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Reducing C02 Emissions with Virtual Events

One of the advantages of the pandemic was the beginning of virtual events. This recent type of event gave us the possibility to connect and interact without having to share the same physical space. Besides this, virtual events have a significant role in helping the environment by reducing C02 emissions.

The objective is to understand the sources of C02 emissions of both physical and virtual events and to determine what we can do to be more eco-friendly. The original article was published on More Than Digital and the main ideas will be highlighted in this blog post. Additionally, the original article gives examples with C02 calculations, and more detailed information. This is essential to fully understand the impact of virtual events on the planet.

C02 Emissions - Sources of physical events:

  • Travel – Travelling is one of the largest resource consumption and contributes significantly to more C02 emissions. Aviation emissions are at the highest while traveling by railway is the lowest.
  • Accommodation – Often there is the need to stay overnight in a location. The emissions vary depending on the accommodation type, however, there will be electricity and heating emissions.
  • Conference Venue – After choosing the place for your event, similar emissions as the accommodation will be produced.
  • Catering – The total emissions of the catering will depend on the number of participants in your event. The amount of food and the transportation of the meals has an impact on  C02 emissions.

C02 Emissions - Sources of virtual events:

  • Electricity consumption of devices – All participants will need to use a device – smartphone, laptop, PC – to attend the event. Some attendees will even use more than one device, which will increase the electricity consumption. 
  • Electricity consumption of data flow – The internet is another main source of electricity consumption leading to C02 Emissions. 
  • Lamp usage – Although this is a small factor, we considered the sources of C02 Emissions on physical events, and therefore, it should be taken into account on virtual events as well.
  • Engine queries and website visits – Quantifying this energy consumption is also relevant to the overall C02 Emissions of online events. According to Google, each query causes 0.2g of CO2.
  • Allocated life cycle emissions – This refers to the C02 Emissions of the digital devices when produced and transported. We consider the life cycles of the electronic devices that the participants will use.

Knowing all the aforementioned factors that contribute to a larger amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, it is possible to calculate how the different types of events contribute to pollution. At SCOOCS we currently estimate that the average participant that takes part in conferences on our platform produces around 50 g of CO2 per hour.

After understanding what the main sources of gas emissions are, the only thing left is to start adopting methods to be more environmentally friendly. Here is a small description of the suggestions mentioned in the article:

Suggestions

  • Hybrid Events – This combination of online participants with on-site attendees can still decrease significantly C02 emissions while maintaining the important in-person factor.
  • Carbon Offsetting – Use carbon offsetting by selecting a project to compensate for your C02 Emissions. Some projects include renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reforestation. 
  • Eco-Friendlier Catering Menus – Chose more sustainable dishes for your event, like vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and gluten-free.
  • Green Technologies – Embrace sustainable technologies even though they are a bit more expensive. This would highlight your concern about the environment and you will have different possibilities to explore in the technology sector. 

The mentioned information and suggestions in this blog are further detailed in the original article with concrete examples. The C02 Emissions were presented and based on previous studies, which will give you a better perspective of how much you can help by choosing environmentally friendly virtual events. 

Want to read more? The full article is available on MoreThanDigital.info: How To Implement Environmentally Friendly Events – Online Vs. Offline

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