Net Zero Carbon Events:
An industry initiative to address climate change
Sustainable development has long been a focus for the events industry. Connected to programmes like the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Guidelines (UNSDGs), industry initiatives have addressed everything from waste management and energy conservation to local sourcing and hiring practices. The principles of sustainability are now firmly imbedded within industry practices and client expectations.
Now, that focus is intensifying even further with the realization that we need to accelerate our actions in response to the threat of climate change, not only to secure our own future but to support the many other sectors we rely on for our existence.
Engaging now means being a part of a global collaboration for action – and failing to act risks being left behind.
The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) is proud to host – Net Zero Carbon Events – 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 the 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 in order 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.
Through this initiative, we aim to link all stakeholders in the corporate, professional, academic and destination communities world-wide 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.
- Jointly communicate our industry’s commitment to tackling climate change and driving towards net zero by 2050
- Develop common methodologies for measuring the industry’s direct, indirect and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions
- Construct an industry-wide roadmap towards net zero by 2050, and emissions reductions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement, with support and guidance on key issues
- Foster collaboration with suppliers and customers to ensure alignment and common approaches
- Establish common mechanisms for reporting progress and sharing best practice
In 2022, all supporters of the initiative were invited to work together to define an industry Net Zero Roadmap for Events that is aligned with the targets of the Pledge. The Roadmap was launched at COP27 in November 2022. In 2023 the stakeholders of the initiative are engaged in eight parallel workstreams, defining pathways towards decarbonisation of the meetings and events industry. Five workstreams focus on the priority action areas described in the roadmap: Venue Energy / Food and Food Waste / Logistics / Smart Production and Waste Management / Travel and Accommodation. Three transversal workstreams were introduced to support and coordinate the initiative: Measurement / Carbon Offsetting / Reporting.
The new initiative arises from the work of an organizing task force initiated by JMIC members UFI, AIPC and ICCA joined by representatives of Emerald Expositions (US), Freeman (US), HKCEC (China), Informa (UK), Javits Center (US), MCI (Switzerland), Messe München (Germany), RX (UK) and Scottish Event Campus (UK) and it was born from a discussion with the UNFCCC secretariat — United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat — which is also supporting the initiative.
We are inviting all interested parties to join us on this journey. The aim is to grow this initiative that represents the events industry as a whole and provide a collaborative commitment we can all act on.