A moonshot is an extremely ambitious project undertaken to achieve a monumental goal and this is what is needed to create a sustainable event industry in the context of the climate emergency.
Our moonshot? Carbon negative events! (TSEF CAN)
Here are the highlights and reports from our first Moonshot event (February 20
The purpose of TSEF and this moonshot event is to alleviate the workload and provide tools and resources to help you navigate a successful, sustainable event. Please do not add sustainability to the long list of things to overwhelm you in 2021. Candice and I are here to help; the moonshot teams are here to help; your fellow attendees are here to help.
Creating and teaching sustainability in the events industry may be one of our industry's saving attributes as we climb out of the lockdown. As of August 2020, over 2300 companies dedicated themselves to a minimum of carbon neutrality. The pandemic seems to have heightened the awareness of our interdependency on one another and the planet. It most certainly has underlined the fragility of these relationships. The events that these companies host—and their employees attend—must reflect and affirm the values of responsibility, community and sustainability.
This overview is the "need to know right now" but is by no means the whole of the moonshot teams' work and findings. The virtual and hybrid teams' complete reports are available for download below
Here are some key findings:
A sustainable future is likely a hi-tech future: Innovation and technology will continue to be a big part of low-carbon solutions. We need to be open to new technology and accept there will be a learning curve. As busy people, we prefer our tried-and-true methods, but recent times call for new measures, and we need to embrace them.
Location, Location, Location: Whether it's the host destination of your live or hybrid event, the location of your broadcasting centres for virtual events or where your virtual platform has its servers, physical location matters. The choices made by the region you pick broadly impact your event's carbon footprint. How specifically?
You can't manage what you don't measure.
Yes, carbon accounting is a thing. Yes, it's how we get to carbon neutral or negative. You will see many examples of carbon accounting in the moonshot reports. Carbon accounting is not complicated, but you need the right data in the correct measurements to calculate it.
Your supply chain is critical, your supplier's supply chain is critical, your supplier's supplier's supply chain is critical. You get the idea; it's a process.
Let it go. Often during the moonshot challenge process, the teams ran into that meeting planner's friend, the law of diminishing returns. Yes, if we did 6 more hours of research and meetings, we COULD find the carbon emission difference between packaging A and packaging B for the snacks. We can cancel any carbon savings by the emissions of the emails, phone calls and Zoom meetings on the issue. They often had to let smaller issues go and focus on high-return actions such as transportation and electricity. (please note If you were the supplier of packaging B and had your carbon footprint data available and transparent, you would have made the sale!)
It's all about relationships.
Ashley Stephens, our lead for the hybrid moonshot team, had a saying – "feel the fire or see the light" – and on behalf of all of us at TSEF, thank you for seeing the light.