following Government updates on staging indoor events,” she explained. 

While the new strategy centers around food, McWilliams hinted that “much more is in the pipeline and will be announced in the coming months,” which may include the beverage offerings as well.
What is more, SEC’s new food strategy includes a plan for packaging, with a commitment that all packaging used will be reusable or recyclable by 2023. 
The venue also aims to have reduced kitchen wastage to under 1% of food purchases by 2025 or sooner. “Food waste will continue to be diverted from landfill to anaerobic digestion processing,” the press release states. 
SEC has been driving change in events catering for some time, becoming the world’s first “Healthy Venue” as accredited by the World Obesity Foundation.   SEC donates surplus non-perishable food to local charity Launch Foods, which distributes the items through local community organizations and schools.
McWilliams commented, “Our new food strategy is an integral part of our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of events that take place on our Campus. As our industry gears up to restart, there is no better time to drive forward positive change.
“We are honored to be hosting COP26 later this year and we’re fortunate to have a food and drink partner in Levy UK + I that shares our commitment to minimizing the climate impacts of our offering. 
“While we recognize that we can continue to do more to improve the environment we all share, we are proud to have a strong and ambitious strategy in place to help us champion the very best of sustainably sourced Scottish produce on the international stage.”
Kevin Watson, Business Director at Levy UK + I, added, “The amazing new food strategy that we have created with SEC is a world class example as to how the conference and events industry can achieve greater sustainability and reduce food waste in catering and hospitality. It fully complements our Levy Cares commitments which sit at the very heart of the sustainable and ethical approach we adopt in all our work – from the food we serve, the teams we work with and the communities we support.”