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Sustainability in events

What if there was an events approach where sustainability was automatically embedded, and fully integrated into the way the events were planned, performed and reviewed?

Speaking at the UK Events Summit in Manchester, Pippa Ganderton, ATPI Halo Product Director, joined the line-up which tackled bringing sport, music and entertainment event organisers and expert suppliers together to wrestle with the challenges that face the event industry; to learn from one another and to raise the bar in terms of safety and security in crowded places and enhance profitability, sustainability and legacy. On the topic of sustainability in events, we caught up with Pippa:

What is a sustainable event?

A truly sustainable event will support a variety of initiatives associated with environmental, social and governance, for example, addressing environmental sustainability in terms of choice of location and how the event is run, and ensuring social responsibility through inclusivity, diversity, and transparency around contracts and choice of suppliers. The event will be measured for its CO2 footprint and use those calculations to try to reduce emissions going forward, as well as offset its footprint to be as close to carbon neutral as possible.

How do you see the future of live events and guest experiences?

I believe there is a lot of opportunity for live events and guest experiences going forward. The pandemic has reminded people how much they love and missed attending events live and in person. The experience needs to be memorable and positive, and embedding sustainability can play a significant role. Sustainability can add a new dimension and appeal to audiences who are becoming more discerning and demanding regarding sustainable credentials, questioning the footprint of events they attend, and not wanting to leave a lasting negative impact on the location or environment. Organisers need to embrace sustainability if they want to remain attractive partners.

How do you see the future of Event CO2 measurement and offsetting?

This is only going to grow in importance. We are already seeing a growing number of clients enquiring about CO2 measurement capability, and for some specific clients this is already mandatory.

Do you think that companies will forecast more into the budget for CO2 measurement, reduction and offsetting associated with their events?

We are already seeing this in some cases, with specific events that make sustainability part of their purpose and mission. Companies that rely on investors will increasingly need to be able to demonstrate to their investors, shareholders etc. that they are committed and serious about reducing their GHG emissions and working towards net zero by 2050. Many of our clients are embracing this now, simply because they believe this is good governance and care of the planet, but also to be on the right path ahead of legislation, which is anticipated at some point. Whether that is simply emissions declaration, or visibility of reduction strategies and offsetting also.

The essence of ATPI’s vision for sustainable events is to be able to service its clients with an events approach where sustainability is fully integrated, can you tell us more about this approach?

We have been working with strategic partners to be able to offer an events CO2 calculation model that can present data based on the planned event footprint during the planning stages. This data can be used to drive awareness and discussion about possible changes that will reduce the GHG emissions of the event. A post-event analysis also enables clients to learn and set targets for reductions going forward and calculate how many carbon credits are required to offset the post-event footprint.

ATPI is investing in ATPI Halo to take a proactive step towards changing the way the events sector views sustainable events, and to pioneer industry-leading approaches to making events more environmentally sustainable. Its aim is to lead the way to a future of sustainable event services: “greener” programmes, reduction options, event CO2 measurement and offset services, all part of the integrated process ATPI offers its clients.

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