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A Roadmap to Sustainability for all HSG Student Clubs

Updated: May 12, 2023

In November of 2022, the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 27 required multiple leaders and politicians to board an airplane and travel miles and miles to reach the event held in Egypt. The contradiction is evident: Their flights will surely contribute to the halting of the escalating environmental conditions. In general, the event industry is a fundamental sector of any economy by incentivizing tourism and economic growth. Nonetheless, this industry affects the environment irreversibly. Resources are spent, noise and air are polluted, travel is necessary, and construction is imminent. Furthermore, heating, catering, production of waste, and the afterlife of a constructed site can all lead to climate- alterating effects. Some of the most harmful events, inducing climate change, are large-scaled sports events such as the Olympics. Nowadays, corporate social responsibility has its feet firmly stemmed in the economy. Thus, a successful event should fulfill the requirements of sustainability. In the world of the University of St. Gallen, many people are attracted from around the world through events such as Symposium, START, Un-dress and the oikos Conference. Now these might not be events such as the Olympics or the COP 27, but they can still have repercussions on the climate. Therefore, to support students in planning their events, oikos, in collaboration with START Hack, has developed a “Framework for Climate Neutral Events”. The original goal was to make START Hack one of the first climate-neutral events at the university, which accordingly was achieved. Offsetting emissions, essential fields and specific issues are tackled and descriptively discussed in the framework. The three-step strategy presented in the framework, consists of “identifying the emissions, developing and implementing a reduction strategy and lastly, offsetting remaining emissions”. Moreover, the fields of emissions that need to be considered are “venue and locations, energy and electricity, transport and mobility, food and beverages, and waste and recycling”. Hence, the framework provides the student clubs at the University of St. Gallen with a roadmap for designing events in a sustainable manner: a necessity for any event. If you want to learn more about the framework you can find it linked below!

Sources : BBC. (2022). What is COP27 and why is it important? environment-63316362 Dávid, L. (2009). Environmental Impacts of Events. In Raj, R., Musgrave, J., Event Management and Sustainability (pp. 66–75). CAB International. Eventimpacts. (2022). Environmental. types/environmental Mirzayeva, G., Turkay, O., Akbulaev, N., & Ahmadov, F. (2020). The Impact of Mega-Events on Urban Sustainable Development. Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, 7(3), 1653. pdf?sequence=1 Walker, R. (2022, 19 April). Hot, Costly, and Dangerous: Climate Change and the Future of Sports Mega Events. Global Sport Matters. change-future-sports-mega-events/

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