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Photo Credit: Marko Delbello Ocepek

Reducing environmental effects is one of Conventa’s most important objectives. That is why this year, the organisers meticulously measured the carbon footprint of the entire event, which took place from 23 to 26 August 2022 at various locations around Ljubljana.

The carbon footprint was calculated together with ClimatePartner, based on measurements of emissions generated at the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. The total carbon footprint of Conventa 2022 amounted to 275.4 tonnes or 255 kg/participant/day. That is the same as the average annual carbon emissions of 30 EU citizens.

As much as 88.2% of the measured carbon footprint resulted from transporting participants to the venue. The accurately measured carbon footprint will allow the organisers to implement necessary steps for improvement in line with the 160 sustainability criteria of the project. The carbon footprint will be recalculated in four months at the 15th edition of the trade show.

88.2% of Conventa’s total carbon footprint is a result of the transport of participants.

The Conventa Green Team is well-aware that calculating the carbon footprint is only the beginning. The real purpose of this year’s calculation was to identify the activities that cause the most greenhouse gas emissions. Gorazd Čad, the co-founder of Conventa, emphasised: “The next steps are crucial. 275 tonnes of CO2 are a great insight for upgrading our sustainability system and the 5R methodology (Rethink/Reduce/Reuse/Recycle/Refuse).”

To ensure the calculation was accurate, they partnered with experts in corporate climate action, ClimatePartner, a renowned company that has helped over 5,000 companies on their climate action journey over the last 16 years. They covered a wide range of emission sources in the calculation. Their methodology helped optimise several processes during the implementation phase of the project. “The project aims to raise awareness among event organisers so that they engage in climate action. If we don’t measure things, it’s impossible to improve them,” said Jakob Sterlich, Head of ClimatePartner Austria, at the end of the measurement process.

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Photo Credit: Marko Delbello Ocepek

CARBON FOOTPRINT STRUCTURE OF CONVENTA 2022

88,2%Transport of participants220,765.8 kg
6,1%Hotel accommodation15,188.0 kg
2,5%Transport of equipment and technical teams6,312.5 kg
1,9%Venue4,841.6 kg
0,8%Catering – food2,008.8 kg
0,4%Catering – drinks1,025.9 kg
0,1%Other equipment and materials265.7 kg
TOTAL:250,408.3 kg
10%Safety reserve25,040.8 kg
TOTAL CARBON FOOTPRINT:275,449.1 kg

A carbon footprint of just over 275 tonnes is equivalent to:

– the average annual carbon emissions of 30 EU citizens
– the carbon stored in 20,033 beech trees
– the summer melt of 751 m2 of Arctic ice
– 269,256 laundry cycles at 60 degrees Celsius
– the production of 20,375 kg of beef

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Photo Credit: Marko Delbello Ocepek

CONVENTA 5R

A number of activities were executed as part of this pilot project, which represents an example of good practice for the event industry as a whole:

5R: RETHINK

– More climate-friendly catering menus were ordered, with a final result of 77.8% (1050) vegetarian and 22.2% (300) meat dishes.
– Two educational sessions were held for project partners to educate them and build a culture of sustainable transformation.
– A campaign of “10 tips to reduce your carbon footprint at Conventa” was implemented for hosted buyers, exhibitors, partners and team members. The aim was to raise awareness among key target groups of the need to reduce harmful impacts on the environment.
– Raising awareness and transferring knowledge between staff, partners and the broader community in an open-source manner. – All strategic documents, matrixes, recommendations and tools are available at www.conventa.si/green-conventa. The subpage has become a source of information and inspiration for all event organisers.

5R: REDUCE

– Full digitalisation of the matchmaking system via the B2Match platform and access via a mobile app on smartphones
– Digitalisation of directional, instructional and informative signs with 12 plasmas and 4 digital LED stands
– Introduction of 4 electric shuttles (Go.Opti), with an average engine emission of 18.9 g CO2/km
– Reduction of paper consumption by 40% through the complete digitalisation of event organisation and event marketing processes
– Reducing carbon footprint generated by everyday commutes to business meetings by fostering a culture of sustainable mobility inside the team. The organisers equipped themselves with their own bicycles, and some with electric scooters

5R: REUSE

– Reusing 2850 wooden crates that make up the exhibition stands. The crates will be used for the upcoming Conventa as well as other events at the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre
– Reusing cardboard signs for exhibitors. 76% of the signs are saved and will be used at Conventa 2023

5R: RECYCLE

– Managing leftover food with an innovative system of pre-prepared catering packages and a food storage system (Jezeršek Catering).
– At all social events, catering service providers offered cardboard packaging so participants could store leftover food.

5R: REFUSE

– A complete ban on the use of plastic was adhered to by all caterers and subcontractors of the project.
– Eliminating disposable carpets at the venue, which previously contributed enormously to the waste generated at the event.

In addition to the solutions outlined above, the organisers have implemented a number of other measures, which will be presented in the form of a handbook, which will be made available free of charge to all event organisers in October.

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Photo Credit: Marko Delbello Ocepek

The organisers will analyse all the data in detail and take action in all 14 areas of the 5R Sustainability Measures matrix by the end of October. In the build-up to the next Conventa, the organisers are already encouraging registered participants to reduce their emissions by using alternative means of transportation. They also plan to obtain ISO 2021 (Sustainable Events) certification and organise 10 Conventa Trend Bar online training courses dedicated to sustainable events.

As event organisers, our actions and choices leave a significant footprint, reflected in the amount of carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere at events.

Conventa calls on all media and interest groups to help spread the climate action journey of Conventa. We hope our way of engaging in climate action will inspire others to organise climate-friendly events in the future.

All information regarding Conventa’s sustainable transformation is available at: https://conventa.si/green-conventa/.

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