How to Achieve Low-Carbon Logistics in the Events Industry
It’s time for the events industry to rethink logistics. On the whole, freight transport contributes to 27% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. As more companies and organisations are looking to adopt sustainable practices – on everything from food and energy to waste and travel – it’s essential that freight and logistics don’t get left behind.
Transport accounts for around 20% of global CO2 emissions; 29.4% of that comes from lorries carrying freight. A report from the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative breaks down five key action areas for the events industry, with freight and logistics as one of the top five alongside food waste and emissions, travel, production and waste and, energy.
Moving towards zero emissions logistics is absolutely crucial to reaching Net Zero by 2050, but a few practical steps can make a world of difference not only to logistics in the events industry but the freight and logistics industry as a whole.
From large conferences and expos to trade shows, here’s why freight and logistics matter and how to reduce their emissions in your events.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Why freight and logistics should be on your sustainability agenda
- How to reduce freight and logistics emissions
- Sustainable venues that should be on your radar
Why freight and logistics should be on your sustainability agenda
After selecting a venue, booking the speakers and choosing the caterer, there might be little thought given to the transportation of equipment and goods to and from your venue. Admittedly, freight and logistics are an underdog in the events industry. Beyond the need for reliable and efficient services, sustainability usually comes into play when discussing food, energy or venue choice – however, logistics and freight matter more than you think.
‘Freight refers to any type of goods, items, or commodities that are transported in bulk via air transport, surface transport, or sea/ocean transport. Logistics refers to the overall process of managing how resources are acquired, stored, and transported to their final destination.’
Land and sea
It’s been reported that the shipping industry is responsible for 3% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Considering the impact of food, energy or guest travel, this might not seem like much but it’s actually more than the CO2 emissions that Germany, Korea, Iran and Canada emit.
A big impact
Travel and freight in the events industry are closely linked - where one is concerned more with getting guests to and from a venue, the other with materials and equipment.
While freight and logistics are essential to any mid-sized or large-scale event, it doesn’t have to negatively impact the planet.
How to reduce freight and logistics emissions
In the lead-up to your next event, here are a few practical steps you can take to reduce the carbon impact of your freight and logistics.
Choosing to work with local logistics companies and UK drivers and crews might cost a bit more, but is sure to significantly reduce the travel emissions getting from A to B, and supports the local economy. Also working with local suppliers ensures that only a shorter distance needs to be travelled to and from the venue.
Account for traffic and rush hours and transport well ahead of time and during off-peak times.
Choose a greener alternative
Switching from road freight to sea or rail is an environmentally-friendly option.
Use larger lorries and vehicles to transport equipment and goods to your venue. According to Logistics UK, a medium-sized HGV can carry the same amount as 10 vans, and larger HGVs can carry the same as 25 vans. Optimising the space in lorries, and choosing bigger vehicles, also limits the number of vehicles needed.
We work with a number of sustainable venues across London. Next time you’re planning an event in the city, keep these in mind.
London Transport Museum – Located in Covent Garden’s Piazza, this historic museum does an excellent job of showcasing London’s transport history. Reducing air freight, using renewable materials, energy and sustainable suppliers are just a few of the ways they’re committing to reaching carbon neutrality.
Business Design Centre – The Carbon Neutral certified venue offers spaces for meetings, conferences and workshops. Powered by renewable energy, the Grade II listed building prioritises waste reduction and supporting local initiatives.
Twickenham Stadium – Offering a number of event spaces, this ISO 20121-accredited venue has taken adopted sustainable practices on all fronts. Whether that’s using mostly British seasonal ingredients, limiting single-use plastic, installing solar panels and working with the community to install a community garden and redistribute surplus food, they’re well on their way to achieving their Net Zero goal.