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Carbon Neutrality – The New Event Standard
Throughout the world, major sporting events are being recognized as having a global environment impact. Although green practices are normally followed by event attendees (recycling, not littering) they are often not put in the forefront of the planning and event wrap up phases. In efforts to change this mentality and set a standard for future events, the 2010 World Cup set out on a mission to make this year’s World Cup the greenest one yet. To put this goal into perspective – the World Cup has the largest carbon footprint of any major event in the world that aspires to be carbon neutral.
A program called Green Goal 2010 was created by FIFA’s Organizing Committee in collaboration with the local government. The program incorporated measurable, sustainable development principles into every aspect of the event, including energy, waste, water, transport and hospitality. Initiatives that were developed focused on:
- Carbon reduction and offset
- Water conservation
- Sustainable transport
- Integrated waste management
- Biodiversity awareness
- Green procurement
- Responsible tourism
- Environmental awareness
With results of the program not yet fully released it’s challenging to quantify the success of the program in a carbon offsetting way; however, it’s clear to see this program’s overall success through the positive response from the event attendees, the host city and country, and the fact that “Green Goal” is now a criteria category for countries hosting future World Cup events.
This example paints a picture for events both large and small to work towards. Many property owners or sponsors reading this may never work on the scale of a World Cup, but that is no reason we can’t take learnings away from this example. Listed below are some key motivating factors identified by our friends at Offsetters www.offsetters.ca for organizations and brands to incorporate greening and offsetting into their sponsorship and activation plans.
- Excite Every Fan
- Consumers want to associate with a brand that upholds their values
- Inspire Your People
- Demonstrate leadership and provide opportunity for your people and partners to be responsible for carbon emissions
- Be Dedicated to Your Team
- Events, festivals and sport teams require travel. Offsetting the travel is a great way to take responsibility
- Leaders in your Community & Industry
- Be one of the first carbon neutral sports teams or organizations in your community and demonstrate that you are committed
Be a leader in your industry and community – take the first step by identifying your events carbon impact, and how you can reduce it.