A sustainable Forum

Sustainable events at IUCN

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 and 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 drafting a best-in-class global sustainability policy. This policy will cover travel, venue operations, catering, waste, digital waste, among other topics.

Sustainability at IUCN Leaders Forum 2023

We underscore our unwavering commitment to sustainability by integrating an event sustainability approach into our planning for the IUCN Leaders Forum 2023. This approach has been developed in collaboration with the Global Destination Sustainability Movement and communicated to all the stakeholders involved in the organisation of the Forum.

In order to set event sustainability objectives and goals, monitor progress, measure performance and identify areas of improvement, IUCN has determined several KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). These KPIs will allow for an assessment of the Forum’s environmental, social, and economic impact.

Some of these KPIs include:

  • dedicating 100% of sessions to sustainability topics
  • serving 60% vegetarian food and sourcing 80% of the food locally
  • recycling 50% of the event waste
  • eliminating 90% of single-use plastic, polystyrene and PVC
  • achieving a 50/50 balance of male to female speakers
  • offsetting 100% of unavoidable carbon emissions.


Learn more about the IUCN Leaders Forum 2023 sustainability approach

Sustainable Approach

Offsetting carbon emissions

For the IUCN Leaders Forum, we invite you to become actors in nature conservation by offsetting the carbon emissions associated with your participation in the event. This includes the emissions generated by travel as well as those generated by the event itself onsite.

The calculation will be based on the average Carbon Footprint per person from the previous IUCN Leaders Forum held at the International Convention Centre Jeju in October 2022 as well as on the city of departure and the means of transportation of each delegate.

During the online registration process on the IUCN Leaders Forum website, you will be required to contribute to one of the selected UNFCCC or Gold Standard certified projects.

IUCN will transfer all funds collected through the registration process to each project after the close of the IUCN Leaders Forum.

At the IUCN Leaders Forum 2022, participants compensated 86% of the on-site CO2 emissions! We are aiming to achieve net zero emissions at this year’s Forum.

Reducing the overall footprint

The IUCN Leaders Forum is a responsible event and therefore:

  • Is paper low: no paper handouts are allowed during the event, display copies of publication can be available onsite but IUCN favours digital communication (Mobile App, QR Codes, etc.) which has a reduced environmental impact.
  • Bans single use plastics: no single-use plastic items will be available onsite. Water fountains will be available throughout the venue to allow participants to refill their reusable water bottle.
  • Aims at reducing to the maximum extent wastes: residual waste generation is avoided where possible and remaining waste is reused, recycled and/or composted. Whenever possible leftovers of food will be donated to local charity. For this year event biodegradable paper cups will be replaced by reusable cups to reduce the amount of waste produced.
  • Aims at reducing its carbon emissions by removing meat from the lunch options available onsite.

We invite all participants to become actors of biodiversity conservation by supporting IUCN sustainability initiatives!

Sustainability efforts at CICG

IUCN is proud to partner with International Forum Centre Geneva (CICG) in our sustainability efforts.

CICG is committed to sustainable development. It is a partner of 2050Today, the Geneva climate action forum, which collaborates with the United Nations and aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The venue is also part of SIG-eco21, a local programme that supports enterprises in reducing their energy consumption and CO2 emissions.