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Sustainability must be part of our thinking in every aspect of our business


An industry initiative to address climate change.

The race to net zero is on!

At COP26 in November 2021, world leaders met to present how their countries will achieve the 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 to deliver on the Paris Agreement.

And so the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge was launched setting out the events industry’s commitment to play its role in addressing climate change.


What does this mean?

The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative aims to bring together a wide range of industry stakeholders to:

  • jointly communicate our industry’s commitment to tackling climate change and driving towards net zero by 2050;
  • develop common methodologies for measuring the industry’s direct, indirect and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions;
  • construct an industry-wide roadmap towards net zero by 2050 and emissions reductions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement, with support and guidance on key issues;
  • foster collaboration with suppliers and customers to ensure alignment and common approaches;
  • establish common mechanisms for reporting progress and sharing best practice.

COP26 fired the starting pistol and the UK Events industry is up and running!

The associations have a part to play in ensuring our members have the support and insight they need to work towards meeting the industry pledge.


Our cross association sustainability group provides AEV, AEO and ESSA members with focus on the important issues around sustainability and the ability to work together in reducing the event industry’s impact on the environment.

The Net Zero Roadmap for Events was launched at COP 27. It creates a common framework for all event industry stakeholders to meet the net zero goal providing a pathway for individual organisations as well as industry-wide action areas.

The action areas have been identified where collaborative effort is needed along with a framework for measuring and evaluating progress.

Sustainability in practice: a pathway for venues

"Sustainability in practice: a pathway for venues" is a user-friendly framework to transition your venue to a Net Zero by 2050 future.


You can download it now. 


It is brought to you by events industry body isla, sponsored by VisitBritain and supported by AEV, mia and beam. We hope you find it useful and adoptable.  

Olympia London offered to fund The MICE Machine who held two workshops for the group at Informa PLC London. The MICE Machine assisted Olympia London form their “Grand Plan” sustainability strategy. They have facilitated a complete review of the scope of Olympia London’s sustainability efforts, including a thorough, practical assessment of the venue’s achievements and opportunities for improvement, strategy workshops for a group of champions drawn from each department in the organisation and the development of objectives and actions for them to achieve.

How will they work?

The aim is for AEO, AEV and ESSA Association members to work towards a consistent base level of sustainability performance. The sector specific commitments  enable all parties to have a clear idea of what they should be looking at and allow for tracking progress against this guidance.  

commitment spread

  • Each commitment is divided into one or more principle
  • The set of principles are designed to provide a framework for all to ensure they are implementing a basic level of sustainability
  • They are intended to help identify if there are any areas needing particular focus
  • Resources such as achievement case studies, eGuide content, templates and guidance documents will be available to help Association members achieve the principles
  • Members of the Cross-Association Sustainability Working Group will be invited to feedback progress during group meetings and offer mutual support
  • A self-scoring system will allow members to track their progress against each principal within the set of commitments


This is not a proviso of membership; responses will not be reported publicly. It is recognised that sustainability planning is for some in its infancy and these can guide our members direct focus and evolve their environmental responsibility considerations in line with industry peers.


Photo: cross association sustainability working group during MICE Machine training sessions – 2019

Cross association sustainability commitments


This resource is open to AEV, AEO and ESSA members only (in each association's member zone).

If you're a non-member venue and you would like to access this resource and the wealth of other resources and information that we offer, please contact us to discuss membership opportunities.

To help bring the commitments alive, members from across the associations are reporting on how they have used them on their sustainability journey.

Case study: Inovent

Case study: Inovent

Case study: the NEC

Case study: the NEC

The NEC study is on combating wastage.


Case study: Olympia London

Case study: Olympia London

Olympia London share the journey to achieving their Grand Plan, it's implementation and successes.

Sustainability must be part of our thinking in every aspect of our business.

Our cross association sustainability working group compiled short and long-term objectives for commitments to help reduce the event industry’s impact on the environment.

Read the background to our road to net zero.

Follow our sustainability commitments to see how you fair.

Our commitments scorecard is available in your member zone.

See how members have used the commitments on their sustainability journey.

Find out more about the ESSA sustainability accreditation.
Find your sustainability route, start with these industry resources.

Stay current with terms and concepts with these key sustainability terms and acronyms.


Photo: cross association sustainability working group during MICE Machine training sessions – 2019


Member Venues