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Industry Group Calls for Net Zero Carbon Events by 2050

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor

Net Zero Carbon Events LONDON When world leaders convene this November at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, the goal will be to present how their countries will achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. At that same time, leading companies from throughout the business events industry, led by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), will pledge to join the quest as part of a new initiative known as Net Zero Carbon Events.

Initially, the group plans to develop common methodologies for measuring the industry’s direct, indirect and supply-chain greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reporting progress and sharing best practices. It will then create an industry-wide roadmap toward reducing emissions 50% by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement, and then to zero by 2050.

Volunteers from every aspect of business events — venues, event organizers, exhibitors, convention bureaus, service providers and suppliers — are encouraged to sign up online now, and will be contacted to contribute to the development of the draft pledge. Once it is finalized, they will have the opportunity to sign it and be part of the formal launch, as well as to join various working groups contributing to the project. 

Related. Exhibition Industry Leaders Take On Challenge to Combat Climate Change

Driving the effort is an organizing task force initiated by JMIC members UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry; AIPC, the International Association of Convention Centres; and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), along with representatives from Emerald Expositions, Freeman,  Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Informa, Javits Center, MCI, Messe München, RX and Scottish Event Campus. The initiative grew out of a discussion with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, which is also supporting the initiative.

“Collaboration on the goal of net zero GHG emissions at the industry level can be very impactful,” Jacqueline Tran, Energy & Sustainability Manager at The Javits Center, said. “Initiatives like this can bring together a diverse group of experts and industry leaders to help improve communities across the globe. We are excited to partner with show organizers, general contractors, venues and other organizations in the events industry to discover the best path forward to net zero.”

Related. Could COVID Be a Catalyst for More Sustainable Events?

Net Zero Carbon Events In related news, Marriott is joining the Race to Zero, a global campaign rallying companies, cities, regions, and financial and educational institutions to reach net zero. The hotel  giant submitted a letter pledging to re-evaluate its practices and properties to the Science Based Targets initiative, which defines and promotes best practices for emissions reductions and net-zero targets.

Related. Post COVID, Sustainability Remains a Priority Among Exhibitors and Organizers

“We are driven to make a positive and sustainable impact wherever we do business, and this rigorous climate commitment to reach net zero emissions is a needed step for us to do our part to help the communities and environments where we live, work and visit remain resilient and vibrant,” Anthony Capuano, Marriott’s CEO, said.

Reach Jacqueline Tran at (212) 216-2037 or; Anthony Capuano at (301) 380-3000 or