Even though digital age channels like social media, webinar, and vid-cast are on the rise, a physical event like a trade show is hard to beat when it comes to face to face interaction with prospects, customers and industry thought leaders. Unfortunately, these events also have a large environmental footprint. All that lighting, display blitz, air conditioning, food and paper waste, transport, etc. add to a considerable toll on the environment. In fact, in terms of industry size, the convention and trade show industry is among the largest producers of waste, second only to the construction industry, according to Triple Pundit.
To counter the effect, trade show and conference organizers have started implementing several measures including:
- Energy efficient lighting, ventilation and air conditioning.
- Arranging for renewable energy and local power generation at the venue.
- Using energy efficiency certified (i.e. LEED) building as the host venue.
- Water restoration (to critically dewatered sources).
- Zero waste recycling and composting management.
- Local/organic sourcing of foods and beverages.
- Allowing proximity to a central hub, public transportation.
- Online event planning and management etc.
But let’s talk about what we, as the participating vendors and attendees can do to help. There are several quick and easy ways to do it. All it requires is some attention and planning.
According to Wikipedia, “Carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere.” There are many organizations that work to offset the carbon emission by taking up environmental projects like forestation using the fund donated by the businesses and individuals. Zerofootprint, for example, is a carbon offset fund, an end-to-end carbon mitigation organization which distributes the contribution among several environmental projects like forest restoration, landfill gas recovery and municipal organic waste. Zerofootprint secures carbon credits from a number of different sources that demonstrate effective and responsible means of reducing the CO2 emissions that lead to climate change.
Here is how it works:
- Provide some basic information about your travel to the venue; i.e., originating destination and mode of transport to better quantify your carbon footprint. If you do not want to disclose your travel details, Zerofootprint will offset a certain amount for you (for example 1 ton of CO2 equivalent).
- Let Zerofootprint know if you would like to contribute to specific projects or the entire portfolio.
- Buy the credit from Zerofootprint and send the certificate to the participants if requested.
Offering Carbon offset is a simple and easy way a company can show its commitment to its environmental and social responsibility mandate. Especially, if you are tight on budget and can’t afford to initiate your own environmental projects, engaging with such a partner is a good alternative.