As an event organiser, it’s important to know that hosting a carbon-neutral event is quite easy to implement. Following are some of the basic steps involved in creating a carbon neutral event.
Measure -> Reduce -> Offset -> Communicate
The first step in making an event carbon neutral is to measure the carbon footprint of the event. We do this by identifying all sources of event-related greenhouse gas emissions. Major emissions sources will likely include travel to the host city, local road transportation, energy consumed by the event venue and energy used through stays at local hotels. Smaller emission sources include transportation of goods to the event, event organiser travel during planning and preparation, catering, paper use and waste generation (especially food waste).
Once all emissions associated with the event are identified, we can assist in devising strategies for reducing these emissions as well as setting targets to help track performance. For instance, organisers may set out to reduce travel-related emissions by 10% by encouraging participants to use public transport. Or if the event is held annually, reduction targets can be based on previous years’ emissions.
Once emission reduction strategies are in place, for emissions that cannot be further reduced, carbon offsets may be purchased. South African events have the unique opportunity to offset with projects in their own country, thereby promoting local sustainable development. Projects with a strong community emphasis, such as clean cook-stoves, have many positive co-benefits.
Once all remaining emissions have been offset, an event may be declared climate-neutral; something that should be communicated. For this, we provide a carbon neutral event logo as well as an offset certificate. You may also choose to have event attendees offset some of their own emissions either online at the time of ticketing or at the event itself.
By staging a carbon-neutral event, an organization is able to take responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to lead on climate change action. Through demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, this can also inspire event participants to choose low-carbon options in their own lives.
What our clients say?
As a responsible corporate citizen that cares about the environment, and one that is concerned about the sustainability of our business and that of the communities in which we do business, we aim for every Sanlam event to be carbon neutral. We hope to achieve this by limiting greenhouse gas emissions and offsetting those emissions which we cannot avoid.
Group Corporate Affairs, Sanlam