Carbon Neutral Claims

Add your thoughts on carbon neutral claims in the events industry by joining theEvent Sustainability Practitioner’s LinkedIn group discussion here.

“I think we need a clear definition on carbon neutrality as it applies to events.

My opinion is that is impossible to run a carbon neutral event. I think aspiring to the principles of carbon neutrality is as far as you can take it.

If you limit claims to energy used to run the event, and a zero emissions energy supply is used then claims could be made, but with specific mention that it was against event energy only.

However, carbon neutrality, once you bring the supply chain into the picture, I would see as impossible. There is an ever moving set of goal posts with product GHG emissions measuring and reporting. It is also virtually impossible to accurately measure the transport impacts of supplies, once you bring third party contractors into the equation.

What is in the scope of measurement for carbon neutral claims for an event. Does anyone know if someone has written this down somewhere and that industry agreement has been set? I think it is just individual events working this stuff out themselves and I think that could be quite damaging to the industry’s reputation.

There is no agreement within the event industry that I know of, on what should be measured and how, and therefore everyone’s carbon neutral claims are going to different and therefore become much less relevant.

Once you bring offsetting into the equation, you get some meaty issues cropping up. An event that has done everything possible to reduce their carbon impacts, and then offset the unavoidable would be in a much better position to claim carbon neutrality against certain production areas. However measurement and offsetting without any demonstrated reduction actions and then claiming carbon neutrality is a blatant greenwash.

The core problem is we don’t have baselines, we don’t have a system to accurately and independently assess claims and there is no one that the industry needs to report to. Thus leaving the field wide open for wild claims around carbon neutrality.

I would love your thoughts on this and any ideas on who we can get to a situation of agreed practices on carbon neutrality claims in the events industry.”

Add your thoughts on carbon neutral claims in the events industry by joining theEvent Sustainability Practitioner’s LinkedIn group discussion here.