GNE recognises the need to be environmentally responsible for its organisation and its activities and play it’s part in limiting our impact on climate change. We aim to contribute to Manchester’s strategy towards a thriving, zero carbon and climate resilient city.

We aim to reduce our direct carbon emissions which GNE can directly control or has financial responsibility for.  These include the following measures:

Monitoring and managing energy use at live events.

We will assess how much power we use per event by taking meter readings before and after the event. This will help us assess our carbon footprint. We will update our data on to help produce an Environmental Audit.

We will also ask contractors, particularly caterers,  to supply a list of equipment, including power rating and running times, to assess power demand.

We will encourage our venues to procure electricity on a green tariff or from a 100% green energy supplier and work with them to ask what we, as a temporary event, can do to deliver a more energy efficient event.

Our main venue Victoria Baths is not heated and we do not supplement the heating.  The only power we use is overhead and exhibition stand lighting and electrics for catering, cleaning, phone charging and audio visual.

How we will use less energy at our live events

We use LED lighting for our stands and exhibitions at our fairs.  The 12W LED used on stands/exhibitions have an A+ efficiency rating.  They represent an 88% saving in energy compared to the 100W RO 80 Lamps which were previously used.

They also last 30-50 times longer than the old RO80 lamps, resulting in a lot less wate. All their equipment is reused hundreds of times. The only consumables are cable clips and ties.

We will ask our equipment suppliers and service providers (caterers, production, digital, etc.) what solutions they provide on energy-saving, renewable energy and emissions reductions and include energy efficiency in our tendering.

Staff and Business Travel,

We will track milage and emissions used for business travel. We will minimise business travel, limiting in-person meetings and adopting virtual meetings where possible. Where travel is required we will use public transport and monitor our journeys in terms of emissions and milage.  We will update our data on to help produce an Environmental Audit.

We will encourage staff car-sharing to our live events.

We will encourage volunteers to use public transport and lift share and reimburse them.

We will use a local delivery van service for our own event equipment, rather than use multiple cars and journeys.  We will look to move our storage facility more local to the venue.

Contractor/ exhibitor travel

We will aim to hire staff, contractors, volunteers, equipment etc. locally.

We will actively encourage car sharing of exhibitors and link up exhibitors who live near to each other, with their permission, so they can travel to the live show together. 

We will recommend certain hotels within walking distance of the venue and try to reserve group bookings so exhibitors can travel together into the event by foot/public transport/taxi/car share.

Audience/visitor travel

We  detail all public transport options for getting to the venue on our website and via our ticket agency.

We will incentivise people to car share by offering group ticket offers. 

We will carry out audience travel surveys within our evaluations and use the results to identify and promote actions to encourage modal shift at future events.

Food & Drink Offer

When choosing our caterers for our live events we will request evidence of environmental commitment and action.  We will ask them to provide: 

  • a mainly plant based, vegetarian/vegan offer
  • Use local produce and suppliers and seasonal products
  • Ensure meat and dairy meet high animal welfare standards and use sustainably sourced seafood
  • Use certified organic and/or fair trade produce
  • Avoid food and drink products which have been air freighted
  • Choose palm oil free products or products using sustainably sourced palm oil
  • Offer healthy, affordable options
  • Prepare their food fresh on site or locally

We  stipulate that our caterers eliminate or minimise excess food and drink packaging and use packaging that is reusable, refillable or made from recyclable materials.

We will make our events plastic free and stipulate that our caterers use glass bottles and recyclable serve ware, We will encourage bulk dispensing instead of single sachets (e.g. sugar, sauces).

We will encourage the use of reusable serve ware and cups and explore using the Manchester City Council mug scheme, or similar. We will ask caterers to provide tap water, jugs and glasses/ reusable cups, canned water or water refill stations.

If disposable serve ware is unavoidable,  we will stipulate serve ware which is made from recycled materials, sustainably sourced wood or plant-based materials and that appropriate waste facilities and instructions are in place so the waste can be recycled or composted.

We will request caterers minimise food waste through, e.g. good planning, portion sizes, using leftovers.

We will ask our caterers to use waste service providers which recycle oils and fat into biofuel and compost food waste on-site or use a waste company which can collect waste to be composted.

We will work with the caterer to redistribute surplus food to local charities.

Digital & tech

We will research and switch to green web hosting by the end of 2024.

We will do an energy efficient audit on our website by the end of 2024, and use the results to make improvements in 2025.

We will use devices for longer, get them repaired or part upgraded before buying new ones.

We will  reuse old phones/ipads for ticket check-in, donate old equipment where possible and dispose of the rest responsibly.


We will research and look to switch to a bank that does not invest in fossil fuels or is committed to fossil fuel divestment.

Print & Promotional Materials

We will use suppliers and printers who can evidence environmental commitment and action in terms of the products or services they offer and their operations.  We use Chapel Press who have an Environmental and Sustainability Policy in place:


Chapel Press -  Environmental and Sustainable Development Policy

The company has developed the following approach for environmental and sustainable development.

All paper, board and packaging used meets our stringent environmental specifications and as a minimum these materials are ECF or TCF - Elementally or Totally Chlorine Free - which is the kindest way to the environment to bleach pulp.

We actively encourage and promote the use of FSC or PFSF Certified Paper – all papers used by the company which are not client specified are these certified sheets. Where possible we encourage the use  of 100% Recycled Paper where cost allows.

Reduce or avoid the use of Chemicals

We use an inert water based protective coating sealant on many of our products which is an eco-friendly alternative to polymer based coatings, “litho seal” and plastic laminates.

Our pre-press and plate production is completely Chemical free.

Our inks are vegetable oil based - specifically linseed oil - as opposed to mineral oil.

The removal of IPA alcohol on all but 1 of our machines and use of vegetable ink has virtually eliminated our emissions of VOC’s - Volatile Organic Compounds - into the atmosphere. These VOC’s are a major source of ozone pollution and are a potential a health hazard to our staff.

We promote full colour printing which uses significantly less chemicals, solvents and paper in job setup and press cleaning than traditional one or two colour printing.

We offer quality Digital Print solutions specifically for short-runs. We have recently installed a Kodak Nexpress – 1 of only 3 in the northwest.

Reduce and Recycle Waste

We have reduced our unavoidable production waste of paper and chemicals by up to 85% and will continue to seek ways to further reduce such waste.

We segregate, re-use and recycle all of the paper waste produced in the course of printing.

Waste paper and used aluminium printing plates are collected for recycling.

Legislation Compliance

We are fully compliant with the Hazardous Waste Act 2005 and waste is segregated and collected for recycling by licensed contractors.

Removing Cost Barriers

We continue to remove the cost barriers that previously discouraged customers from adopting the use of environmentally friendly green printing.

Our buying power enables us to purchase eco-friendly paper and materials at a lower cost than many printers pay for conventional alternatives.

Investment in the latest equipment enables Chapel Press to remain highly competitive.

We have eliminated the quality barriers that previously discouraged customers from adopting the use of recycled paper and eco friendly materials.

The vegetable oil based inks used on our printing presses deliver an increase in print quality over conventional mineral oil based inks.

Investment in the latest and most efficient equipment delivers a higher quality of printed product than the industry average.

The company is permanently looking at new technologies and ways to reduce our environmental effect. The latest avenue they  are pursuing is Carbon offsetting with the objective to be carbon neutral.

We will instruct our printers to buy recycled or sustainably sourced and unchlorinated, uncoated paper for our promotional materials, such as leaflets, posters etc. We will plan our designs to make our print runs efficient to minimise waste. We will also design for re-use where possible. We currently use FSC Edixion Offset Board

Environmental Information
ISO 14001
European Eco-label


For signage and banners we will use more sustainable materials and design for reuse or recycling, avoiding toxic and/or hard-to-recycle materials like vinyl banners and corex/foamex. 

We will also explore using more digital signage and QR codes so visitors can access further information such as floor plans and exhibitor details digitally, rather than through printed materials.

We dropped the  printed paper show brochure in 2021 and will encourage our visitors and exhibitors to view our exhibitor directory online. In 2022, we will research the creation of a show app to enhance the visitor experience and access exhibitor details.

Waste & Cleaning Contractors

GNE use Bagnall and Morris for all our waste removal B&W have been carbon neutral since 2011 and support many schemes to minimise and offset landfill.

All our waste  generated at our fairs is sorted by B&M, though we do also sort it on site as much as possible.

We will ask our cleaners to use  cleaning products which avoid or minimise the use of chemicals and energy and resource efficient equipment and material

Event Plan & Design

We will aim to design productions, exhibitions, installations etc. to circular economy principles, by designing out waste and pollution,  and reusing/recycling existing materials such as shell schemes, signage, display furniture.  We will hire, borrow or share what is needed before buying something new. 

We will make energy efficiency a part of the process for digital productions.

We will engage and inform key people in the process from the start — contractors, exhibitors, curators, artists, makers, other creatives, freelancers, host venues, etc.  We will include environmental requirements in design briefs and contracts, etc.

We will ensure recovery, reuse, recycling, etc. is part of derig, decommissioning, etc. procedures. 

Any signage or materials that cannot be reused will be collected and sent to upcycling groups in Manchester for arts and craft activities for example.

We will hire in rather than buy equipment such a audio visual, lighting, wheelchair lifts, display furniture etc.

Programming & Curation

We will endeavour to highlight the climate emergency and need for environmental responsibility through our programming and curation at our events and through our outreach activities.

In 2022, we will partner with GREENGRADS, an exhibition of work from new graduates who engage with eco issues including sustainability, eco-philia, bio-diversity etc.  GREENGRADS will be curated by Barbara Chandler and Michael Czerwinski.