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Partnerships for Forests Forum 2022

Green Sense Events were delighted to be approached by the Partnerships for Forests team in planning and managing the Partnerships for Forests Forum 2022. The largest event since it began in 2018. This year saw over 400 delegates including 60 exhibitors from around the world come together to celebrate and showcase the incredible work that this project supports in sustainable agriculture and forestry.

Sustainability is at the very heart of the Partnerships for Forests project and therefore it was vital that this event reflect both social and environmental sustainability through its delivery.

Our overall objective was to create a Carbon Neutral event. By reducing our CO2 emissions as much as possible across the entire event, and then investing in projects; Colombia Pacific Acai and Gola Cocoa Project to both reduce and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

We created a set of guiding principles that were put in place to guide us throughout our decision making and which were used to inform any suppliers, staff and stakeholders so that we could work together to achieve this target and to accept collective responsibility for an environmentally and socially sustainable event. These were to:

  • Provide an accessible and inclusive event

  • Minimise potential impacts on the environment

  • Encourage more sustainable behaviour

  • Promote the use of responsible sources and use of resources throughout the supply chain

Key Measures

Measures taken to reduce environmental impact:

  • Chose a venue which was close to public transport links and had good sustainability initiatives in place

  • Built sustainability considerations into design and material choices.

  • Avoided waste to landfill by recycling materials and redistributing or composting food items.

  • Prioritised locally sourced and seasonal food items to minimise mileage and carbon emissions for transportation and support local business.

  • Sourced suppliers that were local/ within London to minimise mileage and carbon emissions from transportation.

  • Shared the strategy with key staff to influence partners/ exhibitors behaviours.

  • Worked with the catering team to produce a plant forward menu with 35% plant based and 86% vegetarian.

Measures taken to support inclusivity and accessibility across the event

  • Ensured the venue had good access/ lifts and accessible toilets on site.

  • Included questions on accessibility at the point of registration to highlight any specific needs

  • Provided translation services across 4 languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish and Bahasa for both in person and online audience

  • Delivered a hybrid event to allow those unable or choosing not to attend in person to access the event virtually, and to allow those on a different time zone to catch up on any missed sessions post event

The Venue

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business was chosen as the venue.

It was important to the Partnerships for Forests team that the venue was located in or as close to the centre of London and the financial district as possible.

The Chicago Booth is right in the heart of the financial district a stone’s throw from St Paul's Cathedral. It is a brand new venue that has only recently started hosting events to external organisations. The space offers a light airy modern feel and provided a number of rooms for both the exhibition and talks across the two days.

The building achieved a high score of 81.5% during construction which is an Excellent rating under the BREEAM 2014 Scheme.

BREEAM is the world's leading sustainability assessment method for buildings.

The areas that contributed to this result are as follows:

  • Energy efficiency

  • Low carbon design

  • Ventilated building facade

  • A comprehensive building energy management system

  • Efficient Lighting

  • Low district heat network system

  • Low water consumption

  • Responsible sourcing of materials

  • Increase in ecological value

  • Sustainable drainage system

  • Minimising waste

The venue used FSC certified wood which features heavily throughout its interior design. Chicago Booth has some fantastic sustainable initiatives already in place and they were keen to use this event as an example of what could be achieved.

Promote the use of responsible sources and resources throughout the supply chain: Including Catering strategy & Performance

We worked closely with the in house catering team at Chicago Booth, highlighting our catering strategy at the very beginning and the importance of locally sourced seasonal produce. Which resulted in the following:

  • 35% plant based menu and 86% vegetarian.

  • All fish Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) certified and eggs were free range

  • All tea, coffee and sugar was certified organic and fair trade

  • All products were sourced sustainably and carry the relevant certification to ensure the ingredients are deforestation free

  • Eggs are free range and from the UK

  • Chicken is Red Tractor assured to indicate UK raised to minimum UK standards.

Provide an Accessible and Inclusive event


With a large percentage of delegates travelling from Latin America it was important that we provide translation of the sessions for Portuguese, Spanish, English and Bahasa. We worked with a company called Interprefy and supplied a number of headsets for delegates onsite to access the translation this was also available via app on a mobile phone or via Cvent the virtual platform for delegates to select.

Digital / Hybrid event

For those that were unable to travel or those locally who weren’t able to attend in person we offered the event virtually for people to access via Cvent. The Attendee hub was available to login to in advance to enable delegates to interact online with one another and make useful connections. The online exhibition was also featured and the majority of the sessions where live streamed where delegates could watch and ask questions. The content was also accessible after the event had ended for those that were unable to view it in real time.

Registration form to identify needs

At the registration stage we asked a number of questions to identify specific needs such as dietary requirements, and any accessibility needs, this was also used to capture delegates mode of transport to the event to enable the team to calcuate the mileage and associated carbon emissions.

Creating a Sustainable Exhibition

In alignment with our Sustainability Strategy we provided all exhibitors with a 1.5m x 2m pre-printed display board made of Re-Board®, which was provided by our printing supplier on a take-back scheme to then be recycled post event. The board showcased information on each project, and featured a QR code for visitors to find further information without the need for printed brochures of leaflets.

Each exhibition stand also featured a poseur table and stool which was hired and returned to stock post event.

We worked with Chris, Ryan and the team at Print Hub Global to source the most sustainable London based print supplier who could create the boards for us based on our design.

Re-board® is a supremely-printable and rigid board for the Point of Sale, Signage, Events, Exhibitions, and Shop Fitting markets. Re-board®’s fluted core paired with liners creates the perfect board for use in printed 3D creations, while remaining the most environmentally friendly board of its kind.

The Stats:

We had a total of 196.80 sqm of print for the exhibition created using Re-board. which had we used Pull up banners resulted in a saving of 0.2 tons of PVC going to landfill.

In addition to this the printer that we used was based in London which reduced the carbon footprint of delivery. By using 16mm Reboard we were also able to reduce the specification to one material that could be used as both print and structure. This reduced the need for circa 770kg of aluminium framework and system.

As well as being a recyclable material, Re-board also looks great as an alternative to a pull -up banner and gave a professional look and feel to the exhibition.

Encourage More Sustainable Behaviour

To encourage more sustainable behaviour amongst our exhibitors we held a pre-event briefing where we outlined the strategy in advance to the project team and their partners to try and discourage printing of additional materials and handouts and to utilise QR codes on their display to link through to further information.

Carbon Management/ Carbon neutrality explained

Prior to the event taking place the decision was made to reduce the carbon emissions as much as possible and then offset what was remaining thus creating a carbon neutral event.

In order to do this we will be investing in the following projects: Colombia Pacific Acai and Gola Cocoa Project to both reduce and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. These are projects which are managed by Partnerships for Forests

To calculate the carbon footprint of the event we committed to measuring GHG emissions from Scope 1, 2 and 3 as follows:

  • Scope 1 (direct): Fuel consumption from company owned vehicles, that are used for the purpose of the event

  • Scope 2 (indirect): Purchased electricity utilised by the venue during the set up, delivery and event de-rig, of the event.

  • Scope 3: Business Travel, procurement, waste, and water. Equipment via the supply chain will be tracked back one stage, ie transport from supplier to venue/ site, and removal of items.

Where possible we used exact data that was provided to us by the venue, delegates and suppliers. The amount of CO2e was calculated using a system called Tracker Plus. For certain data, estimations had to be made manually using the GHG conversion factors as published by DEFRA: as follows:

  • Kitchen waste - this was based on the size of the container in the kitchen and was treated as compostable food waste

  • Plastics from deliveries

  • Number of hotel rooms utilised by delegates, based on the number of delegates visiting from outside of London

  • The amount of water utilised in the venue was based on research and taken as an average of daily usage by an individual.

  • Online access - taken from research carried out on the average amount of CO2 generated by a 1 day virtual conference.

The largest portion of the overall carbon footprint was generated from unavoidable travel and transport which accounted for 316 tCO2e of the overall figure however by choosing a venue that was based in central london this also meant good transport links to the venue and hotels within walking distance. The overall carbon footprint is detailed below, there were 302 attendees over the two days and 102 online attendees. The per head amount is broken down into an in-person figure and an online figure.

Total GHG Emissions tCO2 (per delegate)

Partnerships for Forests Forum 2022

328.58 (0.0065 per online delegate & 1.0857 per in person delegate)

This data will now be used going forward for the 2023 conference, and the learnings from 2022 will inform and shape the event in order to reduce the quantity of CO2 even further.

If you have any questions about this process, or would like to look at something similar for your events, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Green Sense Events, either book a call via the link below or email:

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