EIT Climate-KIC partners with South Pole for Climate Innovation Summit carbon offsetting programme

EIT Climate-KIC’s Climate Innovation Summit (CIS) will feature a carbon offsetting programme sponsored and organised by its partner, South Pole—a leading provider of global sustainability financing solutions and services.

South Pole is collecting several data points in order to effectively and accurately map out the carbon footprint of the event. These data points include electricity consumption, delegate travel, catering and waste management.

“Organisers have a variety of options to reduce the footprint of their events. These include local vegetarian or vegan catering, organising a paper and plastic-free event and offering public transport access to the venue,” said Nadia Kähkönen, Head of Communications, South Pole.

She added:

“Organisers can also choose to power their conference with 100 per cent renewable energy using renewable energy certificates (RECs), even if they do not control the power purchase at the venue.”

Naturally, one of the biggest sources of emissions remains air travel. Organisers can encourage guests to avoid long-distance flights as well as offer to compensate emissions associated with an event. In the case of CIS, unavoidable emissions are compensated via investment in Gold Standard certified climate protection projects.

Conferences bring together a multitude of relevant actors and stakeholders as a means of strengthening industries and communities through knowledge sharing and collaboration. With face-to-face meetings being a powerful way to foster professional relationships, finding more sustainable ways to travel and offsetting unavoidable emissions have become a focus for conference organisers. Examples include the UNFCCC’s COPs and other environmental summits, such as the Sustainable Brands or Ethical Corporation conference series.

“A new green benchmark is emerging for event organisers who are finding that recycling, reusing and greening their facilities does more than benefit the environment: These efforts are cutting costs and lifting the reputation of their businesses,” said Kähkönen.

She continued:

“We want to be ambitious with CIS—for the impact to go beyond the direct environmental impact of the event, sparking deep and long-term change. We hope by increasing climate awareness, new practical partnerships and initiatives between a broad range of stakeholders will develop.  At South Pole, we see collaboration on climate change as pivotal in protecting both the environment and communities at risk.”

South Pole is a core EIT Climate-KIC partner. They’ve collaborated on numerous innovative projects, such as The City Finance Lab, which expects to leverage over €440 million in additional finance for climate action in European cities.

 
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