Sustainability Summit

Reducing the carbon footprint


The scientific consensus is that climate change is very real and it is imperative that humanity takes action. The latest reports conclude that even a rise of two degrees will have significant negative consequences.


Sustainability Summit


Economist Events


Bringing together industry leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs and researchers from around the world, The Economist’s Sustainability Summit focuses on climate change and the damage to the environment by human behaviour. Sustainability has shifted from a "nice to have" to a core component of business strategy for many global companies and this event explores where we are now, compared to where we need to be.

Reducing our carbon footprint

The Events Industry’s carbon footprint is significant. The main contributor of carbon emissions is audience travel, which can result in huge amounts of additional carbon dioxide in the air. Additionally, so many event backdrops are a one-off make and can’t be reused or recycled.

For the Sustainability Summit, it was essential that we adopted a different approach. Those who were invited to take to the stage, sat in front of a cardboard stage set, made from 100% recycled paper honeycomb. Coffee tables constructed from past issues of The Economist featured, having been used repeatedly on events for the past year. Wayfinding signage was displayed on LED light boxes, rather than the traditional printed foamex boards.

Small Changes

The Summit was held in etc.venues County Hall, which boasts an enviable location on the riverside with stunning views across the Thames to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. This venue has been recognised by the IACC Environmental Initiatives and achieved Green Star Status for its sustainability policy and care for the environment.

It is a small contribution to a global issue, rather like recycling at home and remembering to turn the lights off, but finding ways to create greener events is deep-rooted at Broadsword.

“When I said I wanted to make furniture out of recycled materials, Broadsword came up with this great idea for coffee tables made out of old editions of The Economist.”

Senior Events Manager, Economist Events