Broadsword achieves carbon neutrality
Climate change is now firmly on the event industry’s agenda and although reduction in waste and emissions is challenging for our sector, there is momentum, drive and commitment to consistently deliver sustainable events and reduce our impact. isla is an independent body which has played a key role in bringing businesses together over recent years, creating a powerful network, inspiring and accelerating change. It focuses on three core areas: zero waste, 100% renewable and carbon emission reductions.
Having joined isla in 2021, benefitting from the knowledge sharing, resources, training workshops and suggested approach to policies and KPIs, Broadsword kicked off 2022 ‘determined to do the right thing’ with renewed confidence and ambition to achieve carbon neutrality and implement a carbon reduction strategy by the end of the year. We’re delighted that we’re ahead of schedule!
Getting started is difficult in all aspects of our lives and when embarking on this particular project, thinking of the end result felt overwhelming, so we started by breaking it down into bite-sized pieces and setting our own deadlines. The first step was to calculate our carbon footprint for the previous year, with scope 1, 2 and 3 total gross emissions measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) as per the recommendation of international standards. This would be followed by carbon offsetting which involves the purchase and retirement of the CO2e tonnes of Gold Standard VERS. Alongside this, to keep in line with Science Based Targets and below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, a carbon management plan would be created to include a commitment to a reduction target, based on the areas where the business is having the most impact.
Being part of the Innovate UK network, following the successful completion of a collaborative project at the start of 2021, we were introduced to an environmental consultancy, C Free, who leverage technology to accurately measure the carbon footprint of businesses and products. C Free has built a set of tools and algorithms to read through large data sets in order to understand the carbon emissions related to the operations of a business.
C Free worked closely with us to understand the nature of our business and steer the measurement approach. Our emissions were calculated using our internal accounting data, data from partners and metered consumption. Where consumption figures were not available, estimates based on other proxies (e.g. spend based method) were used. All calculations were made in alignment with the neutrality guidelines, predominantly using government published and internationally recognised conversion factors from the international panel on climate change.
Once our calculation was complete, we were able to select a project for our carbon offsetting. C Free shared a number of options and we settled on the investment in the Sidrap Wind Energy Farm Project, located in the Mattirotasi and Lainungan villages, in Indonesia. The power generated by the project will supply the public electricity grid, with an expected net annual power supply of 253,00 MWh. It was hugely motivating to know where our verified carbon credits were going.
The sustainability journey
Of course, this is only the start. We are now implementing isla’s TRACE tool, to calculate the emissions of our event delivery more accurately, relying less on the spend based method as we move forwards. Education remains a key aspect of our sustainability strategy, as the team benefit from content and sessions delivered by isla, as well as EVCOM, Micebook and C&IT. Our partnership with C Free has been a key first step and extremely valuable, as they have shared their expertise and insight with us on a regular basis, guiding us at the beginning of our sustainability journey.