Environment Funders Canada recognizes that holding a national, in-person conference creates a sizeable carbon footprint. Yet we feel that, particularly after two years of COVID-19, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. We are proactively taking steps to reduce this footprint through the choices we make and by offsetting the carbon emissions we can’t avoid. Read on to learn more about what we are doing and how you can help lighten the footprint of our conference.
Reducing our Emissions
EFC is working, along with our venue, Manteo Resort, to reduce emissions associated with our conference by following green conference practices wherever possible. This includes:
- Minimizing paper use by providing registration and conference information digitally. We also plan to use a conference app this year!
- Eliminating exhibitor materials and collateral.
- Eliminating plastic water bottles and asking that you bring a refillable water bottle. Still and sparkling water will be available.
- Avoiding single-serve containers for food and condiments, as well as other unnecessary disposable items, such as coffee stir sticks and straws.
- Ensuring all dishes, cutlery and linens are reusable.
- Including locally sourced food options wherever possible.
- Minimizing food waste by providing accurate attendee estimates and asking venue to compost waste and donate/utilize surplus food where feasible.
Offsetting our Emissions
Even with steps to reduce our footprint, we recognize that the majority of conference emissions (over 90%) are related to travel, on top of venue-related impacts we can’t avoid. To address this, we are including a recommended $30 carbon offset fee as part of this year’s registration cost. Funds collected from this fee will be invested in the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project, a verified Canadian-based offset project, conducted under the BC Forest Carbon Offset Protocol, that has enduring environmental and social benefits.
This fee will be payable as an add-on item that you select via Eventbrite at the time of registration. We have calculated this fee based on a coarse estimate of carbon emissions from travel and other mandatory venue activities. By including a standard fee for all, we are recognizing that people come from across Canada and beyond to attend our conference and are sharing the cost collectively without penalizing those who must travel farther to attend. We encourage all registrants to include this fee in their registration. Strong participation will help us render our event carbon neutral (or even carbon negative if everyone participates!).
Thank you for your help in making this year’s conference our greenest in-person event yet.