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As part of our drive to make the 2019 Global Good Awards more sustainable than ever, we were keen to mitigate the carbon impacts of our ceremony.
Whilst we have taken steps to reduce our carbon footprint, by holding the awards at BMA House – one of the ‘greenest’ venues available – by using Carbon Balanced Paper made by our headline sponsors Denmaur Independent Papers, and going meat free, for example, we were also acutely aware that there are unavoidable carbon emissions associated with our awards ceremony.
We know that rising CO2 concentrations are disrupting the climate, but there are ways we can act to tackle our unavoidable carbon footprint,. Not being experts, we were fascinated by the prospect of learning how it’s done, and maybe a little worried that the process might be costly… (SPOILER ALERT: It isn’t.)
Why are we carbon balancing?
After a bit of research, and with a few helpful pointers, the GGA decided to tackle our awards ceremony carbon footprint by ‘balancing’ the unavoidable carbon emissions, through offsetting and we’ve been doing so since 2017. By this approach we are able to align ourselves with our headline sponsor, Denmaur, who Carbon Balance their Revive paper. Their experience made it a much easier decision for us… Denmaur have been Carbon Balancing for years. To date, they have balanced 11,126 tonnes of CO2e emissions, protecting 1334 acres of land with World Land Trust!
Like Denmaur, we are offsetting our emissions through impactful conservation projects, managed by World Land Trust; an international conservation charity whose Carbon Balanced programme offsets emissions by protecting threatened habitats that would otherwise have been lost, avoiding the release of stored carbon. This also enables the regeneration of degraded habitats, which gradually re-absorb atmospheric CO2.
As such, Carbon Balancing by World Land Trust tackles climate change through projects that not only address CO2e emissions, but also protect and conserve environments that are at risk of being lost. You can find out more about where they work, here.
Calculating our ceremony carbon footprint
We worked closely with CarbonCO, who quantified the carbon footprint of the 2019 awards ceremony, to work out what we needed to balance with World Land Trust. CarbonCO worked out the carbon impacts for everyone attending the awards event at BMA House, and the area of land required to balance all travel, hotel, accommodation and delegate impacts onsite.
To err on the side of caution we always overestimated each attendee’s likely carbon impact… We know that our delegates are about as green as is possible, we just wanted to be sure.
Our Carbon Balancing calculations
The carbon impacts are an estimation of delegate travel and hotel stays, and the impacts of the ceremony itself, calculated using emission factors published by Defra in June 2018.
CarbonCO calculated the GGA ceremony CO2e emissions based on an expected 210 attendees, with:
- 20% coming from Greater London
- 50% coming from Mid-counties or south coast
- 20% Northern travellers (eg Manchester)
- 10% Distance travellers using regional flights (eg Edinburgh)
- 2 travellers from Thailand. All other international travellers carbon offset their flights already.
We calculated delegates CO2e for travel as per the below table:
|Distance (kms)||Kgs C02e/Km||CO2 (kgs) per person||%tage split||Total Kgs CO2e||Add 30% Extra||Total kgs CO2e|
|Greater London Dweller|
|Mid-counties and South Coast Dweller|
|Car / Taxi||32||0.19386||6.2|
|Northern Dweller (Manchester)|
|Car / Taxi||32||0.19386||6.2|
|Distance Dweller (Flight Edinburgh)|
|Car / Taxi||60||0.19386||11.6|
|2 international delegates|
|Car / Taxi||60||0.19386||11.6|
|Delegate Travel Only||19566.9||25437.0||25437.0|
|Hotel Stays (per person – London)||29.4||40||2469.6||2469.6|
|BMA House delegate impact||5.99||100||1257.9||1257.9|
|UK Resource – Diesel Van||260||0.14918||38.8||38.8||38.8|
|Land Preserved (sq.m.)||20442|
To explain, for each Greater London dweller we assumed a journey of 32km travel on the underground, and 32km miles by taxi; as we expect Londoners are more likely to use a taxi, we have calculated 7.4kg of CO2e per per individual.
For each Mid-Counties dweller we assumed a journey of 240km by rail, 32km travel on the underground, and 32km by car to reach the rail station; as such for this group we have calculated 18kg of CO2e per individual.
To make up for any discrepancies, we added an additional 30% extra on top of everything, which gives us 25,437 kgs CO2e for travel
Based on one overnight stay in London for 40% of our attendees (100 people), which is calculated to cause CO2e of 29.4 kg per person, we added 2,469.6 kgs CO2e to our tally.
BMA House delegate impact
BMA House, a venue that holds a GOLD Green Tourism accreditation, CarbonCO calculated an additional 5.9 kg CO2e emissions for each attendee, which amounts to 1,257.9 kgs CO2e in total.
All in all…
… The GGA will be balancing 29.2 tonnes of CO2e emissions, which will protect 20,442 square metres of high value conservation land with World Land Trust… all for less than £460.00
We’re publishing the calculations for two main reasons – to show transparency, and that it is a really simple thing to do.
Reducing and Balancing YOUR carbon emission
The GGA can vouch for it ourselves: Carbon Balanced is a simple solution for any business to reduce their carbon impacts, and this activity supports World Land Trust.
The Carbon Balanced team can help you with a 3 step process to:
- Measure your carbon footprint: assisting individuals and organisations in quantifying their current emissions through a free emissions audit
- Reduce your carbon footprint: offering information and advice on how to reduce your emissions
- Offset your carbon emissions: through Carbon Balanced habitat conservation and restoration projects. (Whilst every effort must be made to reduce emissions at source, some emissions may be unavoidable, at least in the short-term)
One simple step towards addressing your carbon footprint, might be using Revive Carbon Balanced Paper, from our key sponsor Denmaur. In doing so, you can also use the World Land Trust Carbon Balanced Paper logo on your printed communications as a visual sign of your Corporate Responsibility.
Join us at the 2019 GGA Ceremony: To celebrate excellence in social impact and sustainability (and sample our vegan wines!)
You don’t have to be an entrant to come along to the GGA ceremony! If you’re involved in social impact or sustainability, the GGA is the place to be! From our ‘eco-tie’ dress code, to our completely vegan menu, we aim to set the standard for sustainable events, and we want to share our learnings with you. Find out more about the 2019 ceremony, here>>