At COP26 in November 2021, world leaders met to present how their countries will achieve the 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 in order to deliver on the Paris Agreement. During this meeting, the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge was launched setting out the events industry’s commitment to play its role in addressing climate change.


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

This year, supporters of the initiative will be invited to work together to define an industry Net Zero Roadmap for Events that is aligned with the targets of the Pledge. The Roadmap will be launched at COP 27 in November/December 2022.





Net Zero image


COP26 fired the starting pistol, and the UK Events industry is up and running. Sustainability must be part of our thinking in every aspect of our business

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

Our Cross Association Sustainability group has welcomed an influx of members to participate in the great work they continue to carry out.


An industry wide pilot project to measure the carbon footprint of a large UK event at KBB Birmingham, which takes place in March.

Informa Markets, GES and the NEC have joined as a taskforce to map out the processes of each stakeholder and their carbon contribution to the event. The learnings and results will then be shared with the wider sustainability group, assessed and put into practice at a second event case study in AW22.

Our short-term objective is to open up dialogue between stakeholders, so they understand the types of questions that they should be asking each other, with each taking away different learnings from the process and implementing these in their businesses.

Long term, this will feed directly into our existing sustainability commitments, support the industry pledge road map and give us the data needed to create an event carbon calculator that can be used by all to measure the environmental impact of live events.

Our members can then choose to prioritise and focus on areas of concern and take responsibility for the actions that will help them towards their net zero goal.

If you are interested in being part of the conversation,  get in touch.
Sust group lead

Cross Association Sustainability Commitments


Our Journey To Sustainability

logiThe Cross Association Sustainability Working Group provides AEV, AEO and ESSA members with focus on the important issues around sustainability and gives all the ability to work together to help reduce the event industry’s impact on the environment.

In January 2019 the (then) group chair (Martin Cottrell, A1 Event and Exhibition Cleaners) and vice (Lucille Ryan, Informa PLC) met to create short and long-term objectives.

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.

Case studies

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

Our first comes from Inovent. To view click on the image below.



More case studies will be added over time.

MM meeting

Photo: Cross Association Sustainability Working Group during MICE Machine training sessions – March and August 2019

Members ONLY resource

This resource is open to AEV, AEO and ESSA members only, accessible behind the association's member zones.

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 to discuss membership opportunities.


  • "Great day hosting our first AEV working group event!..WOW did I learn a lot and some great insights into how other venues work and the challenges they are trying to overcome. If you are a venue looking to network with other like minded professionals I would recommend looking at joining the AEV".
    Danielle Worker
    Corporate Events Team Leader, Silverstone Circuits Ltd
  • "“Great essential for a successful venue. The AEV provides a platform to establish consistent best practice in this field"
    Phil Wetz
    Retail & Catering Manager, ExCeL London
  • “The AEV provides collective representation for its member venues, turning individual commitment into a group effort"
    Paul Brough
    Venue Health & Safety Manager, Olympia London
  • "Proud to be part of this Cross Association discussion. I am confident in our ability to improve and progress our working platform through conversation".
    Amir Vered
    Head of eForce and IT, Olympia London (Chair of Cross Association Technology WG)
  • “The AEV is essential to the venue sector’s ability to cooperate and collaborate"
    Jazmin Beale
    Head of Marketing & Communications, Olympia London
  • “The AEV undertakes crucial work on behalf of event venues up and down the country to ensure our voice is heard. They reinforce the important role our sector plays in delivering economic impact, increasing trade, providing jobs and driving the visitor economy.”
    Lucy Merritt
    Head of Marketing and Communications, ExCeL London
  • AEV Membership is a key part of our business strategy; it has and will continue to be a core elements of our plan to support knowledge sharing in the industry and to develop both our team and the venue.
    Kate Simpson
    Marketing Director - Business Design Centre
  • Our team at ACC Liverpool feel indebted to the substantial work that the AEV do for our amazing industry. As the pillar association for venues across the country it’s a real privilege for our teams to participate in many of the working groups, learning and contributing to new processes which helps drive our industry forward on a national scale.
    Colm Graham
    Senior Exhibition Account Manager, ACC Liverpool
  • We have benefited hugely from all of the insight, discussion, events and networking, but it has also meant that we have been able to give back to the industry by sharing our unique experiences and professional knowledge and allowing our employees to help lead and shape the Association from the inside.
    Mathew James
    Head of Brand, Telford International Centre
  • “The AEV has been an invaluable asset to us as a company and the wider industry, helping to lobby on the industries behalf, consolidating and distributing information and facilitating vital knowledge sharing.”
    Charlie Hodgson
    Managing Director at The Kia Oval