The Climate Change and Business Conference (CCBC) is New Zealand’s leading and longest-running climate change and business event, with a rich history of living the ethos of the topics it addresses.
This year the Sustainable Business Council (SBC) and the Climate Leaders Coalition (CLC) have joined forces with the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) to take the CCBC to a new level. It will provide a platform for business leaders to focus on the concrete actions being taken to accelerate our transition to a zero-emissions economy and climate-resilient future.
Sustainable Business Executive Director Mike Burrell says: “Business has a central role to play in decarbonising New Zealand, as well as a critical leadership role to play in walking the talk of sustainability and climate action. That’s why it is so important for us to be hosting an event that showcases how things can be done in a more climate focused way.
“Right from the outset our event planning has had climate sustainability factors at its heart – from the logistics and on the ground day to day operations of the event itself, to committing to monitoring, measuring and offsetting the event’s emissions.” CEO of EDS Gary Taylor adds: “With nearly 100 New Zealand and international presenters and panellists taking part in this conference in Tāmaki Makaurau, the conference, now in its 14th year, is a showcase event for climate action.
“The world is counting down to the 2030 targets and accelerating towards net zero by 2050, and as event organisers and business leaders it is essential we reflect the part we can play.”
Efforts made to improve the carbon footprint of CCBC 2022 include:
Certifying and quantifying emissions
The Climate Change and Business Conference is working towards becoming a Toitū Envirocare net carbonzero certified event for event operations (pending final review post-event).
CCBC organisers have committed to measuring, monitoring, and offsetting the emissions of the event’s operations.
This is the ninth consecutive CCBC event that has been Toitū certified.
The last three have been certified carbonzero, where the lifecycle of an event: pre-event activity (such as travel and printed collateral), main event activity (such as catering, energy use, travel, and accommodation) and post-event activity (waste to landfill) have been monitored and audited.
Certifying an event to be net carbon zero not only provides a third-party certification but it gives a framework to work against that helps bring a better understanding of what event management areas have the biggest impact.
In 2020 the event generated 45.87 tonnes of CO2 equivalents (tCO2e) at 0.13 per delegate. The event operational amount of 18.67 tCO2e was offset by supporting projects relating to native forests through the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative (PFSI).
The PFSI commits privately owned forests to long term sustainable management for the primary purpose of carbon sequestration. It favours projects with native tree species and where maintenance of permanent forest cover is valued for other environmental reasons such as enhancement of biodiversity, soil conservation, water quality improvement, and flood control.
Operational steps to reduce the event’s carbon footprint
The Aotea Centre, an Auckland Conventions, Venues & Events venue, is part of the independently audited Toitū Envirocare sustainability programme.
Sustainability-focused activity at the venue includes the conversion of 75% of its theatre and house lights to energy-saving LED lights. The venue has water and waste reduction targets, and all event waste from Aotea Centre is hand sorted at its own recycling centre.
The Conference has engaged Urban Gourmet for catering of the event, an organisation that is committed to the environment and making choices that are socially responsible, from where products are sourced, to who the company chooses to engage with contractually.
Reducing, reusing, and recycling will be a fundamental focus for the conference catering, which will include a full recycling operation, as well as disposable packaging that is 100% compostable.
The menus at the CCBC event will focus on primarily plant-based food, with Urban Gourmet committed to only purchasing and using free range eggs and free farmed chicken and pork. The company also works with their suppliers to understand where their products are sourced and traceability of the supply chain. Food and drink at the event will be served using china plates/cups and metal cutlery, and glasses and glass jugs, with water filling stations available for visitors to refill water bottles.
To further minimise food waste, leftover food will be collected in compostable bins, and where appropriate, unused high-quality food may also be provided to the Auckland City Mission.
Drinks held on the first evening of the conference will be ‘green’ drinks – with low carbon beer and wine offered, and hot drinks available via coffee carts throughout the event will be served in china cups.
Coffee beans used by coffee cart provider All Press are sustainability sourced, with used coffee grounds collected and taken from the event to be commercially composted.
Thanks to the conference sponsorship of Zespri, attendees will also be able to enjoy a serving of kiwifruit while enjoying the coffee from the coffee carts that Zespri has sponsored. The nutritional snack not only aims to help keep attendees fuelled over the two-day event, but also goes to the heart of Zespri’s purpose - helping people, communities and the environment around the world thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit.
While CCBC works holistically with Toitū to measure the event, some of the areas out of its control are inevitably what makes the event great - the people.
All attendees will be encouraged to offset their travel as part of the booking process and can utilise Toitū’s travel calculator for assistance in doing so.
Live streaming options
A live streaming option for the conference is available for those who would like to register, but not attend in person, enabling delegates to access the rich and engaging content, without the requirement of travel.
The event programme will primarily be available on an App as well as via screens at the Aotea Centre.
Badges will be made of recyclable soft plastic, with lanyards collected, washed, and reused.
Staging, registration furniture and plants will be hired to reduce waste.
Gary Taylor says: “We would encourage all businesses to join the conversation and harness the opportunity the conference presents to connect and network with peers, as well as hear the latest on thought leadership, innovation and collaboration, and the practical opportunities for businesses in transitioning to a zero-carbon economy.”
The Climate Change & Business Conference thanks all their sponsors and partners for helping make this important event possible.
Learn more about the Climate Change & Business Conference here
Learn more about Toitū Envirocare certification here