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Running a greener event: How in-person events can become climate-positive


Cover image stating "Run a greener event".

There are few better ways to seed creativity and foster innovation than to bring people together in one location for a meeting of minds, but these in-person events face a sustainability dilemma. Most of us – 71% according to research from BlueJeans and Forrester – feel that it is difficult to make virtual events accurately reflect the non-virtual experience. And with live events bouncing back after two years of COVID-induced hiatus, it is likely that industry will continue to grow.


However, in-person events become victims of their own success from a sustainability perspective: as an event scales up, so does its environmental footprint. More attendees demand more material, entail more energy usage, and produce more waste. Most importantly, as an event scales internationally, its carbon footprint increases exponentially – with participants’ travel footprint contributing by far the largest share of carbon emissions due to the use of commercial flights.


The carbon footprint of the M1NTED conference broken down by type.

Over 90% of the carbon footprint of the Kuala Lumpur-based NFT conference M1NTED was produced by participants’ flights into Malaysia. This overview is available on their Klima Infinity Pledge Dashboard.


The live music events industry alone is responsible for nearly 1 million tonnes of CO2 emitted per year¹ – equivalent to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions produced by over 200,000 passenger cars per year.² The FIFA World Cup, taking place in Qatar, commissioned South Pole to assess the tournament’s carbon footprint, which was estimated at 3.6 million tonnes of CO2e – though Carbon Market Watch raised a critique, suggesting that the footprint is understated by at least 1.4 million tonnes, bringing the total to over 5 million.


And this is just a small subset of the total in-person events industry, which could be as high as 255 million tonnes of CO2 per year³⁴ – comprising 0.5% of global emissions, and equivalent to the emissions produced by over 50 million cars per year. The in-person events industry’s contribution to global GHG emissions is crucial because we are currently failing to close the emissions gap: we are on track for global warming of more than 1.5 degrees by the end of the century.


The consequences of this warming – rising sea levels, climate instability, biodiversity loss, and humanitarian and energy crises, to name a few – pose an existential threat to the future of the entire in-person events industry.


The catch-22 is clear: event organizers need to prioritize sustainability while striving to scale up their business and in-person participation. Innovative solutions are needed – and this is where digital carbon can play a key role.

Having an impact with digital carbon

Where emissions cannot be eliminated, they can be offset. This is done through carbon credits, which are issued by projects around the world that pull GHGs out of the atmosphere or prevent emissions from being released. These projects can then sell their carbon credits, opening up a new source of revenue – enabling them to scale their operations, and incentivizing new pro-climate projects to start up.


The Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) has emerged exactly for this purpose: it is a mechanism that enables carbon credit consumers (such as event organizers) to purchase and retire credits produced by carbon project developers (such as renewable energy or reforestation projects, etc.).


 

Participating in the VCM has not been easy. While event organizers are focused on the success of their events, they can hardly be expected to spend hours researching, weeks analyzing, and months waiting for their carbon offset certifications to come through – only to discover that businesses tend to overpay by as much as 500% for carbon offsets when acquired through traditional means.


Enabled by Web3 technology, the Digital Carbon Market (DCM) has emerged as an evolution of the traditional VCM – where time spent finding a pro-climate project to fund is cut down to minutes, transaction costs are brought down to fractions of traditional fees, and showcasing climate-positive impact is both instant and instantly verifiable. For the first time, event organizers are able to compensate for their events’ carbon emissions in a fast, simple, and transparent manner.


Global sources of carbon credits in the KlimaDAO liquidity pools.

Carbon credits can be sourced from projects from all over the world in the DCM. Projects can be discovered via the Klima Data Carbon Dashboard

The DCM is deeply liquid, with diverse carbon credit types available. At the time of writing, there are over 23 million tonnes of carbon credits available to be offset using KlimaDAO’s Carbon Retirement Aggregator, which is integrated with the DCM. Carbon Market Watch raised the concern that FIFA will not be able to source “supply enough credits to offset the 3.6MtCO2e that the 2022 World Cup organisers estimate the event will generate”, while also questioning the additionality of these credits⁵. High integrity carbon credits issued by Verra are immediately available in the DCM to meet the Qatar World Cup’s offsetting needs.


 

Perhaps even more interestingly, digital carbon can become a building block for your event. Think of digital carbon as a tool that can be integrated into your event experience. As an event organizer, you may want to compensate for the carbon footprint left by your event by purchasing and retiring digital carbon – thus driving funding to pro-climate projects. Or perhaps you want to empower event participants, embedding a carbon offset transaction at the point of ticket sale, enabling them to compensate for their individual impact in terms of travel and accommodation.


In-person events are also experimenting with NFT-based ticketing, in order to benefit from the secondary market for tickets. What if each NFT-based ticket were a carbon sink, continuously offsetting the ticket-holder’s footprint based on pre-programmed parameters? Creating climate-positive impact can also be engaging – attendees can be brought together to leverage the KlimaDAO Carbon Retirement Aggregator and compose their very own Love Letter to the Planet. These climate-positive use cases are already being used by events from Asia to the Americas, in order to help address the sustainability challenges faced by the in-person events industry.

Today’s climate leaders – how in-person events are already using digital carbon to become sustainable

Leveraging the tools and support offered by KlimaDAO, several leading event organizers are already taking on the role of climate leaders and using digital carbon to take meaningful steps toward a more sustainable future.

Case study #1: Thought For Food Generation Fest

Various snapshots of KlimaDAO representatives at M1NTED.

Generation Fest took place on September 30th, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York City, bringing together CEOs, entrepreneurs, scientists, and creatives, to help build the future of food, agriculture, business, and society. The event organizer, Thought For Food, was able to account for the environmental cost of bringing together an international attendee base via the support of KlimaDAO.

KlimaDAO helped assess the event’s carbon footprint, which amounted to 374 tonnes of CO2e and was primarily driven by participants’ flights and transport to the venue. To compensate for these emissions, KlimaDAO helped Thought For Food select a methane recovery project in the Netherlands from the Base Carbon Tonne (BCT) pool.


On the day of the event attendees scanned a QR code that was displayed live on stage, which enabled them to send Love Letters to the Planet – messages that each carried a carbon offset transaction, removing the methane recovery project’s credits from the market. The messages were displayed on a mini-site.


Generation Fest’s Pledge Dashboard also became immediately available for attendees to see, and will remain live and continue to update in real time as Generation Fest offsets through digital carbon at future events, demonstrating to attendees that they are attending a sustainable event.


The Klima Infinity overview of Generation Fest's carbon neutrality pledge.

Generation Fest has become carbon neutral, offsetting its emissions by supporting the Methane Recovery Project Praktijkcentrum Sterksel, North Brabant, in the Netherlands. Click through to their Pledge Dashboard to learn more about their impact and the project itself.



Case study #2: Philippine Blockchain Week 2022

A Love Letter showing the Philippine Blockchain Week's carbon retirement of 501 tonnes.

Philippine Blockchain Week 2022 takes place in Manila, Philippines from November 28th to December 4th, 2022. The conference explores the transition from Web2 to Web3 technologies, and the organizers decided to adopt digital carbon as a way to showcase this transition while also simultaneously overcompensating for the conference’s environmental impact.


KlimaDAO worked with Philippine Blockchain Week to calculate the event’s carbon footprint, which amounted to 250 tonnes of CO2e. Aiming to support carbon projects from across Southeast Asia, Philippine Blockchain Week opted to leverage the speed and convenience of the DCM.


Using the Carbon Dashboard, they selected projects from Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia from the BCT pool. Once selected, they submitted the near-instant retirement transaction through the KlimaDAO App, retiring double the event’s calculated footprint – enabling the event to go beyond carbon neutral and become climate positive.


Projects funded by Philippine Blockchain Week 2022.


Case study #3: M1NTED

An overview of attendees at M1NTED and how they offset their carbon footprint with KlimaDAO.

Attendees at M1NTED made their impact by contributing positive messages focused on the event’s sustainability during a live offsetting session on stage. Their Love Letters can be seen here.


M1NTED was a weeklong event from August 22nd to 28th, 2022 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and brought together the Southeast Asian NFT ecosystem.


KlimaDAO helped calculate the event’s carbon footprint, and with hundreds of participants flying to Kuala Lumpur the footprint amounted to 1,074 tonnes of CO2e. In order to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on Malaysia, and to educate developers on how to embed digital carbon into their projects, KlimaDAO worked with M1NTED to perform a real-time mass offset.

A QR code was displayed live on stage during a KlimaDAO product demo, which opened a message composer and enabled the audience to write and send notes, each carrying an offset to cover a portion of the event’s carbon footprint. The messages were displayed on a mini-site, and many attendees saw this as an opportunity to raise publicity for their own projects. M1NTED’s Pledge Dashboard aggregates all the individual transactions, and audience attendees were able to drill down to see the Henan Xinxiang 24MW Biomass based Cogeneration Project, which is being funded via the UBO pool.

A screenshot of M1NTED's carbon neutrality pledge on Klima Infinity.


Roundup of recent events offset through KlimaDAO

FLII Roots, Feb 28th to March 2nd, 2023 (560 carbon tonnes offset)

The Latin American Impact Investing Forum (FLII) has been mobilizing capital toward impact in the region by bringing together investors, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders since 2011. With a diverse audience of 650 attendees from 50+ countries, FLII 2023 addressed social and environmental challenges through market-based solutions.


FLII's tracks included climate resilience, inclusive solutions, investing in wellbeing, and purpose-driven technology, with the goal of spreading awareness, catalyzing action, and normalizing impact investment and entrepreneurship while bridging the gap between supply and demand for impact capital. Learn more at: fliiroots.com


ETHDubai, March 15th and 16th, 2023 (300 carbon tonnes offset)

The ETHDubai conference is a major event in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry held every year in Dubai. 2023 brought together developers, entrepreneurs, and investors interested in exploring the latest developments in the Ethereum ecosystem. The conference provided a platform for networking and collaboration, and featured talks and workshops from industry experts. Learn more at: ethdubaiconf.org


DAO Tokyo, April 13th, 2023 (90 carbon tonnes offset)

DAO Tokyo is a significant event in the blockchain industry, aiming to explore the potential of DAOs. The conference brought together experts, developers, and investors to discuss the latest developments and use cases for DAOs, with keynote speeches, panel discussions, and workshops covering topics such as DAO governance and DeFi. The event offered networking opportunities aiming to foster growth in Japan and Asia. Learn more at: dao-tokyo.xyz/


ReFi Tokyo, April 14, 2023 (20 carbon tonnes offset)

Organized by ReFi Japan, ReFi Tokyo was created to address the lack of awareness surrounding regenerative finance in Japan. To foster the development of the ReFi ecosystem in Japan and Asia, the event brought together people from diverse backgrounds to deepen their understanding of ReFi as well as share their insights and expertise in this growing space. Learn more at: refi-tokyo.refi-japan.net


ETHGlobal Tokyo, April 14th to 16th, 2023 (270 carbon tonnes offset)

ETHGlobal Tokyo is a hackathon event that brought together experts in the Ethereum ecosystem to collaborate and build new projects over a period of 36 hours. The event provided an abundance of Web3 resources, such as mentors, sponsors, and software, to help teams create something great. The event is focused on builders such as developers, designers, and artists who are interested in creating or contributing to projects during the hackathon. Learn more at: ethglobal.com/events/tokyo


How you can make your event carbon neutral – or even climate positive – with KlimaDAO

Incorporating digital carbon into your event is easy by using the open and permissionless solutions provided by KlimaDAO – though we are of course happy to help along the way.


1. Determine your offsetting strategy

To get started, you need to determine your offsetting strategy and where this falls within your overall approach to sustainability. You will need to begin with a carbon footprint calculation. You can get started with a basic calculation via Klima Infinity, or contact the Klima Infinity team via the same page to receive carbon consulting.


With your carbon footprint established, you can choose from a variety of different approaches:

  • Going carbon neutral: This means choosing to support carbon project developers through KlimaDAO’s digital carbon pools (such as BCT, UBO, NBO, and more – all accessible here) by retiring carbon equal to your event’s calculated carbon footprint.

  • Going climate positive: Retiring carbon in excess of your event’s footprint – for example double, triple, or more.

  • Continuous offsetting: Establishing a regular offsetting schedule.

  • Building with digital carbon: Integrating carbon offsetting at checkout / point of sale, embedding digital carbon into NFT-based tickets, and more.

2. Execute your event’s offsetting strategy

With your event’s carbon footprint established, you can execute the carbon retirement to drive funding to your preferred carbon project developers. This can be done:

  • Using the KlimaDAO App: via credit card, on the Polygon network, or from Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible blockchains. With the transaction executed, you immediately get access to your Pledge Dashboard and can apply to link the dashboard using a Proof of Carbon Offset badge on your website or event platform.

  • Via integrations: if you have decided to integrate carbon offsetting at checkout or within your NFT-based tickets

  • At the event itself, using real-time offsetting: displaying a QR code that enables attendees to engage in your mission to become a more sustainable event.

3. Amplify your event’s climate impact

Making your in-person event carbon neutral – or even climate positive – using KlimaDAO gives you access to the tooling and resources needed to grow awareness around your impact.


Using KlimaDAO’s tools entitles you to:

  • Access and customize your Climate Pledge Dashboard;

  • Embed a PoCO Badge on your website, platform, and marketing materials – linking through to your Pledge Dashboard;

  • Get featured on loveletter.klimadao.finance – including via a mini-site if you have opted for the real-time mass offsetting option; and

  • Depending on the size of your offset, receive bespoke co-marketing campaigns, including community activation, multimedia, and omni-channel initiatives, via KlimaDAO.

Get started now: visit our Klima Infinity page, and begin your journey to becoming a greener event. References:

  1. Based on 320 million live music attendees projected for 2023 by Statista; and an average CO2 per attendee of 8.5KG for festivals and 1.5KG for other event types, based on data from Vision2025 and the University of Glasgow.

  2. EPA Emissions Analysis of Passenger Cars: https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/greenhouse-gas-emissions-typical-passenger-vehicle#

  3. Global attendees of in-person events: https://insights.eventscouncil.org/Full-Article/2018-global-economic-significance-of-business-events

  4. Carbon footprint at in-person events: https://meetgreen.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/eventfoot.pdf

  5. Carbon Market Watch Analysis, May 2022: https://carbonmarketwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Poor-tackling_-Yellow-card-for-2022-FIFA-1.pdf



Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post pertaining to KlimaDAO (“KlimaDAO”), its crypto-assets, business assets, strategy, and operations, is for general informational purposes only and is not a formal offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, options, futures, or other derivatives related to securities in any jurisdiction and its content is not prescribed by securities laws. Information contained in this blog post should not be relied upon as advice to buy or sell or hold such securities or as an offer to sell such securities. This blog post does not take into account nor does it provide any tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the specific investment objectives or financial situation of any person. KlimaDAO and its agents, advisors, directors, officers, employees and shareholders make no representation or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of such information and KlimaDAO expressly disclaims any and all liability that may be based on such information or errors or omissions thereof. KlimaDAO reserves the right to amend or replace the information contained herein, in part or entirely, at any time, and undertakes no obligation to provide the recipient with access to the amended information or to notify the recipient thereof. The information contained in this blog post supersedes any prior blog post or conversation concerning the same, similar or related information. Any information, representations or statements not contained herein shall not be relied upon for any purpose. Neither KlimaDAO nor any of its representatives shall have any liability whatsoever, under contract, tort, trust or otherwise, to you or any person resulting from the use of the information in this blog post by you or any of your representatives or for omissions from the information in this blog post. Additionally, KlimaDAO undertakes no obligation to comment on the expectations of, or statements made by, third parties in respect of the matters discussed in this blog post.

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