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13 Jan 2022

The Events Industry Carbon Pledge: Why & How to Take Part

Maya Mhatre

We all love an events industry gathering, especially one with purpose!

With 175 event companies committed and support from more than 110 others this is fast becoming a FOMO-inducing events industry get-together!

We’re talking of course about the Net-Zero Carbon Events Pledge, the events industry commitment to be net-zero by 2050. It was launched at COP26 in November 2021 and is backed by the UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Leading events companies globally have joined including ADNEC, AEO, Business Design Centre, Clarion Events, Clearwater Events, Deutsche Messe AG, EMERALD, European Exhibition Industry Alliance, Freeman, GES, Hopin, Informa, Institute of Event Management, Maritz Global Events.
See the full list of signatories here.

What is the Pledge?

It is a commitment by the events industry (companies in and supporting events) to work towards achieving net-zero by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2030. 

Part of the pledge is being transparent and vocal about the progress you’re making and to collaborate with others to enhance common best practices, reporting and processes for all.

What is net-zero vs carbon neutral?

Net-zero is where you reduce your GHG emissions as far as possible and anything that cannot be avoided is compensated for through carbon capture solutions. Carbon neutral is similar and often comes as a step before net-zero, where the unavoidable GHGs are offset instead. 

Why is net-zero important for event businesses

For our industry to survive we need to future-proof it. That means taking steps to ensure our value chains across venues, suppliers, transportation, catering, materials, accommodation, our offices, etc reduce their carbon footprint so that we all have a chance for business to continue functioning.

It means having access to energy, water, food, etc and ensuring we aren’t impacted by shortages because of weakened supply chains; Ensuring when our attendees and customers make more selective decisions about where to spend their time and which events to attend they choose us because we are in line with their ethical and environmental principles.

And it means continuing to get backing from our investors by showing our business is worth investing in because it is forward-planning against climate change risks and integrating ESG measures into business plans.

If you’ve not yet signed up

Take a look through the details of the pledge. It’s not scary. There are some bold commitments but there is time to get there (end 2023 to set your plan in place) and a taskforce of industry colleagues and experts creating shared resources and roadmaps to help navigate the measuring and reduction processes. Sign the pledge here 

I’ve signed up, what next? 

Congratulations, we have too! There are already some resources and next steps listed on the website with the first roadmap expected at the end of 2022. 

The first step in committing to reduce your emissions is knowing what they are. So reach out to a sustainability firm or consultant to get a report done, start measuring your own emissions (there are various government advice pieces as well as conversion metrics available) or find a course that walks you through how to measure and reduce your emissions so you can already get started. 

Workshop to help with measuring and reporting 

If you want to get started before the roadmap is released and need some guidance in what data to collect, understanding and calculating your emissions and how to determine your sustainability objectives from them, why not sign up to Reset Connect’s Event Sustainability Workshops?

These 3 part online courses help you learn how to measure and reduce your emissions, identify your biggest impact streams and set short, medium and long term objectives to form or continue your strategy. We get straight into action helping you work out your event related emissions over the course.

The next intake runs 18 Jan, 09 Feb, 09 Mar. We only have a few places left.
The course costs £395 saving you thousands on in-house training and consultancy.

Find out more and sign up

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