How we're taking small steps to make our Fieldays a bit more sustainable.
When we started looking into exhibiting at Fieldays, we were focused solely on how we were going to execute such a large event. We then realised it was a great opportunity to take a more sustainable approach to the event, and start as we mean to go on. We have some constraints, but we started looking into doing what we could to increase our attendance sustainability.
So, what did we do?
1. What opportunities were available through the event itself?
Fieldays has a sustainability partner programme. It primarily focuses on waste reduction, which makes sense for such a large-scale event, but also encourages partners to reduce electricity consumption and take a more thoughtful approach to their Fieldays presence. We chose to participate in this.
2. Choosing a print company
Sustainability can be difficult for print companies with their reliance on paper. We chose BrightPrint who only use paper sourced from legal and sustainable forests, and minimise the use of harsh chemicals in the print process. They are located in South Island, reducing shipping emissions. We designed our printed materials for future use beyond Fieldays, and with the aim that they can be recycled if they are disposed of. You can read more about BrightPrints sustainability practices here.
3. Branded t-shirts
4. Add it all up
To estimate the carbon footprint of exhibiting at Fieldays, we used a number of calculators. We compared data from Google Flights to MyClimate’s event footprint calculator. Using the data from each source, we rounded up to the nearest whole number so we knew how many offsets we needed.
5. Offset what’s left
None of the calculators matched, so to be on the safe side we rounded up and multiplied by half again. We offset our event footprint through Native CCUs because we know they are high-integrity carbon removal offsets, and because they support local landowners’ efforts to restore our native forests and strengthen biodiversity. The vast majority of the funds from the sale of these offsets goes back to the landholder themselves, which is reinvested into native forest restoration.
Decarbonising is hard and can’t be achieved overnight. But perfection is the enemy of progress, as noted by our CEO in her recent TEDx talk. We’re taking action by being thoughtful in our choices, by collaborating with like-minded businesses, and by offsetting what we can’t reduce in our approach towards sustainability. By sharing what we’ve done and who we’ve worked with, we hope other businesses can benefit and don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
We know we still have a way to go, but “we cannot wait for the perfect plans, policies, tools or information. The time to start building for a thriving, low emissions and climate resilient future is now.” - Jo Hendy, CEO, The Climate Change Commission