Ascential are committed to making better choices that will help contribute to a greener world. In 2019 their focus across all of their events was to become more sustainable and lower carbon emissions in a way that encouraged their customers to join them on the journey. They implemented a number of visible changes such as using recycled materials for event accessories, handing out reusable water bottles to every delegate and increasing the number of refill stations around their venues, and donating leftover catering to the Salvation Army and Soup Kitchens. They also limited media and sponsor giveaways to reduce the waste this had generated in previous years. Meanwhile, behind the scenes they were also working with venues and suppliers to ensure their sustainability policies were in line with Ascential’s sustainability goals.
As we headed into 2020, Ascential had begun to measure the carbon footprint of their events in order to make more educated operational decisions going forward. They were exploring the possibilities of solar charging and offsetting carbon emissions on delegate flights, to name just a couple of things, and had been about to announce a pool transfer system from airports to event locations. But as COVID-19 became a pandemic, and their events were moved temporarily online, their strategy for planning for future events evolved. As a business they began to examine in detail what was most important to delegates at physical events, in order to define which elements were necessary, and which could be done without. They worked hard to improve their year-round digital offering and are currently developing new digital options to support live events.
With international business travel within companies likely to be scrutinised more than ever in the coming months and years, Ascential want to ensure their events deliver true value to their customers, and that there are no-travel ways to engage with their products. And when live events do come back, they will resume their carbon footprint work, and continue to focus on creating products that deliver business value to customers in an efficient and environmentally responsible way. Ascential are excited to work with their partners and customers on this long-term mission, to ensure future events respect and protect the planet.