Targeting Net Zero Carbon Events

22.02.2023 | IFES Press Releases, News | 0 comments

Many stakeholders in the events and exhibitions industry have pledged to meet the goal of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 in line with the Net Zero Carbon Events movement and the Paris Agreement on climate neutrality, but the industry is adapting at varying rates, and it will require some serious commitment to accomplish these goals.

Alongside 40 of our organisation members, IFES has pledged to this initiative with their Sustainability team contributing to the development of the roadmap. The initiative brings together event industry stakeholders from around the world, including conference, exhibition and event organisers, convention bureaux, venues and other suppliers. The aim is to drive collective action from across the sector to meet key sustainability milestones.

Since its launch, more than 400 conference and events industry organisations from 55 countries have pledged to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. Every events organisation is invited to join and sign the Pledge.

By signing it, the organisation commits to support the goal of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, in line with global efforts set out by the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1.5°C and reduce total global GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, and to actively promote and advocate for industry efforts throughout the value chain.

Specific goals are as follows:

  1. Before the end of 2023, publish the organisation’s pathway to achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest, with an interim target in line with the Paris Agreement’s requirement to reduce global GHG emissions by 50% by 2030.
  2. Collaborate with partners, suppliers and customers to drive change across the value chain.
  3. Measure and track its Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions according to industry best practice.
  4. Report on its progress at least every two years.

The launch of the Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE) Roadmap at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27 on 11 November 2022 in Egypt signified another milestone in the Sustainability journey for the events industry. Great progress for this Roadmap has been achieved since the launch of the initiative a year before.  It is a useful tool to guide Exhibition and Event industry members through the next steps. For those who want to embark on the sustainability journey but are clueless on how to get started, the Roadmap details how to implement actions, setting out a comprehensive pathway for individual organisations and detailing the five key industry-wide action areas: venue energy, food and food waste, logistics, travel and accommodation, as well as smart production and waste management.

Jörg Zeissig and Edwin Van der Vennet of the IFES Sustainability core team are chairing one of the NZCE work streams to address “Smart Production & Waste Management” as the next phase of the development for the Roadmap. Both are joined by EDPA and more than 20 industry leaders to develop solutions for the industry on this matter. In addition, these members of the team are involved in parallel initiatives around the world to do more for sustainability for this industry and to make it visible to the public.

IFES as a service provider is looking at solutions towards carbon footprint reduction and will soon be providing a Carbon Footprint calculator to assist clients in calculating and offsetting carbon footprint as individual exhibitors as well as through Organiser and Association programs. These initiatives will also come across with social commitment solutions and sustainable business models for our industry.

“We invite everyone in our industry to work and grow together as ONE. Using a collaborative network effectively in order to cope with the hurdles and challenges of the coming years makes more than just sense,” says Jörg Zeissig, Co-Chair Sustainability Committee & Co-Chair of the Net-Zero-Carbon Events Initiative.  “Sustainability is one of the drivers of the next generation – our future clients. The industry needs to understand this as an obligation and to drive a change of perspective, also by heart.”

“Sustainability will be THE license to operate our future business in the event industry, no matter where we stand in the value chain,” concludes Edwin Van der Vennet. “Sustainable solutions are not add-ons to our usual course of actions; they will become standard. We invite all of our industry partners to step forward with a common roadmap.”


Contact details:

IFES AISBL, Rue de l’Amazone 2, B 1050 Brussels;
For further inquiries please contact:
Robyn D’Alessandro,  [email protected] , +27 67 684 3376


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