The European Plastics Distributors Association asked us to draw a carbon footprint for their anniversary conference. They wanted to offset the CO2 emissions caused by their members’ travel to their conference. They told us they were also looking for a reliable and European project to offset. We did the calculation for them and also proposed three offsetting projects. The CO2 footprint of an event, based on travel, is scope three within the scope approach of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol).
How does that work, a CO2 footprint of an event?
After registration closed, we received a list of the number of members and where they travelled from. As the conference was in London, most members travelled by plane. Members travelled from 15 different countries, which made a total of 60 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
We offered three options to offset. The first was Trees for All, involving planting 200 trees, half in the Netherlands and half abroad. The two alternative projects were Forest Planting in Belgium and cooking on biogas in third-world countries. Ultimately, the association chose to plant double the number of trees through Trees for All.
What is included in the CO2 footprint for events
You can go much further than just travelling to the event when calculating the CO2 emissions. You can also include food and drink during the event in the calculation, and how about energy consumption? Or the printing and other materials used? In addition, you as an organisation can bear these costs, but you can also let the visitors contribute.