Has your CEO, board of directors, or client asked you to quantify the carbon footprint of your event and to design a plan for reducing those numbers? If not, don’t be surprised if that becomes the next thing on your to-do list.
Air travel, exhibitions, and food & beverage generate a lot of emissions and waste, and as more organizations get serious about their sustainability efforts, the management truism comes to mind: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
In the past week, two organizations have come out with new tools to help event organizers get a handle on the sustainable-event measurement process. First, isla, a U.K.-based non-profit organization focused on event sustainability, has launched a purpose-built carbon-measurement platform to report emission and waste data for in-person, virtual, or hybrid events.
Called Trace, the system allows planners to understand the carbon impact of different event-design choices, such as production materials, food-and-beverage menus, accommodations, and transportation. It then captures the actual carbon and waste data, including things like venue energy use, and makes it available in formats that align with global reporting standards.
Another major development comes from American Express Meetings & Events, which has just launched two solutions to help customers measure and reduce their carbon footprint: an advisory service and a carbon calculator. Its Sustainable Meetings Program advisory puts sustainability experts and clients together to assess the environmental impact of a meeting program and develop measurable objectives for improvement, as well as systems for measuring and reporting the change.
AEM&E has also introduced the Carbon Neutral Events solution, an event-carbon calculator that helps customers understand the impact of various event elements, as well as the offsetting measures needed to achieve carbon neutrality.
These new solutions dovetail with recent environmental initiatives introduced by AEM&E’s parent company, American Express Global Business Travel: an alliance with Shell Aviation to help increase the supply of sustainable aviation fuel, a partnership with Cvent to embed corporate responsibility objectives in hotel sourcing, and the Green Compass data dashboard, which tracks business-travel emissions.