GCCEC First to Achieve Prestigious Earthcheck Gold Certified Status, Pioneers Formitize Food Safety App
SYDNEY, Australia December 2013 – As more people become more aware of the effects of their actions on the environment, they come to expect a certain benchmark of eco‐friendly performance. Event organisers are certainly becoming more aware of the carbon footprint of their event and sustainable conferencing.
Fresh and locally sourced ingredients continue to be popular. The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (GCCEC) menu consist of 85 per cent of locally-grown and organic ingredients – not only does this guarantee freshness but also quality across each event. To further reduce the environmental impact on food choices, the Centre utilises a made to order micro greens service. The added benefit of being able to order exact quantities of petite herbs and salads from local suppliers further reduces the Centre’s carbon footprint.
GCCEC Achieves EarthCheck Gold Certified Status
GCCEC has been at the world’s highest environmental standards. In line with this commitment, the GCCEC is the first convention facility worldwide to achieve the prestigious EarthCheck Gold Certified status, the leading environmental management system in use by the travel and tourism industry. Waste and greener practices in sustainable catering are certainly an important element of this achievement.
The Centre also continually emphasises the importance of sustainable catering through its commitment to sourcing local and seasonal produce where possible. Furthermore, the GCCEC works with local suppliers to change the way goods are being packaged and delivered. Most suppliers use cardboard boxes that are recycled on site. The GCCEC kitchen also annually donates tonnes of shelf stable and unopened food packages leftover from large scale conferences and events to local charity organisations two to three times a year.
As a sustainable events venue, the Centre is also continually looking for ways to enhance its operational practices in the environmental and social responsibility realm – not only reducing environmental impact through waste and energy initiatives, but also raising awareness of sustainable practices among stakeholders. In efforts to further reduce waste we have recently partnered with BioPak to supply the Centre with effective disposable packing solutions that have the smallest environmental impact. The Centre currently uses coffee cups and plastic cups which are made from plant materials including trees, corn starch and sugar cane. The Centre will also add single-use packaging solutions for salads, containers and cutlery from BioPak that are all compostable and or recyclable in the near future.
Other sustainable activities that are a little different include:
• On behalf of clients, the GCCEC donates leftover conference satchels and backpacks on request to community groups and disadvantaged schools and children locally and throughout Queensland. They are used by schools for activates such as school camps.
New Sustainable Technology News:
Recently, the GCCEC introduced a world-class paperless solution to manage their Food Safety compliance through the use of modern technology in collaboration with GCCEC’s Kitchen and IT teams to create the Formitize Food Safety App.
GCCEC’s aim was to achieve an improved level of monitoring and compliance, an increased level in accountability by those responsible for food management, hygiene, and the ability to report in real-time on all activities.
Formitize worked in close consultation with GCCEC throughout the process of creation and testing to deliver an innovative solution and modern tool suitable for small to large scale buffet and catering environments – a first of its kind in use by a convention centre.
Matt Burge, CEO at Formitize commented: “It was also extremely important as part of GCCEC’s drive towards excellence in sustainability and environmental best practice that new introduced technology is environmentally friendly. The paperless solution delivered by Food Safety App ticked all the right boxes.”
The Food Safety App was customised and further developed to meet the demanding requirements of GCCEC to perform:
• Record Catering Contact and Event Details
• High Risk Food Temperature Monitoring & Recording
• Hot/ Buffet/Display Service Check and Recording
• Cold/Buffet/Display/Service Check and Recording
• Food Core temperature monitoring
• Wastage Monitoring
• Use By Date Monitoring
• Food Safety Manual Compliance monitoring
• GMP and Hygiene Practice monitoring
• Signature, Time and Date Stamp of all entries
The secure web-based Management Portal provides real-time reporting on all forms, a dashboard with integrated GPS mapping, photo streaming, job dispatcher, and a searchable archive of all submitted forms and without a piece of paper in site.
The integrated e-Library Resources tool provides another useful feature where all resource documents such as Food Safety Supervisors – Food Act 2006, company policies and Safety Procedures, Operating Manuals, Rosters and Schedules and even recipes can be uploaded once and immediately available to all users via the App. This ensures that everyone has access to the very latest documentation and only the current versions of all materials are being used.
Other paperless features include the Job Dispatcher that creates a job, attaches required forms and sends them directly to specific users within the organisation – all in real time and completely paperless.
A really important additional feature is the ability to generate any paperless reports instantly based on any single field of data being collected by users. So for example if you wanted to run a report on the average temperature of a particular food display area over a 21 day period, with just a few clicks the report is generated and ready to view or download into excel.
All paperless records are securely stored in the cloud (again saving paper and space) and are available to view instantly at any time.