Sustainable development has long been a focus for the events industry. Connected to programmes like the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Guidelines (UNSDGs), industry initiatives have addressed everything from waste management and energy conservation to local sourcing and hiring practices. The principles of sustainability are now firmly imbedded within industry practices and client expectations. Now, that focus is intensifying even further, The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) has announced a new initiative – Net Zero Carbon Events – to connect the events industry globally to the rapidly growing movement towards net zero by 2050.
In November 2021, world leaders will meet in Glasgow, Scotland at COP26 to present how their countries will achieve the 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 in order to deliver on the Paris Agreement. In advance of this meeting, for profit and non-profit organizations from across all sectors are setting forth their own pathways towards this goal, and the ultimate goal of net zero by 2050.
The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative aims to bring together a wide range of industry stakeholders to:
- Jointly communicate industry’s commitment to tackling climate change and driving towards net zero by 2050
- Develop common methodologies for measuring the industry’s direct, indirect and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions
- Construct an industry-wide roadmap towards net zero by 2050, and emissions reductions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement, with support and guidance on key issues
- Foster collaboration with suppliers and cusXtomers to ensure alignment and common approaches
- Establish common mechanisms for reporting progress and sharing best practice
The new initiative arises from the work of an organizing task force initiated by JMIC members UFI, AIPC and ICCA joined by representatives of Emerald Expositions (US), Freeman (US), HKCEC (China), Informa (UK), Javits Center (US), MCI (Switzerland), Messe München (Germany), RX (UK) and Scottish Event Campus (UK) and it was born from a discussion with the UNFCCC secretariat — United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat — which is also supporting the initiative.
The initial objective for this initiative is to align industry support and advance the creation of a Net Zero Pledge for the Events Industry for launch at the time of the COP26 Conference to be held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, 2021.