A sustainable forum

Our approach

IUCN is dedicated to leading by example and committed to organising events more sustainably. The IUCN World Conservation Congresses in 2016 (Hawai’i, USA) and 2021 (Marseille, France) achieved ISO 20121 for the Event sustainability management system, an international recognition for efforts to minimise their environmental impacts. To ensure that best standard practices are aligned across IUCN events, IUCN is currently developing a best-in-class global events sustainability policy. This policy will cover travel, venue operations, catering, waste, digital waste, among other topics.

Sustainability at the IUCN Leaders Forum

At the IUCN Leaders Forum 2022, participants compensated 86% of on-site CO2 emissions; at the IUCN Leaders Forum 2023, 100% of unavoidable CO2 emissions were offset. Read our IUCN Leaders Forum 2023 Sustainability Report for details on results and reporting from the 2023 Leaders Forum.


Palexpo solar panels
Palexpo has the second largest solar power plant in Switzerland.

Find out more about Palexpo’s sustainability initiatives here.

Offsetting carbon emissions

For each IUCN Leaders Forum, we invite participants to contribute to nature conservation by offsetting the carbon emissions associated with their participation in the event. This includes the emissions generated by travel as well as those generated onsite by the event itself.

The calculation is based on the average carbon footprint per person from the previous IUCN Leaders Forum held in Geneva, Switzerland, in October 2023 as well as on the city of departure and the means of transportation of each delegate.

Through the online registration process, participants are prompted to contribute to one of the selected projects certified by renowned international bodies like UNFCCC, Gold Standard, or Verified Carbon Standard. The projects selected align with the IUCN Programme and Regions, prioritising those led by Members.

The list of projects may vary throughout the registration period and upon the Forum's conclusion when we acquire carbon credits. If any chosen project falls short of the total credits pledged by participants, IUCN will procure additional credits from other listed projects.