Measure and act. The carbon footprint was calculated together with ClimatePartner, based on measurements of emissions generated at the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. The measured carbon footprint will allow the organisers to implement steps for improvement in line with the 160 sustainability criteria of the project. The carbon footprint will be recalculated in four months at the 15th edition of the trade show. The real purpose of this year’s calculation was to identify the activities that cause the most greenhouse gas emissions.
Honesty and transparency. The total carbon footprint of Conventa 2022 amounted to 275.4 tonnes or 255 kg/participant/day. That is the same as the average annual carbon emissions of 30 EU citizens, a strong impact for a conference of just a few days which interestingly, the organisers don’t try to hide. Indeed, all strategic documents, matrixes, recommendations and tools are available at www.conventa.si/green-conventa. The subpage has become a source of information and inspiration for all event organisers.
A variety of actions, following the 5R
A number of activities were executed as part of this pilot project. More climate-friendly catering menus were ordered, with a final result of 77.8% (1050) vegetarian and 22.2% (300) meat dishes. Two educational sessions were held for project partners to educate them and build a culture of sustainable transformation. A campaign of “10 tips to reduce your carbon footprint at Conventa” was implemented for hosted buyers, exhibitors, partners and team members to raise awareness of the need to reduce harmful impacts on the environment.
5R: REDUCE The matchmaking system was digitalised with the help of the B2Match app. Signage was digitalised with 12 plasmas and 4 digital LED stands 4 electric shuttles (Go.Opti), with an average engine emission of 18.9 g CO2/km. Paper consumption was reduced by 40% through the digitalisation of event organisation and event marketing. The impact of commuting by the team was reduced by fostering a culture of sustainable mobility. The organisers equipped themselves with their own bicycles, and some with electric scooters
5R: REUSE. 2850 wooden crates that make up the exhibition stands will be reused for the upcoming Conventa as well as other events at the exhibition centre. 76% of the cardboard signs for exhibitors were saved and will be reused at Conventa 2023.
5R: RECYCLE. Leftover food was managed with an innovative system of pre-prepared catering packages and a food storage system (Jezeršek Catering). At all social events, caterers offered cardboard packaging in which participants could store leftover food.
5R: REFUSE. A ban on plastic was adhered to by all caterers and subcontractors of the project. Eliminating disposable carpets at the venue, which previously contributed enormously to the waste generated at the event. The organisers have implemented other measures, which will be presented in the form of a handbook, available free of charge to all event organisers.
Where emissions came from: transport is the main issue
If CO2 is a key impact you wish to reduce (and you should, this should indeed probably be the number one priority), it is confirmed that transport is by far the most impactful issue. The emissions of this events came from transport of participants (88,2%), hotel accommodation (6,1%), transport of equipment and technical teams (2,5%) and catering (1,2%).
Keep the education going after the event
An event can be a great educational tool, but education should not stop when the doors close. The organisers plan to organise 10 Conventa Trend Bar online training courses dedicated to sustainable events. They also plan to obtain ISO 2021 (Sustainable Events) certification. Gorazd Čad, the co-founder of Conventa, sees this as just the beginning emphasised: “The next steps are crucial. 275 tonnes of CO2 are a great insight for upgrading our sustainability system and the 5R methodology (Rethink/Reduce/Reuse/Recycle/Refuse).” Congratulations to him and his team.