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How to Get a Net-Zero Carbon Events Program Off the Ground

No matter where you are in the process, this nine-point guide is a useful tool for designing a successful emissions-reduction program for events.

The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative was officially launched on November 10, 2021, at the World Climate Summit in Glasgow, with more than 100 events-industry stakeholders pledging to work towards a 50-percent reduction in their carbon emissions by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Under the auspices of the Joint Meetings Industry Council, signatories have more than doubled since the launch and a “roadmap” is in development that is expected to launch at COP 27 in November/December 2022. This roadmap will outline approaches and milestones for companies in the events industry to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

However, organizations don’t need to wait for the roadmap to begin working toward their goals. The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative has published a "Quick Guide to Getting Started," which is, in fact, a detailed look at the groundwork for the change management needed for an emission-reduction program to succeed.

“Many of the initial tips are focused on internal communications and engagement, rather than immediate carbon reduction activities. This is because getting the right level of buy-in from the right stakeholders is critical to the ongoing success of any net-zero or emissions-reduction program. Once the right people are on board, specific activities can be designed and undertaken,” write Christian Druart, research manager and secretary of the Sustainable Development Committee at UFI, and Olivia Ruggles-Brise, director, Greenview, on behalf of the initiative, in an introduction to the guide.

The guide has nine sections, covering topics such as communication, training, carbon measurement, and first steps for decarbonization. Each section includes a short introduction, a list of questions, and, in most, links to additional resources.

The 14-page "Quick Guide to Getting Started,” available here, also has information on the attributes of high-quality carbon offsets, a glossary of terms, and some basic information on the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative itself.


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