Proclaiming itself the “world's largest certified carbon neutral tradeshow," the , scheduled Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain, will buy carbon credits to offset any emissions it creates. That will be in addition to other initiatives to make it an environmentally sustainable event.
"For several years, the GSMA has had climate change initiatives underway at Mobile World Congress,” says John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, an association of mobile operators and related companies. "This year, we have increased our environmental commitment by working to not only reduce the emissions of the event, but to certify Mobile World Congress 2014 as carbon neutral."
Other initiatives include:
• reducing waste in printed materials
• encouraging the re-use and recycling of materials at the venue
• using digital signage and electronic tools.
"Carbon neutral" is a term used to describe a net zero carbon emission. That can mean balancing the carbon spent (e.g. air travel) with off-setting efforts, such as planting trees or buying carbon credits.
The credits GSMA will purchase are earmarked for projects that are certified by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including a hydropower project in China and a wind energy project in India. "Once this process is complete, Mobile World Congress will be the largest tradeshow in the world certified as carbon neutral under the PAS 2060 international standard," says Hoffman.
The 2013 Mobile World Congress had about 72,000 attendees. Congress officials estimate this year's show will have about 1,700 exhibiting companies.