The Calyx hosts zero-waste event

The Calyx, a venue set in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, managed to achieve a zero-waste dinner during one of its recent events.

Themed ZERO – where sustainability tastes better, the dinner was hosted by Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust’s Principal Environment Partner, HSBC Bank Australia.

Reducing environmental impact is a key focus for the Gardens, and extends to The Calyx and the events it hosts

The Calyx team – including the on-site event firm Laissez-faire Catering – teamed up with one of Australia’s leading sustainable chefs Matt Stone, to curate a sustainably-sourced menu highlighting some of the best produce Australia has to offer.

Sara Flaksbard, general manager, Laissez-faire Catering said the creative recipes were planned to create minimal waste and a reduced footprint, with strategically sourced local and seasonal ingredients selected.

“Produce was requested to be organic or biodynamic with no single-use plastic items being used (not even cling wrap) and any unused produce was recycled and used in the cooking process or composted to grow more ingredients.

“Food wastage is a big by-product of events, so we carefully planned the amount of food to match attendees, limiting supply to minimise the environmental impact,” said Flaksbard.

A taster of the sustainable menu included fried akoya oysters, a native oyster that reinvigorates the fisheries industry in Albany, Western Australia; cricket balls, made with crickets, a sustainable protein booster; and a gin and orange parfait with cultured butter where the whole fruit of the orange was used.

The event was also an opportunity to celebrate the work HSBC’s clients are doing to transition to net zero, as well as recognise the support HSBC has offered to a number of projects designed to accelerate and scale up investments in coastal ecosystems.

Alpa Bhattacharjee, head of sustainability, HSBC Bank Australia said their 25-year partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust has always focused on biodiversity conservation, so The Calyx was the ideal choice to highlight their environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments.

“We needed a venue that was flexible enough to showcase and deliver the zero-waste goals that we had set for the evening while providing an immersive and memorable experience. The Calyx is a physical embodiment of what our partnership aims to deliver, and the team were able to translate this vision from start to finish,” said Bhattacharjee.

Elevating the environmentally-themed event, The Calyx’s moveable floral displays and the spectacular green wall made up of over 18,000 plants immersed the guests. An organic style runner featured as the table centrepiece and included cabbages, pumpkins and radishes, which were donated to OzHarvest after the event, along with any leftover prepared food. Even the napkins were washable velvet to reduce paper waste.

In total, 16kg of produce was donated to OzHarvest and 2.5kg of waste was composted. The whole event was 99 per cent zero food waste.

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