The Net Zero Carbon Events movement aims to support stakeholders in the global events industry to be operating with a net zero carbon footprint by 2050.
The project is being hosted by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) but has wide-ranging support, with more than 300 signatures to the pledge to be at net zero in less than three decades, and a further 130-plus other supporters.
The industry promise underpinning the initiative was offered to the world at United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, in October 2021.
The JMIC has just announced that a 30th financial supporter has just signed up to provide vital monetary backing to initiative, with the European Major Exhibition Centres Association (EMECA) becoming a Gold level contributor, providing €15,000 in support.
“This is a very important issue for our members and our industry in Europe and globally. EMECA is committed to reaching the 2050 net zero carbon emissions goal and many of our members are supporters, signatories and actively contributing to the NZCE work-streams,” said EMECA’ secretary general, Barbara Weizsäcker.
“We believe that as the association of the largest venues in Europe we have a special responsibility in this field.
“The NZCE initiative is highly valuable to us not only for the excellent resources such as the Roadmap and guidance on measuring and reporting but also for compiling and helping to share advice and best practice to all players in our industry implementing programmes to achieve net zero. This is why we have chosen to become Gold Level funding partners.”
The Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC) in Bangkok, which reopened in September 2022 after a multi-year transformation has also recently become a financial supporter of the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative, in the green category, which allows businesses and organisations to contribute an amount of their choosing.
“As a key player in the event industry in Thailand, QSNCC has already set the plan for Net Zero and has taken several actions on sustainable development,” said Sutichai Bunditvorapoom, executive vice president of N.C.C. Management and Development Co., Ltd., which manages the venue.
“However, we understand that further collaboration on the international level is also much needed as part of the global community. By joining this project, we can align our plan with global community and partake in actions to respond to the climate change.”
Sydney’s major convention venue, ICC Sydney is also a green level financial contributor to the initiative – the only business based in Australia and New Zealand to invest in the movement to date.
Organisations that sit alongside the meetings industry have also signed on to provide financial support, with the likes of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) becoming a gold level sponsor.
“IEEE sponsors over 2000 conferences per year and we recognise, with this large global footprint, we can play an important role in influencing the move towards a sustainable future,” said Marie Hunter, head of global meetings, conferences and events for IEEE.
“We believe Net Zero Carbon Events can be an impactful initiative to support our common goals for the events sector.”
The JMIC says the financial supporters of the initiative, alongside those who have signed up the pledge are essential for the success of the net carbon movement.
“It is superb testimony to our industry and the importance of this campaign that we have the financial support of so many leading organisations and more continuing to join us,” said JMIC president, James Rees.
“Their support is making a vital contribution. We thank them all wholeheartedly.”
Having presented a roadmap to get the events industry to carbon zero in 2050 at COP27 in 2022, supporters of the initiative are now working on formal recommendations to help reach carbon zero in the events industry across eight different priority areas identified in the roadmap: measurement, reporting, carbon offsetting, venue energy, smart production and waste management, food and food waste, logistics, travel and accommodation. These recommendations are expected to be shared at COP28 in December this year.