our group commitments
Since the opening of the NEC in 1976, the NEC Group has been at the forefront of the live events industry. We understand the importance of our impact on the environment and so everything we do is underpinned by the fact that we’re responsible, fair and honest.
We’re also committed to acting in a socially responsible way, managing the environmental impact of our operations and we’re proud to have been recognised through a variety of awards for our efforts.
Charity of the year
The NEC Group encourages staff to have fun while at the same time raising money for great causes. Each year, employees vote for their Charity of the Year and spend time fundraising in innovative ways.
The 2018 chosen charity is Alzheimer’s Research UK, who are the UK’s leading Alzheimer’s research charity aiming to defeat dementia. Previous charities supported by the NEC Group include Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Help Harry Help Others, Help for Heroes, County Air Ambulance Trust and The Challenger Trust.
The Group also gets involved with annual national initiatives like Children In Need and Comic Relief.
taking care of our environment
Our venues and services are committed to acting in a socially responsible way and to manage the environmental impact of their operations. They do this in a variety of ways and we’ve included some highlights below, but you can read more about our brands’ activity via their respective websites.
The NEC continues to make dynamic and progressive advances towards sustainability for the industry and the venue team is regularly recognised by the events industry for its efforts.
Award highlights include:
- Exhibition News Eco Award
- BIFM Impact on Sustainability Award
- Birmingham City Council Sustainability and Recycling Award
- MRW National Recycling Awards – highly commended
- Birmingham Post Environmental Award
The venue leads the way through major investments and initiatives - and by changing behaviours in every area of its operations (and those of its clients), it’s committed to helping organisers and exhibitors achieve their own sustainability targets which is why it’s becoming the venue of choice for an increasing number of trade shows with a green and sustainability agenda, including Recycling & Waste Management, The Energy Event and the Renewables Event.
- The NEC achieved zero waste to landfill targets ahead of schedule, thanks in part to the development of an onsite waste pre-treatment centre
- The venue is committed to maintaining and operating its environmental management systems in compliance with EN ISO 14001 requirements and rising to environmental challenges with great innovations
- The NEC is committed to ensuring that any waste sent off-site doesn’t travel any further than 30 miles
- In 2015, the NEC partnered with Severn Trent Water to launch a new Anaerobic Digestion plant less than four miles away from the venue. Over 120 tonnes of food waste from the NEC is delivered to the plant each year, where it is converted to energy to power local homes
- Smart meters were installed to help the NEC better understand how gas and electricity is used across the site. This enables the venue team to investigate anomalies and take necessary actions to minimise inefficient practices. In 2014/15 the venue reduced its carbon emissions by 742 tonnes – enough to make 1,045,070 cups of tea
- Team NEC is committed to supporting the communities in the neighbourhoods in which it operates. It regularly donates materials and time to local community groups.
NEC Group Arenas
The NEC Group Arenas - Genting Arena and Arena Birmingham, formerly Barclaycard Arena - are committed to delivering sustainable and environmentally sound events. Both operate a ‘Greener Arenas’ initiative which encourages all employees, clients and customers to be environmentally-friendly, be it through recycling waste and turning off lights in offices, using recyclable food packaging, or individual projects like the water-saving Ureco system.
- A 40 metre green 'living wall’ sits outside the Genting Arena. Rising in steps from 3 metres to 5.5 metres as visitors approach the arena, it features over 15,000 shrubs, ferns, ornamental grasses and hardy perennials - over 100 plants for every square metre of wall
- A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Generator installed on the site of the nearby International Convention Centre (ICC), provides chilled water for air-conditioning, electricity and hot water for heating Arena Bimringham, formerly the Barclaycard Arena, ICC and other buildings in the immediate vicinity. This district-based scheme includes a publicly visible carbon calculator that keeps track of the carbon dioxide savings, minimising the Arena’s carbon footprint and providing the ability to sell carbon credit
- Energy saving light sensors have been fitted throughout both Arenas, along with reduced energy LED lighting, where possible, to reduce the amount of electricity that is used. There is a strict switch-off procedure in place to ensure that no extra energy is used in event spaces or offices. All equipment and lights are switched off when not in use, and this is policed by the venue security teams
- All waste is treated, so that glass, cardboard and paper waste is separated and recycled. Food waste is also separated and goes to anaerobic digestion. Waste that cannot be recycled or reused is incinerated to use for energy via a Birmingham City Council-run scheme at the nearby Tyseley Energy Waste Plant.
The ICC team is committed to being green and the venue holds the ISO 14001:2004 accreditation for environmental management systems. As part of that policy the team launched the ICC “Green Team” with a remit to monitor and evolve the venue’s current policies and to ensure the team is doing everything it can to ensure that the venue and its events offer proactive resources to keep the environment impact to a minimum and to generate a positive impact where possible.
- A district-based scheme (Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Generator) is installed onsite to provide chilled water for air-conditioning, electricity and hot water for heating the ICC and buildings in the immediate vicinity, including Arena Birmingham. A publicly visible carbon calculator keeps track of the carbon dioxide savings, minimising the ICC’s carbon footprint and providing the ability to sell carbon credit
- Energy saving sensors are fitted and use reduced energy LED lighting where possible throughout the venue. The venue’s switch-off procedure ensures that energy use is kept to a minimum in event spaces and offices and that all equipment and lights are switched of when not in use, which is monitored via Security
- All waste is treated, so that glass, cardboard and paper waste is separated and recycled. Waste that cannot be recycled or reused is incinerated to use for energy via a Birmingham City Council-run scheme at the nearby Tyseley Energy Waste Plant
- The ICC is involved in a pilot scheme to turn a flat roof into an eco-friendly environment and to increase insulation and ultimately enhance the landscape of flora and fauna to attract urban species to the environment. The roof provides a haven for the rare black redstart bird whose numbers are thought to be declining following increased development, and whose continuing presence in the city is precarious. The roof has also been designed to encourage ground nesting bees and wasps, invertebrates and other birds
- The ICC is also home to two 'Bee Hotels' to encourage Mason Bees
- The venue assists organisers in developing 'green menus' by ensuring food is sourced sustainably and as locally as possible
- The venue team has implemented many initiatives to demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability and can support organisers to minimise or totally offset the carbon emissions of their conference.
Amadeus is committed to sustainability and on minimising the negative impact of its operations on the environment. Its award-winning policies and initiatives have helped the NEC achieve ‘zero waste to land fill’ two years ahead of target and its teams comply with ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 accreditations at the ICC and NEC, in addition to operating in accordance with the NEC Group Environmental Policy.
Amadeus teams are trained to separate waste into the following streams: cardboard; glass; co-mingle (plastic, card, napkins, paper); tin (metal); and food waste.
All handmade products are packaged in recyclable or biodegradable packaging and the packaging reduction policy operates across three distinct areas:
- Prevention/reduction: the less brought in, the less there is to throw away. All food grade cardboard is compostable
- Reuse packaging (when packaging is unavoidable)
- Recycling or composting: what can’t be reused will be recycled or used as compost
taking care of our staff
A successful business - with excellence in customer service at its heart - is not just about delivering for its customers, but also delivering for its staff. Ensuring that we recruit the right people and that we then embed them into our company is crucial to employee retention. All NEC Group employees undergo a company induction when they join which is tailored to the business and role they will undertake.
We pride ourselves on our low staff turnover and we recognise and celebrate long-serving members.
We work hard to ensure our staff are fully engaged in all that we do and we operate a programme of internal communications across the Group to keep them informed.
We have clear career paths for those who wish to take them, all of which can lead to a rewarding working life and prospects.Find out more
Gender Pay Gap Report
We are committed to realising the potential of our people. Our approach to development - which is focused on making our people the best they can be - blends the need to provide all employees with the knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary to perform their current role with a focus on the future needs of the business and its people.
From 2017, the UK government has introduced a requirement for all employers with 250 or more employees to publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap annually and for the first time by April 2018. This is the first report we have conducted.Find out more
All NEC Group venues and services have a passion for event excellence and outstanding customer service and we want all of our customers to have the best possible experience – whether that’s at the point of ticket purchase or at the main event. We’re fully compliant with the Equality Act and we aim to be accessible and user friendly for our disabled visitors.
Access to the NEC venue from Birmingham International Railway Station is via a covered bridge link, and all car parking has been upgraded for disabled visitors. All levels of the NEC are accessible to wheelchair users via lifts and have wheelchair friendly/accessible toilet facilities.
A Changing Places accessible toilet is available in the Hall 20 Atrium area. The need for the Changing Places toilet was highlighted during an accessibility audit and as a result of customer feedback. It’s larger than a standard accessible (disabled) toilet, with more space to enable a wheelchair user and their carer to manoeuvre with ease, plus equipment including a height adjustable adult sized changing bench and hoist.
The NEC has further extended the functionality of the room by replacing the standard WC with a Clos-o-Mat wash and dry (automatic) toilet, with additional optional touch-sensitive switch which benefits those with little body strength and enables them to remain independent.
Wheelchairs are available for hire free of charge for blue badge holders at the NEC, and mobility scooters are also available for hire.
Induction loop audio systems are fitted in various locations across the venue
Assistance dogs are welcomed to the venue and toileting space can be allowed outside or created within an area in-hall with sawdust/dog waste bins.
The NEC has created a Disability Reference Guide which is reviewed annually by members of the NEC Disability Steering Group (DSG) and the business works to the rules/regulations outlined by the Association of Event Venues (AEV).
NEC Group Arenas
The Genting Arena has 11 public, stand-alone, unisex accessible toilets for disabled visitors, all of which are controlled by the use of a RADAR key. There are also larger accessible toilets within all of the single sex toilets that can be used without a key.
In addition to the accessible toilet provision, the Genting Arena can also boast a Changing Places toilet facility which can be found at the rear of Block 12. This facility meets the needs of people with multiple and complex disabilities who have one or more carers with, and assisting, them, by providing extra features and more space.
Arena Birmingham has five public, stand-alone, unisex RADAR key operated toilets. As with the Genting Arena there are also larger accessible toilets within the public toilets that can be used without a key.
Wheelchairs are available for hire free of charge in both Arenas (subject to availability).
There is wheelchair access to all floors and dedicated wheelchair accessible seating areas are located within each Arena Bowl.
Wheelchair positions and ambulant seating can be booked for both Arenas via the dedicated telephone ticket line (via The Ticket Factory): 0800 640 5001.
Alternatively, disabled customers can also now book their tickets online for events at the NEC Group Arenas – a booking option not previously available. For more information, see The Ticket Factory below.
Both NEC Group Arenas boast lower accessible counters at Box Offices, merchandise and catering outlets and there are hearing assistance systems in both Arenas which provide hard of hearing customers with an enriched sound quality, allowing them to fully enjoy their event.
Assistance dogs are welcome in both Arenas, however, it’s not recommended that they’re brought to loud events.
The Arenas teams are happy to arrange familiarisation visits to either Arena in advance of an event.
The Ticket Factory
The Ticket Factory has partnered with user-led initiative the Access Card - the first ticket agent to do so – to offer disabled customers the same ease of online booking as everyone else via theticketfactory.com.
Previously, disabled customers were required to call a separate booking line; they were unable to book online because ticket agents needed to understand the details of their disability before verifying those needs for any special requirements.
Those who are in possession of the Access Card can now reserve and pay for their tickets online as well as through The Ticket Factory Contact Centre, making the ticket buying process much quicker and simpler.
The Access Card, which was initially designed as a ‘proof of disability’, highlights the needs an individual has. The online technology generates an instant understanding of each customer’s disability through a series of symbols shown online and on the card which automatically highlight any requirements they might need, such as free companion tickets or the ability to choose a wheelchair bay.
The new system also cuts out any uncomfortable conversations for customers when talking to agents offline, as the verified information is readily available at the agent’s fingertips when an Access Card number is stated.
A dedicated ticket line still exists for those who prefer to call: 0800 640 5001.
Amadeus operates under a continuous improvement programme and its teams strive to deliver the best service to all its customers. They measure improvement in a number of ways, aiming to continually improve food quality, service and commercial performance.
Amadeus has signed up to two important food-related pledges with the British Hospitality Association (BHA).
1. BHA Calorie Reduction Pledge:
The BHA has united with caterers and the Department of Health (DoH) to introduce a number of pledges as part of the public health responsibility deal, one of which is to achieve reductions in calorie consumption within the UK Catering Industry.
As a member of the BHA, Amadeus is committed to the well-being and welfare of its customers and colleagues.
It aims to achieve an overall reduction in the calorie density of its menus by taking actions including: reducing portion sizes; introducing wholemeal pasta/bread options; increasing baked and boiled options in place of fried food; increased availability of lower calorie choices including vegetables as side orders and fruit as a desert; balanced and varied menu planning and provision of healthy eating information to customers; and calorie publication per portion/meal on menus to inform customers and enable them to make healthier choices.
2. BHA Salt Pledge
Amadeus has committed to the BHA’s salt reduction pledge and aims to reduce its salt volumes by 25% over a two-year period.
To achieve this, Amadeus catering outlets will take actions including: restricted addition of salt when cooking; not salting fried food; increased choice of fruit and vegetables as side orders and supplements; balanced and varied menu planning; and team training.