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Exhibition Industry Leaders Take On Challenge to Combat Climate Change

Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director / CEO at UFI
Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director/CEO

PARIS – The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative, hosted by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), connects the events industry globally to the rapidly growing movement to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It builds on the work of a cross-industry task force, initially assembled by UFI, The Global Association of Exhibition Industry, AIPC, the International Association of Convention Centres, ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association.

“UFI is committed to driving and supporting sustainable development among our global membership and the exhibition industry at large,” Anbu Varathan, UFI President, said. “This collaborative and inclusive initiative that covers the whole event industry is a new important step and we look forward to identifying the commitments required for the reduction and neutralization of event-related GHG emissions.”

According to Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director/CEO, UFI, the events industry will take on the challenge to combat climate change by proficiently bringing people together in a sustainable way to work and trade, which is the most energy-efficient way to do business.

“One of the, if not the most important topic for our industry, is to make the point that bringing people together to an event is the most energy-efficient and most climate-friendly way compared to everybody being separate and having to take one-on-one trips to meet each other in small clusters where you can’t have the quality conversations when you bring all of the leaders together,” Hattendorf said. “We have to make the point that we can be better and we’ll need to continue to get better in the way we produce and deliver events in a sustainable way to reduce the carbon footprint on site.”

The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative will feed into the COP26 meeting in November in Glasgow, Scotland, in which world leaders share strategies on how their countries will achieve the 50% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement. To achieve this effort, profit and non-profit organizations from across all sectors are creating specific pathways to the ultimate target of net zero by 2050. Through this initiative, JMIC intends to link all stakeholders in the corporate, professional, academic and destination communities worldwide that have committed to engaging in these joint challenges, and to invite others to join them.

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The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative aims to bring together a wide range of industry stakeholders to:

▪ Jointly communicate the industry’s commitment to tackling climate change and driving towards net zero by 2050

▪ Develop common methodologies for measuring the industry’s direct, indirect and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions

▪ Construct an industry-wide roadmap towards net zero by 2050, and emissions reductions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement, with support and guidance on key issues

▪ Foster collaboration with suppliers and customers to ensure alignment and common approaches

▪ Establish common mechanisms for reporting progress and sharing best practices.

The initiative arises from a task force originated by JMIC members UFI, AIPC and ICCA and joined by representatives of Emerald Expositions (US), Freeman (US), HKCEC (China), Informa (UK), Javits Center (US), MCI (Switzerland), Messe München (Germany), RX (UK) and Scottish Event Campus (UK). The strategic foundation was laid during a discussion with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, which is also supporting the initiative.

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Reach Kai Hattendorf at +40 171 5441198 or

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