Some of the reasons to remain virtual include a larger audience, lower costs, and simpler logistics. At the same time there’s also a growing cry for in-person events to work towards lowering their carbon footprints. Event Manager Blog provides a detailed look at the sticky wicket corporations are facing as they increasingly commit to measuring the carbon expenditure of their traveling employees.
The article offers a theoretical trip that starts with a return flight from New York to San Francisco, a journey that emits close to 1.65 tons of CO2. “To give that somewhat abstract figure some perspective,” the article says, “the emissions from that return flight are around half the total amount that 41 percent of people on earth emit per person per year for everything they do.” Carbon offsets cost about $150 per traveler, on top of normal hotel and airfare fees. This is giving manager’s a “why do they need to be there” moment. Most large corporations are now measuring their carbon footprints and offsetting it with carbon credits.
I had the chance to hear Ben Weilgus, Head of Sustainability at Informa, speak about the industry’s pledge to work with Net Zero Carbon Events, a group of events associations worldwide that are taking an aggressive stance. Informa’s Fast Forward report details how they plan to mitigate the effects to the environment from events in numerous ways: carbon offsetting to attendees when registering for an event, the use of renewable energy, measures to reduce waste, work to ensure exhibition stands are reused and made from recyclable materials, and more.
Shawna McKinley is one of the best known voices in the study of carbon emissions for the events industry. She’ll be one of our featured speakers on April 21 and you can see a multi-pronged template for a plan to manage carbon through 2030.