COP 27: Essential to start now
COP 27

Essential to start now

Photo: Alexander Abero on Unsplash

Collaboration, commitment and consistency emerged as key themes when the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative launched its Roadmap at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Hundreds of events professionals around the world watched and listened to the presentations. These highlighted the progress of the initiative since its launch in 2021, how the industry can move forward effectively using the Roadmap and how action areas and workstreams on topics such as travel, accommodation, energy, waste and measurement are the next steps.

„It's essential to start now – and start simple. There are no secrets, it's simply about getting started.“
Edwin Van der Vennet, sustainability committees of IFES, EDPA and UFI
In panel discussions about implementation, the need for structure, standardised measurement and to 'start now' figured prominently. Kai Hattendorf, CEO of UFI and JMIC board member declared "Measurement is key – without it, you can't track progress. The challenge in our sector is that every event is different. It's essential to take a united approach." Edwin Van der Vennet of the sustainability committees of IFES, EDPA and UFI said, "It's essential to start now – and start simple. There are no secrets, it's simply about getting started." The Roadmap creates a common framework for all event industry stakeholders to meet the net zero goal. It provides a pathway for individual organisations as well as industry-wide action areas. Action areas have been identified where collaborative effort is needed along with a framework for measuring and evaluating progress. Several of the panel members, including Derar Al Manaseer, director - strategy & investment ADNEC, and Senthil Gopinath, CEO ICCA, agreed that "the Roadmap is a gift to the industry." Hattendorf commented: "This is the biggest, most inclusive action ever from our industry. At COP26 we just got started, with our pledge, and a huge amount of momentum. Now, at COP27, we're launching the Roadmap. By COP28, we will have models for implementation, successful pilots to announce and share, and we will have companies beginning to report their progress into the framework."

The Roadmap is available as a full report, with comprehensive information on how to implement action to achieve net zero, and as an executive summary.