Make 2014 your carbon neutral event summer

Summer is nearly upon us and people are starting to look forward to outdoor events and festivals. Your company may even be planning something simple at work for the World Cup. Most events can quite easily be made carbon neutral with a bit of planning and smart decisions about suppliers.

The majority of businesses working with Greenamity opt to calculate their annual CO2 output then put in place a plan to reduce those emissions and finally offset the remainder. However, events present a less predictable business activity for many companies as it isn't their core activity.

In this case we can work with companies (and individuals e.g. for weddings) on an ad hoc basis to assess the environmental impact of an event and help them with a impact reduction plan and offsetting if required.

This month, the team at Greenamity have worked on 3 such events.

Comptaline sponsors Startup Weekends Liège and Brussels

Startup Weekend Liège Clean TechWe're happy to announce that Greenamity will be partnering with Comptaline and Startup Weekends in Liège and Brussels this summer to bring what we think is the World's first carbon neutral Startup Weekend.

ComptalineComptaline, a Brussels based accountancy firm, have sponsored a package which enabled us to assess the carbon footprint of the events in terms of the energy requirements of the building, transport for all participants and organisers, material usage and catering and the impact of the marketing and promotional activities. This enables the events to take measures to reduce their carbon footprint. The remaining, unavoidable footprint is offset by planting trees in our first reforestation project in Madagascar. Comptaline are a great sponsor to work with as they are themselves pioneering a full paperless accountancy process and using their own online problem resolution tools to avoid unnecessary travel.

Startup Weekend BrusselsWe're great fans of Startup Weekend. Gilbert is a former Brussels co-organiser and Fabrizio took Greenamity to Startup Weekend Brussels in the early days. We look forward to enabling more Startup Weekends throughout the world achieve carbon neutrality.

Festival dei colori, Bologna

Link AssociatedLater in the Summer, in Italy, we are excited to annouce that Greenamity has been chosen Link Associated of Bologna as their partner to help them achieve carbon neutral events. We'll be helping them offer 10 carbon neutral events this year starting with the Bologna Holi festival in July. If you've never seen this incredible celebration, derived from the Hindu festival celebrating Spring and the bursting forth of color that occurs then check out the video below.

Take steps towards your own carbon neutral events

If you are organising your own events you can make a difference with some simple incentives for the attendees.

The key things to look at are:

  1. transport options
  2. food miles if you are providing food
  3. energy consumption and waste

I remember my first trip to one of Belgium's biggest festivals, Rock Werchter, in 2006. I was impressed by the fact that the ticket price included rail travel to and from Leuven (the nearest host town) from anywhere within Belgium. Once in Leuven, a shuttle bus moved people from the station to the festival at all hours of the day.

Festivals have always been at the forefront of low impact events as they are temporary custodians of a natural space and the off-grid nature of these events mean that they are often receptive to using solar and wind to power much of the infrastructure.

However big or small your event, get in touch, we'll be happy to guide you on the path to carbon neutrality.