At COP26 in November 2021, world leaders met to present how their countries will achieve the 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 in order to deliver on the Paris Agreement. During this meeting, the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge was launched setting out the events industry’s commitment to play its role in addressing climate change.
An industry initiative to address climate change
What does this mean?
The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative aims to bring together a wide range of industry stakeholders to:
- Jointly communicate our industry’s commitment to tackling climate change and driving towards net zero by 2050
- Develop common methodologies for measuring the industry’s direct, indirect and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions
- Construct an industry-wide roadmap towards net zero by 2050, and emissions reductions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement, with support and guidance on key issues
- Foster collaboration with suppliers and customers to ensure alignment and common approaches
- Establish common mechanisms for reporting progress and sharing best practice
This year, supporters of the initiative will be invited to work together to define an industry Net Zero Roadmap for Events that is aligned with the targets of the Pledge. The Roadmap will be launched at COP 27 in November/December 2022.
The Race to Net Zero is on!
COP26 fired the starting pistol, and the UK Events industry is up and running. Sustainability must be part of our thinking in every aspect of our business
The associations have a part to play in ensuring our members have the support and insight that they need to work towards meeting the industry pledge.
Our Cross Association Sustainability group has welcomed an influx of members to participate in the great work they continue to carry out.
The plan for 2022
An industry wide pilot project to measure the carbon footprint of a large UK event at KBB Birmingham, which takes place in March.
Informa Markets, GES and the NEC have joined as a taskforce to map out the processes of each stakeholder and their carbon contribution to the event. The learnings and results will then be shared with the wider sustainability group, assessed and put into practice at a second event case study in AW22.
Our short-term objective is to open up dialogue between stakeholders, so they understand the types of questions that they should be asking each other, with each taking away different learnings from the process and implementing these in their businesses.
Long term, this will feed directly into our existing sustainability commitments, support the industry pledge road map and give us the data needed to create an event carbon calculator that can be used by all to measure the environmental impact of live events.
Our members can then choose to prioritise and focus on areas of concern and take responsibility for the actions that will help them towards their net zero goal.If you are interested in being part of the conversation, get in touch.
Cross Association Sustainability Commitments
Our Journey to Sustainability
The Cross Association Sustainability Working Group provides AEV, AEO and ESSA members with focus on the important issues around sustainability and gives all the ability to work together to help reduce the event industry’s impact on the environment.
In January 2019 the (then) group chair (Martin Cottrell, A1 Event and Exhibition Cleaners) and vice (Lucille Ryan, Informa PLC) met to create short and long-term objectives.
Olympia London offered to fund The MICE Machine who held two workshops for the group at Informa PLC London. The MICE Machine assisted Olympia London form their “Grand Plan” sustainability strategy. They have facilitated a complete review of the scope of Olympia London’s sustainability efforts, including a thorough, practical assessment of the venue’s achievements and opportunities for improvement, strategy workshops for a group of champions drawn from each department in the organisation and the development of objectives and actions for them to achieve.
How will they work?
The aim is for AEO, AEV and ESSA Association members to work towards a consistent base level of sustainability performance. The sector specific commitments enable all parties to have a clear idea of what they should be looking at and allow for tracking progress against this guidance.
- Each commitment is divided into one or more principle
- The set of principles are designed to provide a framework for all to ensure they are implementing a basic level of sustainability
- They are intended to help identify if there are any areas needing particular focus
- Resources such as achievement case studies, eGuide content, templates and guidance documents will be available to help Association members achieve the principles
- Members of the Cross-Association Sustainability Working Group will be invited to feedback progress during group meetings and offer mutual support
- A self-scoring system will allow members to track their progress against each principal within the set of commitments
Photo: Cross Association Sustainability Working Group during MICE Machine training sessions – March and August 2019
Members Only Resource
This resource is open to AEO, AEV and ESSA members only, accessible behind the associations' member zones.
If you're a non-member organiser and you would like to access this resource, and the wealth of other resources and information that we offer - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss membership opportunities.