UN launches online tool to help facilitate eco-friendly events

Organisations can use the Green Events Tool to work towards their climate mitigation targets by greening their events

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A new online tool aimed at facilitating eco-friendly events and evaluating their sustainability performance has been launched.

The Green Events Tool (GET), developed by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD), was initially introduced at the COP26 conference in Scotland in 2021.

The GET’s online portal was unveiled in a virtual ceremony held last week, which is now accessible to the public, with organisations able to use the tool to work towards their climate mitigation targets by greening their events.

The main purpose of the GET is to encourage actions to reduce the negative impacts of events, including their carbon footprint, at the planning and implementation stages.

Event organisers can evaluate the emissions profile and sustainability impacts of their proposed event at planning stage to design mitigation activities and report the actual sustainability impact and emissions resulting from their events.

Events supported by the GET go through a comprehensive assessment framework covering aspects related to venue construction, venue operation, flight, ground transportation, communication, audio-visual systems, production and exhibition, accommodation and catering.

The GET was born as a project to help the UN system plan and develop more sustainable events but has now evolved for use by stakeholders globally.

Isabella Marras, Senior Programme Officer Interagency Affairs, UNEP said: “The UN system has a firm commitment to reduce its climate and environmental footprint and to align with the UNFCCC recommendations to limit Global Warming to 1.5 degrees. Events are a key part of how the UN operates and delivers on its mandates. For this reason, the GET is a vital tool to assist the UN system in meeting its commitments and reporting responsibilities.

“Beyond increasing environment sustainability, encouraging the use of virtual or hybrid events has the added benefits of increasing inclusiveness, accessibility and gender equality. We are excited this tool is now available for organisations in the UN system and beyond.”