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Sustainability Policy

Date: 11th January 2024

About

Services:

Event Cycle Ltd., is a company that helps event businesses implement sustainable solutions with a lasting social legacy.

Location:

We operate not only in the UK, but globally too, where our clients need our support with their projects.

Introduction

Event Cycle helps project planners implement sustainable solutions and create a lasting social legacy in the process. We do this by providing practical solutions, integrating social strategies and determining repurposing and redistribution routes for event materials right from the start of a project. Ultimately, we want to change mindsets, reduce event waste and encourage a change to a more circular economy.

Vision

To change mindsets, reduce project waste and encourage a change to a more circular economy in the events industry.

Mission

Helping the event industry implement practical solutions to sustainability challenges while creating a positive social impact and a lasting legacy.

Values

Social Impact | Sustainability | Teamwork | Innovation | Transparency | Education | Solution focussed

Objectives

Show event businesses where to start when it comes to sustainability, help to reduce overall event waste, design events with social purpose in mind and identify repurposing and redistribution routes for leftover event materials with charities, community groups and social enterprises

The purpose of this sustainability policy is to demonstrate our commitment to environmental and social standards, outlining how we operate more responsibly and how we are reducing our impact on both people and planet.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and Scope 1, 2 and 3 explained

Scope 1: Direct GHG Emissions

Direct GHG emissions occur from sources that are owned or controlled by the company, for example, fuel consumption, company vehicles and fugitive emissions. Fuel consumption involves all the fuel used for processing or to power a company or industry. Company vehicles include the vans and trucks used to transport and distribute the products and goods that the business creates. Fugitive emissions, includes leaks of greenhouse gases, such as the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in freezers and air conditioners. 

Scope 2: Indirect GHG Emissions (Electricity)

Scope 2 accounts for GHG emissions from the generation of purchased electricity consumed by the company. This relates to all the emissions from energy used to power everything the company owns. This includes all the electricity, heat, steam and cooling purchased by the company to run its operations. Scope 2 emissions physically occur at the facility where electricity is generated.

Scope 3: Other indirect GHG emissions

Scope 3 is an optional reporting category that allows for the treatment of all other indirect emissions. Scope 3 emissions are a consequence of the activities of the company, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the company. These include both upstream and downstream sources. 
 

Upstream sources include much of the energy, transportation, and manufacturing that goes into the business or industry to support its function. For example business trips and stays, employee commuting, production of fuels and products the company uses, capital goods (buildings, vehicles, and machinery), leased assets, chemical reagents, packaging and transportation of purchased goods and resources.
 

Indirect downstream processes result from the goods or services produced by the reporting company. For example packaging and transportation of goods, processing and use of sold products, franchises energy use, product disposal and investments.

At Event Cycle, since we do not have company owned vehicles, or use fuel to process or power our company, or have any fugitive emissions from freezers or air conditioning, our Scope 1 emissions are close to zero.

As for our Scope 2 emissions, we purchase electricity from 100% renewable energy sources. By using this energy provider, we are lowering our carbon impact by 1.6 tonnes of CO2e a year, compared to a typical UK energy tariff using the average fuel mix. In 2020, an average UK home, used 4,491 kWh of electricity. With our provider, annual CO2 emissions for the electricity used are zero, due to being from 100% renewable sources. With an average supplier on a fuel mix, annual CO2 emissions would be around 1.04 tonnes per year. Based on Government reporting on the carbon emissions for homes on the average energy fuel mix, in 2020, these figures were at 0.233kg of CO2e per kWh of electricity. 

Scope 3 emissions cover everything else that indirectly affects the processes of the company. We have tried to list as many of these emissions below as possible, and how we plan to tackle each and every one of them. Some elements like our company's waste management are currently not included in our Scope 3, as we currently cannot capture this data appropriately in order to include it in our Scope 3 calculations. Other elements refer to our social impact strategy, biodiversity or work within the community which is not captured by the scope 3 emissions.

Scope 2 - Energy

Impact:

What are we already doing?

Reduction of energy wastage and source of energy

We have moved from the energy supplier Bulb, that claims to provide 100% renewable energy, to the energy provider ecotricity, that provides 100% renewable energy, of which 20% they generate themselves, and the rest is certified green energy they buy from other green generators or via the wholesale market.

For Event Cycle, through using ecotricity, we will avoid approximately 947.91 kg of CO2e a year. 

 

All our lighting fixtures are now LED.

Using the Governmental data of the factor of 0.334 per full time equivalent working hour (including office equipment and heating), our company emissions for 2023 sit at 1.786 t of CO2e. 

What further actions can be taken?

Over the next couple of months we will assess any further equipment that might need to be exchanged to become more energy efficient or how we can reduce the amount of energy required. For example only boiling as much water as you need for your cuppa tea, instead of a full kettle.

We will also be capturing the specific energy usage in our headquarters - one week of each month, to see how close our emissions are in comparison with the governments working from home emissions.

Scope 3 - Carbon Footprint

Impact:

What are we already doing?

What further actions can be taken?

Reducing carbon emissions by 25% by 2030

As a company, we have all measured our personal carbon footprint using WWF carbon footprint to at some point be able to get this to be lower than the 2023 UK average of 9.3 tonnes. With travel restrictions no longer being as present, holidays abroad contribute to higher footprints. On average we are sitting at 10.675 tonnes.

Our team took part in a carbon literacy course at the beginning of December, and we have been able to take away a lot of ways in which we can amend our processes and make changes at home too.

Over the next 7 years, we plan to further decrease our personal WWF carbon footprint to reach 4.5 tonnes of emissions by 2030.

Scope 3 - Travel and Transport

Impact:

What are we already doing?

What further actions can be taken?

Work travel, commuting and donation distribution

No requirement for commuting, for meetings public transport is used where best possible. 

For donation distribution the majority of our donation recipients are local and pick up the items directly at source. 

 

For larger transportation joint forces are made with a trucking company to ensure best usage of routing and also comes with a fleet meeting the London Low Emissions Zone requirements and having replaced their larger trucks with the efficient Euro 6 vehicles featuring exhaust gas recycling. We use HVO fuel for these trucks wherever possible.

Furthermore, we are using bike couriers and electric vehicle couriers as much as possible, using companies such as XeroE, or Zhero.

 

For deliveries in the size of long wheelbase vans and lutons, we tend to use the company Find my man and van who offer their jobs to small enterprises, so even though we cannot guarantee if the vehicles have a good environmental rating, we are supporting the local communities of the locations around the venues where we pick up our donations from.

 

We are measuring our transport emissions from staff travel (for 2023: 1,337 t of CO2e) and deliveries (for 2023: 6.466 t of CO2e). For 2023, our total carbon emissions for transport in tonnes were 7.803t CO2e. This includes any business travel, as well as any deliveries, and couriers. Compared to 2022, we increased our staff travel emissions by 0.754 t of CO2e, due to the fact that we now have more employees, we travelled to meet up with charities, and we had more international projects and speaking opportunities. 

Compared to 2022, we have decreased our deliveries emissions by 0.225 t of CO2e, due to increased use of cargo bikes and electrical vehicles where possible. Overall we have increased our emissions by 0.529 t of CO2e.

We are investing in a program from Earthly that looks at seaweed farming in Cornwall, and researches to improve the knowledge on the best way to farm seaweed and store carbon permanently in ocean sediment and deep-sea. To date we have supported the research project with 540 GBP that hopes to remove carbon and build back biodiversity in Cornwall.

Over the next 12 months we look to optimise our transportation routes, and opt for electric vehicles and bike couriers as much as possible. 

Scope 3 - Waste

Impact:

What are we already doing?

Recycling, annual waste, and waste reduction

At our HQ we are recycling our food waste using a vermicomposting system called “Urbalive”, transforming decomposing vegetables, food waste and bedding materials into nutrient-rich, organic fertiliser and soil conditioner. Furthermore we have a barrel composter, that is used for any food waste that the worms cannot process, but would still make good compost.

 

Alongside 250,000 people, Event Cycle as a team, took part in 2022 with Greenpeace’s The Big Plastic Count. The results of the count can be found here. It highlights how much still needs to be done and how recycling opportunities need to be improved.

 

At our HQ we are also using a Terracycle Zero Waste Box for hard to recycle Kitchen plastics such as water filters, plastic packaging (incl. Plastic bags, crisps packages, punnets etc.) , beverage capsules / discs & Coffee bags, home cleaning accessories, baby equipment, party supplies and dining disposables and kitchenware and utensils.

 

It’s the little actions that count. When our old roll-up banner (which was repurposed from a client in the first place) broke and was no longer usable, we repurposed the PVC material as part of a social impact feature installation, and the metal cassette went to be recycled at our local recycling facility.

 

When we had to buy new printer ink, we sent the empty printer cartridges to be donated to charity. In particular for the charity “Against breast cancer”.

What further actions can be taken?

Over the next 12 months we look at further reducing the amount of waste generated and encouraging reuse and recycling over landfill.

We continue to encourage our staff to recycle, and do their best to minimise waste, using repurposing routes where possible and making better purchasing choices.

Any recyclables and black bag waste are collected by our local waste management company for Southwark Council - Veolia. The recyclables head to the Materials Recovery Facility, and are separated and sorted for glass, paper and cardboard, steel and aluminium cans, plastic and tetra paks. The separation processes uses state-of-the-art machinery and some manual labour to sort the different materials into the highest quality possible. The separated materials are then sent to reprocessors who recycle it into something new.

Check out this cool video of the Materials Recovery Facility.

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Any black bag waste heads towards The Mechanical Biological Treatment Facility. This deals with general refuse that would normally go to landfill. This process extracts some materials that are suitable for recycling such as scrap metal and treats the rest of the waste produced to create a Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) that can be sent to an Energy Recovery Facility. During mechanical sorting, the refuse bags are split open and the waste is sorted into small and larger pieces and some of the recyclables are extracted. At the biological phase, micro-organisms break down the waste naturally in a controlled environment.

Information from Veolias “Turning Southwark’s waste into a resource” brochure.

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Scope 3 - Single-use plastics

Impact:

What are we already doing?

What further actions can be taken?

Avoiding single-use plastics and finding reusable solutions

Avoiding single-use plastics as best as possible and purchasing alternatives that are reusable or made from natural resources.

We have been using services from companies such as whogivesacrap, or bird & blend for our loose tea, to reduce our consumption of items packaged in single-use plastics.

Over the next 12 months we look to observe our single-use plastic quantities and further reduce these where possible.

We continue to question companies recycling routes and repurposing options, even if they potentially have other great sustainable features.

Scope 3 - Material Choices

Impact:

What are we already doing?

What further actions can be taken?

Certifications and regional and community based procurement

Purchasing local or national wherever possible.

For example, purchasing a flashlight from a shop just around the corner from our HQ instead of ordering off of Amazon.

 

Instead of buying new, we practise what we preach and repurpose. We have now used our repurposed lamps multiple times on our exhibition stand. These are old ginger ale bottles, turned upside down with a battery powered light (which can be operated using rechargeable batteries - charged using 100% renewable electricity). 

 

When it comes to new technology, we look at purchasing pre-used items, for example when our employee required an additional screen, we looked at buying a pre-loved and refurbished screen instead of contributing to producing new technology.

 

Over the next 12 months we look at focusing more on specific certifications as part of our procurement.

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Scope 3 - Online Storage and Presence

Impact:

What are we already doing?

Decreasing online storage and increasing website efficiency, as well as running on a server run by renewable energy sources

Based on the calculations from websitecarbon.com, our website emissions are very high. Why does this matter? From data centres to transmission networks to the billions of connected devices that we hold in our hands, it is all consuming electricity and in turn producing carbon emissions equal to or greater than the global aviation industry. 

We are aware that our website carbon emissions are very high (126.64kg of CO2e per year), as we currently hosting our website via Wix.com. As websitecarbon says, if our website used green hosting, then it would emit 9% less Co2. However, it does appear that the web page runs on sustainable energy. The green web foundation, which checks how data centres are powered, found evidence that our website is hosted green. Adding to that in Wix.com’s ESG Report from May 2023, they state that they are hosting via Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Equinix. These all have ambitious sustainability commitments, however their actual footprint and carbon efforts need to be observed over further periods of time. They have however consolidated data centres across the United States, reduced cloud space and lowered emissions. They use the carbon tracking tool from AWS, and are making use of AWS’s renewable energy purchases. AWS is purchasing more renewable energy production sites incl. Wind and solar energy projects. In 2022, 90% of electricity consumed by Amazon was powered by renewable energy sources, and they continue supporting more than 401 wind and solar projects around the world, including projects supporting the data centres.

 

The CO2 footprint of an average search on the internet is estimated at 0.2 grams. To minimise our digital impact, we use a search engine called “Ecosia”, that donates 80% of its profits to nonprofit organisations that focus on reforestation. It is a social business, Co2 negative and is B Corp certified. Every 45 searches, a new tree is planted and our searches have contributed funds to plant 98 trees so far.

 

We are offsetting the digital carbon emissions we cannot avoid from our website using Earthly. We previously did this on a monthly basis using Tree Sisters a UK registered social change and reforestation charity that places tropical forest restoration into everyone’s hands. We have supported a peatland protection project in Rimba Raya, Indonesia, removing 5 CO2 tonnes, protecting 920m2 of peatlands. This project supports an estimated 3.53M of reduced carbon emissions annually, protects and restores 120 threatened and endangered species, and supports 9,000 people with improved healthcare, of which 55% are women.

We are now supporting the planting of mangroves in Maroalika, Madagascar on a monthly basis. This is a project led by Eden Reforestation and works with local communities to restore vital mangrove forests and alleviate poverty. Not only do these trees help with carbon sequestration, they also provide other natural benefits such as storm surge protection and a vital habitat for many species. Each mangrove tree removes around 308 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere over the course of its life-cycle of around 25 years. As of today, we have planted 90 trees.

What further actions can be taken?

Eventually we will transition to a clearly green hosted website and will make amends to our website with more sustainable web design in mind.

Furthermore we are looking at reducing the carbon emissions we are generating from the documents, links and emails we are sending, by improving efficiencies and making more use of cloud server storage.

 

Over the next 12 months we will look at reading and implementing from a book by Tom Greenwood on “Sustainable Web Design

We will make sure that content is kept precise and the website is running as efficiently as possible.

Scope 3 - Food and Drinks

Impact:

What are we already doing?

What further actions can be taken?

Lifestyle choices, local support, seasonal, low packaging

Our directors live a flexi-tarian lifestyle with the focus of reducing meat and dairy products out of their diets.

Preference of purchasing locally.

Our directors have started using the services of oddbox to reduce fruit and vegetable waste directly at the farms, by purchasing fruit and vegetables that don't quite meet supermarket standards, have been produced as surplus and are local and in season. Plastic packaging is reduced as much as possible with these boxes too.

Our company functions do not feature red meat, and where possible will be held providing vegetarian / vegan food. 

More focus to be placed over the next 6 months on seasonal, local and low packaging food choices.

Scope 3 - Banking and Financials

Impact:

What are we already doing?

What further actions can be taken?

Where the company bank invests money into community / specific projects

Our bank account supplier Tide has signed up for the women in finance charter, and are the official sponsor of f:Entrepreneur, a campaign that highlights inspiring female business leaders across the UK.

Over the next 3 years, we will look at investing certain company profits into community projects.

Once it is possible to integrate more sustainable banks such as Triodos bank into our accounting software Xero, we will revisit the matter and potentially change to a more sustainable bank.

Biodiversity

Impact:

What are we already doing?

What further actions can be taken?

Support of urban wildlife and insects

We have planted purple coneflowers, blueberries and lavender which are pollinator friendly plants on our terrace. (Purchased via the RHS, supporting their charitable work.) We also have bee friendly mint, chives, rosemary and thyme growing and partially in bloom. 

We have a bird feeder that will support the local birds during the winter, and we have recently added a bug hotel to our outside space.

Over the next 12 months, we look to grow potatoes on our HQs terrace. We also hope to sustain the plants and purchase more to support the urban wildlife and insects.

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Local Community and Social Impacts

Impact:

What are we already doing?

What further actions can be taken?

Support of UK charities, social enterprises and community groups

Supporting charities, community groups and social enterprises UK wide and meeting their needs as best as possible.

In 2023, we were able to make a social impact of ₤810,817, benefiting a total of 314 charities, community groups, schools and social enterprises.

 

We continue to volunteer our time for charities such as Choir with No Name and Hands On London in the local environment. Check out where our team volunteered at previously here.

 

We continue to support the amazing social enterprises we work with, either for graphics repurposing, or when it comes to creating amazing social impact feature pieces.

In 2024, we look at working together with the company Resysten to provide London charities that are located in the most polluted areas, with a way to combat air pollution. We will look at spraying walls and surfaces that will remove dangerous pollutants over a span of 12 months.

 

Over the next 3 years, we will look at increasing our reach of social impact by connecting projects with our clients from the onset to design with social impact in mind.

 

We look at studying the ISO 26000 on social responsibility.

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Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion

Impact:

What are we already doing?

Attracting talented staff and making our processes and services more accessible and easily usable by everyone, continuing to tap into different viewpoints for our business. 

We are a female led business and look at continuing to provide female enterprises our support, either through direct business, collaborations or just through being a sounding board.

 

We have registered to become Disability Confident (Level 1). Disability Confident provides employers with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to attract, recruit, retain and develop disabled people in the workplace. We now hold a Disability Confident Committed certificate.

What further actions can be taken?

In the future we will look at becoming a Disability Confident (Level 2) employer. This will depend on when we plan to hire new talent to support our business.

 

We are hoping to be able to close the gap between our clients and our charitable community to provide amazing social impact features that include the topics of Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion.

 

We will look into providing equality, diversity and inclusion training for our team.

 

We will update our recruitment process in terms of role design, job adverts, the actual application process and how candidates are selected to attract more diverse candidates and to remove any bias.

Education and Inspiration

Impact:

What are we already doing?

Staff educational pieces and social media campaigns

Completion of the A Greener Festival assessor training part 1 and the We Are Albert sustainable production training.

The entire Event Cycle team completed a Carbon Literacy Course via positive planet.

 

Carina completed a course on the Sustainable Development Goals via edX and the SDGAcademy.

 

Chantal completed a course on Business Sustainability Management from the University of Cambridge - Institute for Sustainable Leadership.

 

One of our employees was able to go onsite and shadow a production manager to understand the logistical intricacies of a load in, to improve efficiencies in our company processes.

 

We will also look at continuing to make  educational pieces and social media campaigns to inspire others to look at their own sustainable choices and we will look to lead by example.

 

In March 2023, we presented to the Business and Management, Marketing and Management and International Business students from the University of Sussex. The module we lectured on was called Enterprise in the Circular Economy and our presentation was all about bringing a more Circular Economy to the Events Industry. Later in the year, we presented to students from the Glasgow Caledonian University and provided them with a research project into more sustainable uses for a variety of event materials.

What further actions can be taken?

Over the next 12 months we look at completing the A Greener Festival Assessor Training Part 2. We will also look into completing training regarding corporate sustainability reporting.


We will look at providing our closest suppliers with access to a Carbon Literacy Course.

We will provide a lecture to Northampton University as part of their Events & Sustainability module.

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Event Cycle Sustainable Development Commitments 

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Worldwide consumption and production — a driving force of the global economy — rest on the use of the natural environment and resources in a way that continues to have destructive impacts on the planet. 

 

Economic and social progress over the last century has been accompanied by environmental degradation that is endangering the very systems on which our future development — indeed, our very survival — depends.

Through reuse and redistribution of materials back into the events industry and beyond, Event Cycle are directing demand away from production and are encouraging responsible consumption through reuse of pre-loved items.

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Climate change is affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, and weather events are becoming more extreme.

 

Although greenhouse gas emissions are projected to drop about 6 per cent in 2020 due to travel bans and economic slowdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this improvement is only temporary. Climate change is not on pause. Once the global economy begins to recover from the pandemic, emissions are expected to return to higher levels

By promoting and facilitating the reuse and repurposing of products which would otherwise have gone to waste, Event Cycle is directly affecting the reduction of waste to landfill thereby decreasing the production of single-use items for events. Additionally, by advocating the need to reduce, reuse and recycle, Event Cycle are contributing to awareness around the impact of individual decisions on climate change and the environment. 

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A successful development agenda requires inclusive partnerships — at the global, regional, national and local levels — built upon principles and values, and upon a shared vision and shared goals placing people and the planet at the centre.

Event Cycle is actively encouraging national and local partnerships to encourage a move towards a circular economy by connecting charities, social enterprises and community groups with the event industry and its suppliers to promote reuse and redistribution of materials away from landfill. 

This sustainability policy will be reviewed by Event Cycle on an annual basis.

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