Meet the North East businesses doing great things for people and planet

Everyone is at a different part of their ESG journey, and no one has all of the answers, but we think it is worth celebrating every step of the journey and learning from each other so we can cultivate a thriving, sustainable, and vibrant region for generations to come. We caught up with the team to find out which sustainable businesses they think deserve a shout-out in 2024…

Magic Hat Café 

Magic Hat Café is Newcastle’s only café kitchen dedicated to challenging the issue of food waste. Every dish that the talented team creates is made from surplus food that would otherwise have gone to landfills. Every week the Magic Hat team collects and shares 1.5 – 2 tonnes of food waste and turns it into delicious dishes that are served to over 500 + people a week in their city centre kitchen. Anything not used in the café is redistributed through a weekly hamper service and across the wider local community so nothing goes unused. Magic Hat believes that true sustainability is not created by a handful of people doing sustainability perfectly, but by everyone doing a little something – and we’ll second that!

The Glasshouse International Centre for Music 

The Glasshouse (formerly The Sage) has announced big ambitions to get to Net Zero by 2030 through working with their artists and audiences, as well as making changes to the main building. The team behind the Glasshouse will also be using their platform to commission and showcase work that highlights the issues facing people around the globe. We choose our event venues carefully and the team at The Glasshouse has already committed to changes that align with our sustainability agenda, including offering free Metro travel with each ticket, reducing their meat consumption on-site (50% of all menus in their Brasserie and Café are now plant-based) and consciously presenting work that responds to the climate crisis.

Northern Print Solutions

Green is the new CMYK according to Tyneside-based print provider, Northern Print Solutions. The team, led by founder Craig Daly, is a Certified Carbon Capture® Company, meaning that they offer their customers the opportunity to carbon balance their print, capturing the carbon emitted from the production and manufacture of paper to support the plantation of new, native UK and international woodland and using accredited paper sourced from sustainable trees. On top of that NPS runs energy-efficient machinery, uses easily recyclable machinery, and uses local supplies in their supply chain.

Something good 

Something good is a plastic-free pantry and ‘refillery’ based in Jesmond offering daily essentials (and some luxuries) without plastic packaging. There is no excuse for single use with how gorgeous their sustainably sourced products are, containers all made from glass, cork, cotton, or stainless steel. You can weigh, fill, and pay for the exact amounts you need so nothing goes to waste, and once you are finished you simply have to pop in-store, and off you go again.

Big River Bakery 

Big River Bakery is on a mission to change the world, one loaf at a time. We recently worked with the team to deliver stottie-making kits to our amazing clients this Christmas and we were thrilled to learn that the team invested the profits from the bakery back into the local community. The team is small but mighty, delivering everything from ‘breakfast bags’ for children who don’t have access to breakfast clubs, warm hubs where local people can enjoy a cozy, friendly space and meet over food and activities, and the first-ever National Stottie Week which is taking place this February, raising money for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund.

Full Circle Brew Co.

Just as we are committed to change in the event sector, our neighbours in Hoult’s Yard are a driving force behind sustainability in the brewing industry. Sustainability is at the heart of everything that Full Circle crafts, and the talented team is aiming to set new industry standards when it comes to environmental good practices and inspire positive change in the North East and beyond. Just some of their initiatives include carbon labelling, which prominently displays the carbon footprint of their canned beer on each label, and investing in decarbonisation software to allow the team to effectively track and manage emissions.

Ingram AV 

Ingram AV offers Audio Visual Solutions and at our recent sustainability roundtable, our trusted friends and partners shared how they are moving towards greener energy through their solar-powered NRG innovation, which has already resulted in a huge reduction of carbon at large-scale events. The NRG system is a 2m x 1.6m unit that fits on to a trailer and is capable of providing 45KVa of clean energy with 120KWh of storage that is expandable. That means the system could be used to power a festival for about 5,000 people for a day if being used to power audio and lighting systems, or it could be used to power a location drama unit for a day!

To find out more about our sustainability goals, and to speak to the team about taking a green approach to your next event email

First sustainability roundtable challenges event management supply chain to hit net zero by 2030

The event, hosted by The Glasshouse International Centre for Music in Gateshead, brought together some of our fantastic North East supply chain to discuss how we can achieve more together. Rather than move away from those suppliers who haven’t quite nailed their sustainability strategies yet (who has?) we want to work with our community to support them, to learn from each other, and to inspire others working in the event space to do the same. The energy, ideas, and discussion in the room were fantastic; we talked about everything from energy, transport, eco-scoring supplier databases, menu carbon labeling, food waste, materials second use, navigating red tape, data collection, and carbon reporting and certification.

BeaconHouse is on a mission to drive sustainable change in the events industry, starting in the North East and with our own organisation. We are motivated to collaborate and encourage our team, clients, suppliers – and our audiences – to make positive changes. Attendees came from a host of different organisations across the region, including venues, audio visual partners, and print solutions and the discussion centered around the fact that global carbon emissions are at a critical point globally, with the events industry being responsible for up to 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Where are we now

Between November 2023 and January 2024, we surveyed businesses within our supply chain to discover what they believed to be their biggest challenges when it comes to sustainability. Energy was found to be the biggest concern for those surveyed with Transport and Mindset & Habits both identified of secondary importance when it came to the organisations’ event challenges. Together the group discussed areas in which they can influence delegate choices with many of the venues sharing tips for nudging behavioural change such as carbon calculating menus and management systems that award points to delegates for greener travel. Ingram AV, a trusted partner offering Audio Visual Solutions, also shared their movement towards greener energy via their solar-powered NRG innovation which has already resulted in a huge reduction of carbon at large-scale events.

What’s next?

This isn’t a quick fix or big promise, we all know that there is a lot of work to do. This roundtable event marked the start of our five-step plan to reach Net Zero by 2030. Over the rest of 2024, we aim to share our vision with as many of our suppliers as possible and engage with them to understand how we can make progress together. By the end of the year, we will share a draft code of conduct for input, and ask our supply chain to commit to making considered and consistent change together. From here we aim to improve our data collection processes to make it as easy as possible for our suppliers to share accurate data with us. We will be moving towards collecting evidence of sustainable practices from the fantastic supplier teams that we work alongside.

Between now and 2030 we will continue to track our events’ carbon footprint using the TRACE tool and explore an eco-scoring system, both so our suppliers can monitor their performance and as a method of creating a preferred supplier list to take into consideration their sustainable credentials. But we know that environmental focus around sustainability is only one part of ESG, so as well as adjusting processes to make sure that as a supply chain we are ethically lowering carbon across our events, we will also be looking beyond carbon at how we can add social value too. That means looking at how we, and our suppliers treat people within our businesses and support people in our local communities to thrive.

This first discussion was an exciting first step towards creating a sustainable and future-focused event supply chain in the North East, that can have impact more widely across the UK. The next meeting will take place in May where participants can update on the success in tackling these challenges and discuss further measures that can be taken to reach our goals.

If you are interested in hearing more or taking part in the next roundtable event email




The importance of networking in 2024

We are social creatures and we live in a world that thrives on connection. Opportunities for like-minded professionals to get together in the same room are getting rarer and rarer, but strategic networking gives us a space where we can discuss big ideas, create new opportunities and have conversations that help us expand our world. In 2024, networking is about so much more than collecting business cards or LinkedIn QR codes, it is about community building, innovation and strategic professional growth. The trick is to choose where you spend your time carefully, as without proper attention you may end up with a calendar full of networking sessions that offer little or no value to your personal growth or business ambitions. Take time to establish what you hope to gain from the process and set yourself a set of clear goals or actions for each networking event that you attend, that way you can easily measure where you are getting the most value.

With teams feeling more pressure than ever and diaries bursting at the seams, why should you make time to attend networking this year?

Expanding your world

In an increasingly online world, it can be easy to get stuck in an echo chamber of your immediate network. Making the time to attend networking sessions, even if they are digital or hybrid events, is an effective way of opening the doors to new people and ideas that can inspire you and help you expand your worldview. Innovation happens when new conversations happen, and that can be difficult if you stick to your immediate colleagues or network.

Exchanging ideas and having big conversations

Being part of a collection of diverse viewpoints and experiences gives you access to a wealth of new knowledge and a wealth of creativity and innovation. By speaking to people who have different skills and life experiences, you can exchange and challenge ideas and find the right people and skills to help you solve complex problems. Networking events give you access to people from different sectors, in different stages of their careers, or with different lived experiences who might help you to approach things from a different angle.

Career advancement

A study by LinkedIn revealed that 79% of professionals consider networking an essential part of their career success. Making meaningful connections with other people in your field can lead to mentoring opportunities, peer support and new conversations that can drive professional development. By speaking to people who have forged the path before you, you can get important insight to help you achieve your career goals, and you could support others along the way too.

Professional visibility

Investing time in regular networking keeps you relevant in your space and ensures that you stay visible and part of important conversations or advancements in your field. By attending conferences, seminars, trade shows, or social get-togethers, you can build a reputation as a thought leader within your core field and you’ll be front of mind when someone is looking for your specialist skills.

Growth through learning

Burnout can creep in when we get stuck doing the same thing day in, and day out, but making time to learn and develop is the key to thriving. A lot of industries will have to change and adapt to new landscapes over the next year, and networking can help you stay abreast of the latest trends or technologies in your sector. Talking to peers gives you access to a consistent stream of information and keeps you at the forefront of your sector’s developing landscape as you navigate 2024 together.

Building confidence (for you and others)

Walking into a room full of strangers can be nerve-racking and it often gets pushed to the bottom of the pile if you find it uncomfortable. Being a confident networker doesn’t happen overnight, it takes practice and as more and more organisations move to a permanent working from home structure, the next generation of talent is losing the chance to practice those interpersonal skills that make our workforce vibrant and creative. Networking can increase your confidence in group situations, which can help you be more assertive in the workplace, but it also helps to future-proof our workforce by providing opportunities for the next generation to get out of their comfort zone and flourish.

Finding your support systems

Whatever stage you are at in your career, there will be times when things don’t go to plan, and if the last few years have taught us anything, it is importance to know who you can turn to when the unexpected happens. Consistent networking will help you cultivate a community of people who will have your back when you are facing a time of crisis or change. By making the time to network with a diverse range of people, chances are that someone has tackled your problem before, or can offer advice on how to traverse the issue – likewise, you could offer support to others drawn from your own experience. Finding the right mentor to offer guidance and learning opportunities will be invaluable in your career journey, and future mentors can often be at networking events, or via relationships that you build there.

In 2024, networking isn’t a selfish endeavour engineered to push sales targets and gather leads. Networking is a holistic endeavour that will elevate you as a leader in your field while building a supportive network of diverse minds who will help you reach your goals and be a reassuring community when times get tough.

It’s a dog’s life (at Hoult’s Yard)

Hoult’s Yard is full of furry colleagues, so we thought we would head out with office pups Luna and Raven sniff out the best local places for office pups (and their humans) to enjoy when they need some time away from the office… 

Our event manager, Katie often brings her lab Luna to the office. Talking about what it means for her work-life balance she said, “It’s amazing. I had always wanted a dog, but I didn’t think that there would be enough flexibility working in events to do it. About a year into the role I decided that I would like to get one so I spoke to Sarah and Cat and asked if I could change my working hours to have longer lunch breaks so I could cycle home and walk her, and I asked if she would be able to come into the office sometimes and they said yes. When she was just a pup she would just come in on a Friday so she wasn’t too disruptive, but now that she is older she comes in all the time. Bringing Luna into the office gives me a real incentive to step away from my desk over lunch and get some fresh air; I value that hour to be able to think, come up with new ideas, and re-focus, especially during busy periods.” 

Hoult’s Yard is full of furry colleagues so we thought we would head out with office pups Luna and Raven sniff out the best local places for office pups (and their humans) to enjoy when they need some time away from the office… 

Cake Stories 

Based in the heart of Hoult’s Yard, Cake Stories is a lunchtime favourite for the BeaconHouse team. Dogs are welcome inside the café or you can choose to enjoy a delicious lunch or tasty coffee in the outside seating space during the summer months too. 

Lunchtime walkies 

We always encourage our team to step away from their desks at lunchtime and stretch their legs. With Hoult’s Yard just a stone’s throw from Newcastle’s iconic Quayside, there are plenty of opportunities to get some fresh air and regroup. The office is perfectly located to take a lunchtime walk by the river or along the Hadrian’s Wall cycle path which is easily accessible nearby. 

Full Circle Brew Co.

Our Hoult’s Yard neighbours at Full Circle Brew have an amazing dog-friendly beer garden at their Newcastle Tap Room. With an ever-evolving range of great beers, this venue is a great option for relaxing after work – they even have a bespoke pizza oven so you can grab a Naples-inspired pizza if you’re feeling peckish too (we’re sure there will be a four-legged friend who can help you with the crusts…). 

Discount Pet Superstore 

Just behind Hoult’s Yard on Brinkburn Street you’ll find a treasure trove of natural dog treats, food, and pet supplies that your pooch will love. Discount Pet Superstore sells all of the essentials to keep your dog calm and happy while they are spending time in the office with you, and the staff are always on hand with some pats and a biscuit if you pop in with your dog too! 


Just a ten-minute stroll from Hoult’s Yard and you’ll find yourself in the Ouseburn Valley. There are tonnes of dog-friendly pubs and eateries in the area, but one of our team’s favourites is Kiln. You can choose from amazing brunch and lunch dishes, and their Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired evening menu is served from 5pm too, making it a great choice for an early tea after work. Dogs are welcome both inside and outside, so it’s the perfect venue all year round. 

Do you enjoy having your four-legged friend in the office with you? Let us know your favourite places to visit together and find out more about life at BeaconHouse Events over on our social channels!