Association of Colleges

Client Brief

We are hosting our annual conference and exhibition; how can we make it carbon neutral to support our Climate Commission goals?

Location: Birmingham
Client: Association of Colleges
Number of Delegates: 1,200


As the flagship event in our client’s portfolio the annual conference was the ideal platform to create awareness and influence sustainable behaviours to key stakeholders in the education sector. Spread across two days more than 1000 delegates attended the conference with high profile speakers, numerous breakout sessions, 50 exhibitions and culminating in a dinner for 500 guests. The social and economic benefits of an in-person event are undisputed so finding a way to measure, assess and offset the carbon impact was essential to producing a sustainable event.

Carbon reduction graphic


To achieve carbon neutral event status, we needed to scope out all the emissions related to the event. We collaborated with Katie Hartigan, Events Manager, to understand the event in full and create the best method of collecting the relevant data from delegates, speakers, exhibitors, and event support services along with the event organiser. As delegate registration had been launched, our weblink was sent to all attendees to accurately measure the carbon impact of their travel, hospitality, and catering. Using her unique link, the event organiser shared additional details including food sources, wastage, and event space usage. 

Our carbon calculator, validated by Carbon Footprint Ltd, measured the total carbon footprint of the event. In addition to this our detailed report provided analysis and recommendations on each element of the carbon footprint identifying opportunities to reduce emissions and deliver carbon reductions of up to 20%. Using the final carbon footprint post-event, we were able to offset the carbon tonnage with our Verified Carbon Standard programmes including UK tree planting and protecting the Amazon, solar power installation in Vietnam and renewable windfarms in India.

“Every organisation and industry needs to be doing more when it comes to sustainability and the events industry is no exception. We are very excited to have teamed up with Conference Care to monitor and manage the environmental impact from our event and to offset our carbon footprint. It is an excellent step in the right direction for sustainable events and the process could not have been easier. We look forward to continuing this work and using the information to reduce our footprint year on year”

Katie Hartigan, Events Manager, Association of Colleges.

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