An industry initiative to address climate change

Sustainable development has long been a focus of the events industry. We know that our customers and other stakeholders – including governments – are increasingly concerned about carbon impacts, not just from an industry perspective but as a critical factor in shaping our overall global prospects.

The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) hosts the Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE) – to connect the events industry globally to the rapidly growing movement towards net zero by 2050.

In November 2021, world leaders met in Glasgow, Scotland at COP26 to present how their countries will achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 to deliver on the Paris Agreement. At this meeting, the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge was launched with over 100 first signatories, setting out the events industry’s commitment to play its role in addressing climate change.

IAPCO is part of JMIC and is one of more than 300 signatories in support of the NZCE initiative.

The NZCE initiative provides an opportunity to demonstrate a positive action plan for addressing this global concern while at the same time acting in solidarity with some of our most important client communities in an area of long-term, mutual interest.

This initiative aims to link all stakeholders in the corporate, professional, academic and destination communities worldwide that have also committed to engagement in what is one of the biggest collective challenges we all face today, and to invite those that have not done so yet to join.

As a complex network of many organisations around the world, it is important that the whole events industry is represented in the drafting of the commitment and development of the initiative.

All companies in the events industry are invited to participate in the initiative. Operators and Supporting Associations will become signatories of the Pledge, whereas Partners because they do not actively deliver events, will join as supporters.

Find more information and join at https://netzerocarbonevents.org/

“IAPCO is committed to embracing sustainability across our programmes – from education to our accreditation and audit processes down to our own events.”

“In 2018, we inspired over 50 organisations through our ‘Ticky the “Turtle” campaign to take the IAPCO Plastics Pledge and commit to making real measurable change in reducing their use of single-use plastic at their events; It was therefore only natural for us to sign the ‘Net Zero Carbon Pledge’ early.

“We look forward to working actively with other organisations and our members – companies that, combined, organize over 20,000 meetings per year- to achieve “net zero” by 2050.”

Ori Lahav, CEO Kenes, IAPCO President

Ori Lahav, CEO Kenes and IAPCO President

Net Zero and the Events Industry

Net Zero

Net Zero refers to a balance between man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their removal from the atmosphere. To achieve this balance, GHG emissions must be reduced and the non-avoided ones must be compensated or “neutralized” through the use of long-term carbon capture solutions.

The events industry is a complex network of stakeholders including companies who are directly involved in delivering events, such as venues, event organisers, exhibitors and their suppliers who provide food and beverage, onsite equipment and signage, among other things. In addition, many events include the requirement for visitors and exhibitors to travel to and stay at a location.

Addressing the carbon emissions across the whole value chain is complicated and challenging, and many elements of an event (such as transportation and hotel stays) are not directly under the control of those putting on an event. Therefore, quantifying the impact and defining responsibilities need to underpin any ambition for the events industry to become net zero.

In addition, many companies from the event industry have already implemented strong strategies to reduce their carbon emissions and the solutions often rely on the reality of each local environment and the size of the organization. This initiative recognises these challenges and through its collaborative nature will seek to drive alignment across the different players so that a common roadmap can be developed.