Events CO2 footprint: 3 steps to reduce it

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Events CO2 footprint: 3 steps to reduce it

Events CO2 footprint: 3 steps to reduce it 1900 1267 Gedas Kondrackis

The strict restrictions of c-19 are finally being lightened and, thus, our postponed events can get implemented. Yet, this comes with a caveat – much higher CO2 emissions compared to virtual events. So how to reduce events CO2 footprint?

Est. read time: 4 min
About the author: leading EU-based NGO, which works hard to deliver change in the way we organise events, travel and go about our daily lives.

3 steps on how to reduce events CO2 footprint

events co2 footprint estimation

Good news: it’s actually a lot easier than the formula in this picture.

1. Estimate CO2 emissions in advance

You are able to calculate your event’s CO2 emissions by taking into consideration only 3 variables: transportation (✈️), energy (⚡) and accommodation (🛌). That’s not at all scary, right? How to calculate it? Find the full guide with simple steps at the bottom of this blog post.

Why does it matter? For starters, you will see areas, where you can work to reduce your carbon footprint. Secondly, knowing your CO2 estimate will help you to plan your offsetting budget accordingly (it’s around $6 per 1 tonne of CO2).

Events co2 footprint can be reduced by providing right meals

Photo by Natalia Y on Unsplash

2. Reduce the actual CO2 emissions during the event

There are many ways to make your event friendlier to the planet
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Anything your organization does, that could be shared with others?x
. And, a lot of them doesn’t require any additional effort. Okay, perhaps a tiny bit. See below for yourself:

🌍 Encourage greener travel

A train ride is about 5 times greener than a flight. And, obviously, a bike ride emits zero carbon. So, how about asking the event’s participants to consider that?

Want to know all about greener travel? Read on here ›

📄 Don’t print

In today’s world, tickets, receipts and invoices are acceptable in a digital format. The same goes for the event’s resources (e.g. info-packs). Thus, there is no need to print any of that.

🏟️ Choose appropriate venues

Choosing a size appropriate venue is a good step towards decreasing the emissions of CO2. What’s the appropriate size? In simplified terms, it’s around 1.2 square meters (sqm) per every seated participant. So, around 120 sqm for 100 people.

🌞 Lots of natural light

This goes without saying, but sunlight is so much more pleasant than lamp-light. Also, natural light doesn’t require any electricity = zero emissions. Hence, choosing a venue with lots of windows can help reduce your CO2 footprint.

On the other hand, be careful about picking a sun-drenched venue in peak summer. As that might require a lot of extra AC.

🌿 Vegetarian beats meat

A vegan or vegetarian meal has approximately a 1 kg CO2 footprint per serving. On the opposite end, having a lamb meal produces an 8 kg CO2 footprint. Shocking, isn’t it?

Find more tips & numbers in the full guide at the bottom of this post.

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how to offset events co2 footprint

Support green projects, organise tree-planting events and stick to your CO2 footprint reduction plan

3. Offset the produced emissions

So, you’ve calculated and reduced your CO2 emissions… what’s next? A logical thing to do would be to compensate (offset) that CO2 footprint. How to do that:

🤝 support green projects that reduce our overall CO2 footprint by 1000s of tonnes
🌳 organize tree-planting events (1 tree absorbs around 1 tonne of CO2 during its lifetime)
✍️ reduce your CO2 emissions for the following year by having a plan how to emit less CO2 (and sticking to that plan)

More steps

Surely, more can (and should be done) to lessen events CO2 footprint. For example, publishing your CO2 emissions report. Need a template for it? Check out our full guide on how to reduce CO2 in events:

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Gedas Kondrackis

A for-purpose entrepreneur bent on bringing 21st century tools and techniques to the NGO world.

All stories by : Gedas Kondrackis

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