Caring for the Environment

At INSOL Europe we are fully aware of the impact of our actions on the environment. We strive to be sustainable and environmentally friendly in all our activities, particularly our Annual Congress. 

Digital Publications 

All our publications and conference materials are produced digitally and available on demand via our website or the conference apps. We no longer print them and therefore eliminate the impact that packaging and postage have on the environment. We continue to discourage our sponsors providing delegates with promotional material that could create unnecessary wastage. Practical items such as pencils and pens are collected at the end of the conference and reused the following year.

Local Suppliers 

Whenever we do produce physical products such as event signage and roller banners, we use local suppliers wherever possible. This is a great step towards reducing our carbon footprint as we’re not shipping the materials overseas, as well as supporting local businesses.

Working from Home

INSOL Europe does not have a central base where all our employees are expected to travel and meet to work regularly – we all work from home and conduct most of our meetings online. That doesn’t mean we don’t get together from time to time for important meetings, but we limit these occasions and consider the best time and place carefully to limit the amount of travel for our employees.

Sustainable Venues

Finding suitable venues for our events has always been a difficult task, combining all the criteria of location, size of conference facilities, accommodation, cost, and availability on our chosen dates. We are now considering the impact of our events on environment as an important criterion. This means looking at the venue in terms of their location to ensure the majority of our membership countries only require one flight and trying to find a venue accessible by other sustainable modes of transport such as rail or boat. We diligently review each hotels sustainability plan/policy and work closely with them to ensure these actions are carried out throughout our event.  

Carbon offsetting your Flights

Flights account for around 2.5% of global carbon dioxide production at the moment, but the industry is expanding. Carbon offsets are voluntary schemes where people pay to ‘offset’ or make up for the emissions their flights produce. The easiest option is to offset directly with the airline when you book your flight. You just pay an extra fee on top of the flight cost which is donated to a carbon offset scheme.

Various calculators have been developed to work out how much carbon dioxide you produce on a flight. The most basic just look at how many miles you’ve flown. Better offset schemes also take into consideration the class of travel you’re flying in, the type of aircraft and how fuel efficient it is, the number of passengers it holds and the occupancy rate. 

Some have their own schemes and others are enrolled in other people’s. Some are upfront about their offset programmes and others hide them away. Some give you the option to offset before booking and some only after (so you can’t see the cost until you’ve booked).

If your airline has a carbon offset scheme, take a look at their website before buy to see if it’s worthwhile, or whether you’re better off spending your money elsewhere.

Things to look at include how offsets are calculated (is it just mileage-based or more comprehensive?), the type of projects they fund, what percentage of the money is used in admin and whether they’re certified by a verified scheme like Gold or Carbon Standard.

Some airlines choose not to offer offsets, in which case you can offset directly via websites such as:
  • Atmosfair in Germany (who have a particularly good calculator which rates airline efficiency and includes other greenhouses gases as well as CO2)
  • MyClimate in Switzerland
  • Climate Care in the UK
  • Terrapass in the US.

Useful Tips

  • Choose a more efficient airline: The airline you fly with makes a big difference to your emissions. Lower impact airlines usually have more modern, fuel-efficient planes and carry more passengers. Atmosfair have some helpful rankings to help you decide which airline to choose.
  • Choose a more efficient flight: The flight you choose can also have an impact. Because take-off and landing are when the largest amount of emissions are produced, it’s better to fly direct rather than with a stopover as you only have to do it once. 
  • Flying economy instead of business or first-class also reduces your carbon emissions.
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