Carbon Offsetting for Events

Blog
September 1, 2021
Carbon Offsetting for Events

It's inevitable that real-life events will create CO2 emissions but you can minimize your impact on the environment by measuring, offsetting, and reducing. Smart planning from the beginning by choosing the right materials, vendors, venues, and logistics planning will help tremendously. After calculating and measuring after the event takes place, it's beneficial to see where you can further reduce the next time around. 

Collecting information from vendors from the beginning will help you analyze the carbon footprint so calculating data accurately and measuring it precisely can be done without missing information. Getting information after the event can result in event planners becoming busy with new events and it will be more difficult to get information from them so it's best to do as you go along with the process.

Plan reductions from the beginning: 

From the moment you start planning your event you can reduce emissions in advance by choosing the right vendors, green venues, local catering, and more.

  • Organize events with local caterers who use local, seasonal foods without having to worry about logistics through long distances. 
  • Don't go for the catering companies that use more wasteful products, like one-time-use cups, or materials that can't be recycled. Reach out to vendors that use sustainable products, packaging, and cleaning supplies.
  • Use QR codes to share PDFs, digital brochures, contact information, educational information, and more, for a sustainable option that allows guests to take materials home on mobile phones while you can update the content as necessary, which isn't possible with printed materials. QR codes only take minutes to make.
  • Find venues that use renewable energy sources or energy-efficient lighting, equipment, and ventilation. How they handle waste management is also important regarding if they are recycling properly or not. Some venues just throw all of the trash away together.
  • There are sustainable event planners that have connections to other resources like environmentally conscious caterers, sustainable venues like hotel conference rooms and kitchens that are more energy-efficient than others, and green logistics companies.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Measure:

Measure your event's footprint by calculating travel and accommodation of attendees which is usually the most significant source of carbon emissions.

Use a carbon accounting platform that allows companies to enter data so it is calculated accurately in the system unlike with free carbon calculators online. It's no longer necessary to go through expensive agents to accurately measure carbon emissions or find partners for offsets as it can all be done in Net0's system. Companies can onboard vendors or colleagues in minutes so everyone has access to their own dashboards and can contribute to the specific data entry they are responsible for. 

There are also various ways that carbon gets emitted depending on the event. If there is a week-long conference then hotel stays would need to be accounted for as well for example. Also, some events have special shows with more power usage for musicians and other entertainment. Some of the most common examples of carbon emissions at any event are listed below:

Example 1: Transportation

Depending on the nature of the event, whether it's an international convention with flying involved or a company retreat nearby, there will be a factor of commuting involved. After planning the strategy that is most convenient and eco-friendly for your team's movement, enter precise data in a measuring platform that employees can include with transport details by type and distance being calculated from your data in order to accurately measure the carbon that was emitted from the event so you can choose appropriate offsetting options at the same time.

Example 2: Power usage

Many buildings use renewable energy sources now to power their venues to light and heat or cool their events. Some buildings also use appliances like refrigerators and washers for the catering and cleanup that are low energy using and the remainder can be offset with projects from Net0 after the measurements have been done. Electricity makes up about 25% of all GHG emissions according to the US EPA so it's also one of the biggest emitters for events and depending on what the entertainment entails, can be the biggest emitter of all. Collecting as much data as possible from vendors regarding shows and power usage from the beginning of planning and continuing all the way through will help you track the data as best as you can to be accurately measured and offset.

Example 3: Food

Carbon emissions from food are surprisingly large. According to the Carbon Footprint Factsheet, food makes up 10-30% of a household's GHG emissions. When you're feeding hundreds or thousands of people this is a big deal. 68% of emissions are done in production while only a small amount is due to logistics depending on how local the food is. Meat also makes up about 56% of GHG emissions with beef being the highest contributor by seven times as much as chicken. However one chooses to receive proper nutrition, having some GHG emissions from food is something presently unavoidable. After doing as much as possible to reduce emissions, offsetting the remainder can be done after measuring the amount in Net0's system.

Photo by Kelly Jean on Unsplash

Example 4: Online event hosting

Although online events cut out the food and logistics, remember that hosting events online consumes a massive amount of energy and when thousands of people are using a software platform and electronics with electricity, that must be taken into consideration and counted to be measured and offset.

Offset: 

Offset what you can't reduce from the start. For an event to be officially carbon neutral, whatever emissions have been calculated from the event in Net0 can be offset in the same dashboard. Some free online calculators offer to help but aren't always accurate. It's important to use Net0's precise calculator with intuitive AI at its core. 

Companies can offset by helping programs that take carbon emissions out of the atmosphere in general, or especially those that are relevant to your event or geographical location.

What is a carbon offset?

A carbon offset is a certificate that represents one tonne of CO2 reduction in the atmosphere. Buying carbon offsets for emissions you have made allows funding for projects that carbon capture and remove the emissions from the atmosphere or that reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.

You will know that Net0's offsets are reliable because they have been verified through international standards. They also have independent registries so there cannot be any double-counting of carbon offsets. Net0 offers 200+ offsetting projects to choose from and 40 that don't need approvals and can be done in one click. Some of our verified partners include: 

  • Verified Carbon Standard
  • Climate Action Reserve
  • American Carbon Registry
  • California Air Resources Board
  • European Biochar Certificate
  • Canadian Standards Organization
  • Gold Standard
  • bCarbon

Request a demo to see the scope of our projects in-depth and try out the software so you can see how the user-friendly platform uses intuitive AI in collaboration with your data to give useful insights about how to reduce in the future and get you on the path to net zero.

Final thoughts:

Presently, we can reduce our emissions as much as possible but there's no denying some still exist. Any event whether in-person or online is going to produce CO2 and now Net0 is the solution to help calculate, measure, and offset what couldn't be avoided. Try Net0 today to record any type of carbon emissions data that your company could be offsetting to not only enjoy carbon-neutral events but to enjoy a carbon-neutral life.

Cover Photo by Evangeline Shaw on Unsplash

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