For the modern company that values meetings and events, sustainability programs are an essential component of future development. Whether your business already operates one, or you’re looking to finally be more sustainable this is a good option. A net-zero carbon meeting and events program is the perfect place to start. Here, we will dive into some of the most important details of how to get one started. There are many advantages to operating your meetings with a net-zero goal in mind. Let’s dive in!
Before getting started, it’s important to fully grasp what it means to have a “net-zero carbon” program. Right off the bat, net-zero is completely and conceptually different from a similar sounding word, “carbon-neutral.” Differentiating the difference between the two is valuable, and they are often confused with each other.
Net-zero carbon is when a company strikes a balance between man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and how much is removed from the atmosphere at the same time.
For example, your event should not put out more carbon than it removes. As simple as it sounds, this process requires a strict program to keep an eye on progress.
While it may sound like a new idea, the concept of net-zero carbon programs is not as futuristic as it might sound. The idea has been something that many business leaders have been aware of for quite a few years. In fact, your company may even have an established sustainability program. However, it’s important to understand that the initiative needs to evolve as your team changes the way that it operates.
Sometimes, there’s no way around emitting carbon into the atmosphere as a side effect of hosting a meeting or event. This is why the program needs to have ways to compensate for the emissions, such as long-term carbon capture solutions.
Why a net-zero program is necessary for meetings and event
Throwing a meeting or event requires juggling many different moving parts, and you may be wondering why having a net-zero program is even important. After all, there are a lot of other things that you could be focusing on. However, having a net-zero program is more important than ever.
The main reason that successful companies have these kinds of initiatives is that they want to reduce their impact on the environment. In a world where the climate is changing as a result of human activities, it’s valuable to take a serious look at your impact.
For example, the temperature of the globe has risen by 0.14° Fahrenheit (0.08° Celsius) every single decade since 1880. This is a steady increase that can be directly attributed to the output of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Indeed, the levels of carbon dioxide are steadily increasing. NASA reports that their instruments are detecting about “12 parts per million (ppm) and rising. This represents a 47 percent increase since the beginning of the Industrial Age, when the concentration was near 280 ppm, and an 11 percent increase since 2000 when it was near 370 ppm.”
Once the reason why the program is created has been established by leadership, employees can get on board. They can feel like they work for a company that has similar goals, which can boost overall staff morale. This is especially true for businesses that rely on large-scale meetings or events because they can be a serious contribution to the current level of carbon in the atmosphere.
The first step to establishing a net-zero carbon program
Now that we are all on the same page about what net-zero carbon is and why it’s important, it’s time to implement the new strategy. One of the best things about this initiative is that it gives businesses a goal and key performance indicators to adhere to. Instead of just a vague commitment, a program encourages leaders to dedicate the company’s operations.
Determine certain KPIs that measure greenhouse gas emissions and reduce them when required. In addition, your team should enact strategies that mitigate carbon emissions from your operations. Events cause emissions in the following ways:
Measure current carbon emissions and understand what it will take to be net-zero.
Immediate actions to take
While some of these initiatives can seem overwhelming to begin with, there are a few immediate actions that your team can take to begin improving the net carbon footprint. Here are some things that you can implement right away into an upcoming event or meeting:
Are you ready to learn more about how to host a net-zero carbon meeting? Reach out to the professionals at JTB today.