Image by Matt Howard on Unsplash

The Event Greening Forum (EGF) is inviting you to join it on a Journey to Net Zero. EGF chairperson Morwesi Ramonyai explains, “Our Journey to Net Zero campaign is an open invitation to the local events industry to join us as we unpack the JMIC-led Net Zero Carbon Events initiative. If you feel daunted by signing the pledge and taking on this significant task, we are here to walk you through their supplied roadmap and resources, while offering our local expertise and insights to facilitate this transition and make this journey a little simpler and easier.”

The EGF’s Journey to Net Zero campaign officially launched on 20 July with a webinar on ‘Unpacking Net Zero Carbon Events’, kindly sponsored by EGF members and patron sponsors Chat’r Xperience and Basilmin. The EGF hosted JMIC executive director Alex Alles to share an overview of the initiative as well as an update on the progress that has been made to date.

JMIC, or the Joint Meetings Industry Council, is the global umbrella body for the events industry, and is driving the Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE) pledge and movement, while working closely with several leading industry associations including UFI (Global Association of the Exhibition Industry), ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), AIPC (International Association of Convention Centres) and IFES (International Federation of Exhibition & Event Services).

 

Committed to a carbon-neutral future

The EGF is an official supporter of NZCE, and as such has committed to championing its cause and content. Morwesi says, “Decarbonisation is the biggest sustainability challenge the events industry faces, so as the EGF we made the decision to focus all our efforts on this incredible initiative to ensure that it is clearly communicated to the South African market and as many local businesses as possible can benefit from it.

“This is how the Journey to Net Zero concept was born, and we will roll out more events as we dig deeper into the roadmap and how it can be effectively applied to local businesses and participants in the event greening value chain.”

 

You’re not too late!

If you’d like to join the EGF on this journey, you’re not too late. The recent introductory webinar is a good starting point. You can watch the full recording here: www.eventgreening.co.za/resources/webinar-recordings/ (See below for a summary of some of the questions and answers discussed during the webinar.) After watching this be sure to sign up for our upcoming interactive workshop – Bridging the divide from here to a net zero carbon events future.

“I really encourage all event industry stakeholders to get involved. You can simply sign up as a supporter or take on more responsibility by signing the pledge and thereby commit to measuring and reducing your carbon over time,” adds Morwesi. “Globally, we are feeling the impacts of climate change. It’s clear that not only does the future of the events industry need to be net zero, but so do our clients’ industries. The time to start this transition is now, as delaying this decision will only make it more difficult to follow through.”

If you’d like to register as a NZCE supporter or as a signatory, please go here: www.netzerocarbonevents.org/join-us/

To access the NZCE’s free resources, visit: www.netzerocarbonevents.org/resources/

 

Fast facts

  1. What is the goal of Net Zero Carbon Events? To equip the event industry with a road map and resources to achieve net zero by 2050, with an interim goal or 50% carbon emission reductions by 2030. These targets are aligned with the Paris Agreement and the initiative is supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  2. How do event industry stakeholders get involved? There are two pathways for engaging with NZCE, either as a supporter or signatory:
    • Supporters can join at any time and their only obligation is to communicate about the NZCE initiative in their network. Supporters tend to be those who do not actively deliver events.
    • Signatories tend to be core event industry role players, such as venues, organisers and suppliers. They have a far bigger obligation than supporters, as they are pledging to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. While you can still become a signatory this year, the time constraints implicit in the pledge mean that the target will be that much harder to achieve, so signing up sooner rather than later is encouraged.
  3. Who is the initiative targeted at? The complete event industry eco-system is encouraged to get behind this movement, which is why there are supporter and signatory options available. Flexibility is also being built into the roadmap due to the variety of operators found in this global ecosystem.
  4. What if you take the pledge but fail to meet the requirements? All signatories need to report back on their progress, with the first reporting cycle having recently opened. The JMIC will use this information to identify where signatories are unable to report back or are struggling to achieve a specific outcome. In these instances, the JMIC will offer additional support. “It’s important that you don’t feel alone while you make this transition. We want to let you know that you will get the support and assistance you need to achieve this target,” says Alex Alles, executive director of JMIC.
  5. How many pledges have been received so far? The NZCE has 520 supporting organisations from 55 countries, including 354 event operators – of which 303 have signed the pledge.
  6. What must I do to become a signatory or supporter? Simply go to www.netzerocarbonevents.org/the-pledge. Once you sign up, you will be sent the relevant communication.

 

Cover image by Matt Howard on Unsplash