Sign up for our newswire newsletter


Net Zero Carbon Events Launches Guidance and Methodology to Help Events Industry Reduce Carbon Emissions

Net Zero Carbon Events banner

The push for a more sustainable events industry continues. The Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE) initiative recently published seven best practice guidance and methodology documents to aid the global events industry in reducing carbon emissions and achieving net-zero goals. The documents were launched at ExCeL London on December 11. 

“These documents, vital to the development of an industry-wide standard pathway towards net zero carbon events, represent the largest, most inclusive collaboration across the events industry ever achieved, with the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative being supported and endorsed by UNFCCC,” said James Rees, president of Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), which drives the NZCE initiative. “This achievement is the result of the hard work of over 100 industry volunteers whose support, added together, represents many years of working time to develop, critique and finalize these guidance documents to be used in practice and improve upon over time as NZCE evolves.” 

James Rees
James Rees

The seven documents cover priority areas identified by the Roadmap published a year ago: Venue Energy; Smart Production and Waste Management; Logistics; Travel and Accommodation; Food and Food Waste; Offsetting and Measurement.

Each of the seven documents contains detailed guidance to help organizations make true progress on their decarbonization journey—something that the global events industry has been sorely lacking. 

The measurement methodology, for example, is a comprehensive guide for understanding and quantifying event-level emissions, covering nine emission source categories, measurement tiers, event-level metrics, extrapolation and baseline setting. Smart Production and Waste Management has launched a “Materials Library” with a comprehensive list of different materials used in events and their specific emissions factors with the plan to expand it in future. Logistics not only provide advice on “On-Site and Last Mile Logistics” but also on “Traffic Management” and “Smart Cities.” 

The work is a result of a collective effort of industry professionals across many sectors. 

“The expertise within the workstream teams has been of the highest level: senior operations and sustainability experts from event organizers, venues and service suppliers across the world,” noted Alexander Alles, executive director of JMIC.

[Related: 10 Tips to Produce a Sustainable Event Without Breaking Your Budget]

Future Outlook of Net Zero Carbon Events

During a press conference releasing the news, NZCE also explored its future. The release of the guidance documents completes the initial work set out by the NZCE initiative. In 2024 and beyond, the team plans to shift its focus to development and implementation.

“We achieved in record time what no one deemed possible initially—a united industry response to the climate challenge,” said Kai Hattendorf, managing director and CEO of UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, a signatory and Platinum-level supporter of NZCE. “Going forward, NZCE will focus on supporting and guiding NZCE supporters and pledgees with their implementation of the guidelines and emerging standards.” 

To achieve this, NZCE will again adapt its structure and work flows around three central tentpoles: Measurement, Reporting and Verification; Activation and Adaptation; and Communication and Education. The initiative’s work will be based on a series of projects to progress topics such as Reporting, Standards, Certifications, Reusable Stands and other key issues prioritized in the community as central drivers of greenhouse gas reductions. 

“Staying agile on the way to achieve clear targets is the key to acting fast and efficiently—that certainly is one lesson the pandemic taught us, and it is part of the DNA of the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative. And speed remains of the essence as we need to show that the global events industry is a part of the solution to the global climate crisis,” Hattendorf said.

“Part 2, the next stage of the initiative is a major change and exciting step forward,” Rees added. “After the three phases of development, identifying what needs to be covered and producing guidance, successful implementation is vital. This next part needs the total commitment and active engagement of everyone from CEOs downwards to achieve net zero.”

[Related: Why Aren't Sustainability and Net Zero as Important in the U.S. as in Europe?]

Input from Industry Leaders

At the event, various industry leaders from across the world spoke about the importance of the work of this campaign.

“Solving the major sustainability challenges that face an industry cannot be done by one single contributor—in fact, it requires the industry as a whole to come together and work towards a shared goal,” noted Mark Temple-Smith, COO of Informa Markets. “The B2B events industry is no exception—in fact, our whole industry is built on the idea of bringing people together, and it’s thanks to initiatives such as Net Zero Carbon Events that progress is being made across the industry rather than in silos. Today’s launch of a consistent set of frameworks and approaches will help make the industry much faster and more cohesive when it comes to the fundamentals of carbon measurement for events and allow us to go even further in working with our supply chain and venue partners to cut emissions even further.”

Alan Steel, CEO of the Javits Center in New York City, reinforced his organization’s commitment to the NZCE initiative.

“The Javits Center is proud to have been founding signatories of the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge. We are committed to sustainability and our proactive efforts have become an integral part of our everyday work,” he said. “From the installation of a rooftop farm, orchard and greenhouse on our convention center, to innovative waste management programs for the events that take place here, we have aligned our programs with the goals of Net Zero Carbon Events initiatives—and intend to continue doing so.”

Any organization involved in events can sign the NZCE pledge for free. Financial contributions are also crucial to continuing the campaign. Get involved: and

Read this next: The Future of Sustainable Business Travel in the Meetings Industry

Profile picture for user Danielle LeBreck
About the author
Danielle LeBreck | Senior Content Director

Danielle started at Meetings Today in March 2019 after seven years of editorial experience in the travel and food industries. She oversees all of the destination content for Meetings Today and collaborates with the team on digital content strategy and content marketing initiatives.