Since 2019, ESSCO has kept track of carbon emissions and taken steps to offset emissions released due to conference travel. The 2019-2020 team planted a Tree, ‘Barkolomew’, as their offset strategy. Moving forward, the team will endeavor to offset a larger portion of emissions until ESSCO has either achieved carbon neutrality or offsets more carbon than produced. These efforts will be documented in annual carbon emissions reporting.
Engaging member schools in sustainable initiatives is done through events such as Sustainability Month - a month dedicated to action and education on sustainability. This initiative will feature a sustainability challenge, resources for member schools to begin their own sustainability committee, offset their carbon footprint, and take action in making their society more sustainable.
The 2019-2020 Sustainability Working Group produced a report outlining research findings on sustainable event planning, which can be read here.
As outlined in the Strategic Plan, Sustainability is a priority and the current goal is to create initiatives and support ESSCO’s members in matters relating to sustainability. This will be done through the creation of more working groups related to sustainability, improving operational sustainability, and working with member schools to develop more local sustainable initiatives. View ESSCO's Strategic Plan.
Currently, the Leave No Footprint Certification and its online modification evaluate and address the level of sustainability achieved by conferences and events held by ESSCO. This certification aims to identify areas for improvement and highlight conferences which have made strides in planning a sustainable conference.