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Bringing sustainability to the forefront

Measures taken during the European Research and Innovation Days

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The European Research and Innovation Days are committed to bringing societies and individuals closer to a more sustainable, more digital, and greener future.

This is the focus of the inspiring conversations we will be hosting online, but did you know that these will be accompanied by a raft of measures to ensure this year’s event is as sustainable as possible?

Going beyond the EU Eco-Management Audit Scheme (EMAS) of the European Commission, DG Research & Innovation has decided to carefully plan a set of measures in alignment with ISO20121 guidelines to ensure positive impacts on an environmental, economic, and social level. This covers:

  1. Eco-procurement or green purchasing
  2. Waste minimisation and management
  3. Energy efficiency
  4. Water conservation
  5. Emissions reduction
  6. Biodiversity conservation
  7. Social and economic development

The event will be fully carbon neutral, as well as actively seeking ways to reduce its impact across the board. From how we build (and light up) the stages, to what the onsite teams are fed each day, our contractors are committed to repurposing materials, minimising waste, carefully managing resources and supporting local associations.

This means, among other things, supporting local suppliers, renting rather than buying where possible, donating staging equipment to build housing for the vulnerable, minimising animal proteins in menus and even serving food on edible plates!

Register for the European Research and Innovation Days and test your knowledge of our sustainability measures with our dedicated quiz: will you top the leader board with your environmental insights?

Measures taken during the European Research and Innovation Days

Ranked by high impact areas and sustainable practices:

Infrastructure material: technology, AV, IT, decoration and furniture

We have prioritised the use of rented material, ensuring a longer product lifecycle through its maintenance and repair.

We have made use of recyclable and labelled materials for decoration purposes that can be reused after the event in other ways.

The use of LED lighting and LED screens means both a lower energy consumption and a longer lifespan of materials used.

We ensured ease of access for all users through technical measures (minimal PC configuration is needed, since text is always designed to contrast to the background, fewer heavy images appear within the website environment, and there is no animation on the event platform).

We have planned for the redistribution and recycling of the construction material. Key elements of the construction for the stage environment, namely wooden panels and frames, and wooden podiums will be redistributed to a charity association who will reuse it as construction material on their site, while the carpet will be recycled by the provider.

Communication, PR and production

A series of actions have been planned to build awareness around these sustainability measures, with the goal of inspiring positive change on a wider level.

The studios have been designed as a tribute to the New European Bauhaus to spark a discussion on the initiative, with its core elements of green design, recycling and innovation.

Food and beverages

Despite the event taking place virtually, there are several people on site allowing the event to happen, ensuring technical set up and a smooth running of all sessions. A catering service has been organised for those teams.

Several green practices underpin the organisation of all stages of the catering arrangements. These include a commitment to eco-procurement of all goods, waste minimisation and responsible waste management, biodiversity conservation, practices supporting social and economic development, and water conservation.

On-site catering will be provided by a sustainable caterer, with seasonal and local food prepared in a kitchen space located less than 10km from the event location.

The caterer chosen has carried the "Entreprise Eco-dynamique” (Dynamic Eco Company) label from the IBG since 2016 and is active across different environmental fields such as energy conservation, mobility, water and waste management (in accordance with the Eco-dynamic label).

This preference for local production is coupled with the selection of Fairtrade certified products. Menus on offer ensure a reduction of animal protein in favour of plant proteins.

Food will be served on tableware made from environmentally responsible materials (compostable consumables as well as porcelain and stainless steel).

Surplus food will be redistributed to local charities.

Venues

The event will be organised and broadcast from a combination of already existing and temporary built structures, in order to reduce emissions and increase resource efficiency.

One single setting and production venue has been built and will be used for 5 different European Commission events. This reduces energy consumption across the production of all 5 events, both in manufacturing and in logistics and transport (it requires just two sets of transportation and construction rather than ten if we were to build each event individually).

The different sustainable practices applied across the material infrastructures, catering, and the reuse of the venue leads to a reduction and minimisation of waste.

The venue is equipped with sorting stations to properly separate the waste going to the recycling plant and organic kitchen waste is treated by Vert d'Iris (Cooperative committed to eco-intensive agroforestry and market gardening), to compost it into flower fertilizer.

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