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NZ's largest stadium's sustainable initiatives

New Zealand’s national stadium continues to be a hive of activity as it begins its path towards supporting sustainable initiatives including environmentally-friendly packaging, a community garden and compost facility as well as the stadium’s own honey.

Eden Park is taking measures to reduce waste and recycling as part of its bid to align with the United Nations Global Goals to promote sustainability. The Park has identified seven of the 17 United Nations Global Goals that it will focus on in the next five years to be applied across the business:

1. Good Health and Wellbeing
2. Affordable and Clean Energy
3. Decent Work and Economic Growth
4. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
5. Sustainable Cities and Communities
6. Responsible Consumption and Production
7. Life Below Water

Six large compost boxes were installed at the stadium to process compostable waste from non-match days and additionally collect the food waste from local cafes and restaurants. This Sunday June 30 neighbours are invited to Eden Park’s Community Compost and Coffee event, where they can take home their own complimentary bag of compost and enjoy coffee and treats from local suppliers. The compost will be available free of charge to locals moving forward and Eden Park’s Chief Executive Officer Nick Sautner says these initial steps illustrate the stadium’s commitment to sustainability.

“Our team is passionate about making changes to our operations and continue to explore ways in which we can reduce our impact on the environment. Eden Park’s current initiatives are focused on non-event days and our goal is to see these rolled out across match days at the Park in future.”

After working closely with local businesses the opportunity arose to create the Morningside Urban Market Garden (MUMG), a place for refugees to gather within the stadium and grow produce to on sell. Curator Jason Dodunski says the community enterprise offers women from migrant and refugee backgrounds opportunities to develop and share skills in practical ways that generate a shared profit.

“Eden Park has been enormously supportive of MUMG. We are feeling very welcomed and looking forward to strengthening neighbourhood partnerships in ways that use space differently, reduce our ecological footprints and improve the local economy,” says Dodunski.

New Zealand Box supplies the compost containers and founder Richard Wallis says one box alone can reach 70°C to compost certified packaging and hold the weekly food waste from 120 households, demonstrating the opportunities in a stadium environment.

“Aligning world class sport event hosting with genuine product stewardship and local community engagement provides a powerful example. It’s all about turning good organic materials into great compost, to grow nutrient dense food for the local community,” says Wallis.

Innocent Packaging’s compostable products can now be found in corporate hospitality areas and corporate suites throughout the stadium as well as For The Better Good’s
plant-based compostable water bottle.

General Manager of Innocent Packaging Fraser Hanson says they’re passionate about ensuring our country’s leading businesses become the most sustainable in the world, including the 116 year-old stadium.

“Working with Eden Park has really shown the potential scale for better waste solutions and plastic reduction. Compostables work in well with such systems, and it’s great to see Eden Park leading this charge. By them taking this stance, it serves as a catalyst for change and here’s hoping in the near future we all get to enjoy our favourite sporting events while also contributing zero waste to landfill," says Hanson.

The sweetest product to eventuate out of the stadium’s commitment to sustainability is Eden Park Honey. The limited-edition creation was born in 2018 when more than 120,000 bees swarmed onto the Park. Eden Park Chief Executive Officer Nick Sautner says given the stadium’s capacity it’s important to be proactive and play its role in preserving our planet and minimising effects.

“We’re buzzing over the release of Eden Park Honey and it’s satisfying to be able to offer both locals and tourists a tangible memory to take home and remember their experience at the stadium by. I encourage our neighbours to join us this Sunday and witness the great steps Eden Park is taking in this space,” says Sautner.

More information on Eden Park’s Community Compost and Coffee event can be found here.

Quick facts on Eden Park’s sustainability:

• Solely compostable packaging used throughout all corporate areas/suites
• Bottle separation has been introduced
• Bin monitors in attendance at events to educate patrons
• Compostable waste from non-match days is processed on site
• All match-day giveaways must be compostable
• All cleaning chemicals used must be biodegradable and green
• The conversion to LED and motion activated lighting has resulted in using just 20-30% of the original power usage
• Beehives installed and honey produced on site

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