Delegates at the annual CINZ conference in Dunedin helped to offset any carbon emissions from their journeys by gifting hundreds of native trees to the city.
In a corporate social responsibility initiative run for CINZ by Ahika Consulting, trees will be planted to restore the Otago Peninsula native forest.
Niki Bould, sustainablity consultant with Ahika also spoke at the conference, advising delegates on the latest carbon neutral conferencing advances, and on how to manage and improve sustainability at events.
She said understanding the carbon impact of your events is the first step to being accountable.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure, Get some help because it gets complicated, but you have to identify the problem before you can formulate a plan.”
She highlighted food as an area where conference and events organiser can “have a huge influence” given their control over where it comes from – in terms of food miles – and who provides it.
Bould advocated always choosing local suppliers and vendors who supports your sustainability goals or strategy. She added that this is also another way to give back to the local community.
Other considerations included: virtual engagement or video conferencing; encouraging delegates to choose low-carbon travel options or consider innovative registration tariffs to reward lower carbon involvement; site selection and location so as to maximise the benefit for the local community; waste management practices; chossing areas with public transport and finally reusing materials or going paperless.
The CINZ event adopted a number of these suggestions, on top of the carbon offsetting, choosing not to use plastic bottles, paper cups and bags. printed brochures.
Printed brochures were also out, with everything delegates needed is on Centium’s EventsAIR App, which includes a new EventStream feature to allow delegates to post photos and videos and comments via the app according to CINZ chief executive, Sue Sullivan.
Reusable coffee cups were also donated to the event by Enterprise Dunedin.