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Offsetting emissions to reduce an event’s environmental impact

Lynn Morrison, marketing director at ClimateCare, on working with event organisers to offset their carbon emissions. 

 

You can hardly open a newspaper nowadays without reading something about climate change. Whilst everyone knows that they need to personally act, they are looking for expert guidance on what their businesses can do to really make a difference.

Fortunately, savvy conference and event organisers can step into the gap, increasing footfall and opening new avenues for exhibitors and speakers.

It is no surprise that the sustainability conferences are on the forefront of this movement. Companies like Faversham House, which runs the edie conference series, have carved an entire niche for themselves by organising events with sustainability at their heart, offsetting their event emissions with the intention of going NetZero. Their most recent event had over 3,000 business leaders registered, with a veritable Who’s Who of major corporations on the list of speakers. Their turnout is testament to the high interest levels of businesses who are keen to take responsibility for their impact on the environment.

Event organisers are expected to be experts, with their fingers on the pulse of the latest concerns and innovations. Whilst they may initially view sustainability through a commercial lens, they shouldn’t forget the reasons why it is a time sensitive topic. In other words, it isn’t enough to use sustainability as merely a marketing angle. If they truly believe that sustainability is important, they need to show evidence of their own efforts to reduce their environmental impact and take responsibility for all that is left.

Events can showcase their commitment in many visible ways. They can swap printed programmes for digital apps, provide onsite recycling and use compostable plates in the food areas for instance. They can also help reduce travel by providing shuttle services or promoting mass transit. Once they’ve eliminated as much of their footprint as they reasonably can, they can then offset the remainder of their emissions by funding verified emission reduction projects around the world.

It’s integral for event organisers to think about their entire footprint – not just the one that comes from their lighting and heating at the time of the event. Faversham House is leading the way here and recently worked with us to offset all of the emissions generated by attendees traveling to their edie events.

They explained: “Faversham House is committed to reducing its environmental impact which is why we have decided to offset our carbon emissions through our long-standing partnership with ClimateCare.”

If you haven’t put sustainability on your shortlist of topics for your next event, you might want to reconsider. Not only is it the right thing to do for our future, but it can bring in additional revenue streams and set you apart from your competition.