Blog: Climate Impact Day
A little more than 2 months ago, we hosted our very first Climate Impact Day (CID). More than 140 companies like Bank Austria, Verbund, Magenta and many more used the action day to kick-off a more sustainable corporate culture and make climate action tangible for all their employees!
As Glacier we pledged to be a carbon-neutral company from Day 1. Not just because we’re a Climate-Startup, but because it is the right thing to do for us as a company and for our planet.
To achieve carbon-neutrality from Day 1, it was crucial for us to minimize the carbon footprint of our Climate Impact Day and make it a carbon neutral event.
We took a variety measure to reduce the carbon footprint of CID as far as possible to hold an environmentally friendly event. For our efforts, we obtained the Green Meetings certification from the Österreichisches Umweltzeichen. To obtain this certification, there are requirements to meet regarding mobility, venue, accommodations, catering, material, waste management and social aspects and communication.
Despite all reduction measures taken, there is a baseline of unavoidable emissions caused by the mobility of the offline participants, the live-stream, or the catering. To determine these emissions – and to identify main drivers for future improvements - we calculated the Climate Impact Day's carbon footprint and compensated the unavoidable emissions with high quality offsets
Decreasing carbon emissions of company events can be challenging. That's why we would like to share some of our insights from the Climate Impact Day organization to inspire you to host you first very own carbon-neutral company event, no matter if it is a customer reception, a multi-day conference or a staff Christmas party that is around the corner.
To minimize our carbon emissions, we implemented a variety of reduction measures in the areas of mobility, venue, material, waste management and catering.
The following three measures were the most impactful measures to reduce the Climate Impact Day’s emissions:
We hosted the livestream at the well-known Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna. The museum is not just an impressive traditional Viennese building, but also has two major climate-related advantages:
The action day was held based on an innovative hybrid concept. Which means it there was a physical venue at the MAK, but most speakers, experts, companies, and their employees joined via live stream. This is particularly interesting in terms of mobility need reduction, and as a result to reduce CO2 emissions. Indeed, this format avoids unnecessary commutation of all the employees from another part of Austria or internationally.
Although we obtained the Green-Meeting certification, it was important to us to evaluate the impact of our reduction measures and get insights on the carbon footprint of our event. On the one hand, to be able to compensate for unavoidable emissions. On the other hand reduce our emissions next time and stick to our carbon-neutrality pledge.
The process of calculating the Climate Impact Day’s carbon footprint is divided into four categories:
Considering all relevant activities and including scopes 1-3, the Climate Impact Day 2021 has caused less than one ton of CO2 emissions. Overall, 970 kg of CO2 emissions were generated.
If you’re not familiar with scopes, you can find more information on the website of the greenhouse gas protocol.
What we see is that the venue and mobility most significant drivers of the action day’s carbon footprint. This may be surprising, given that it was a hybrid event with a careful and climate-conscious choice of venue.
But…what would have been the carbon footprint of an action day that would have been entirely offline without the pre-emptively implemented reduction measures? In fact, if all speakers had come on-site instead of video-streaming and meat-based meals for our audience, the carbon footprint would have been four times higher! And that’s a lot…
Following our pledge to be carbon neutral from day 1, we chose to compensate our remaining emissions with high quality offset. We decided to overcompensate our event’s emission by 20% and bought 1.2 ton of offsets allocated to the following projects available in the patch.io portfolio:
As a company, you are probably hosting several internal or external events every year. Hosting green or carbon-neutral events is not only reducing your overall corporate carbon footprint but making events “green” can give you an edge over competitors or impress your employees.
You don’t know where or how to start to make your event carbon-neutral? No worries! We created a list of actions you can implement to decrease the climate impact of your company’s events: