By Reed Shapiro
Carbon Credit Capital participated the Green Festival Expo in Los Angeles as a highlighted service partner about two weeks ago. Reed Shapiro, Carbon Credit Capital’s Director of Business Development, was the key of cultivating the partnership and attended the Expo as our representative. We invited him to share some thoughts of the Expo.
Starting a new project, having a new experience, meeting new people – are all often surprising, fun, exciting, and even stressful. I can say with honesty each one of those identifiers can be applied to my most recent foray into the world of exhibiting at tradeshows at the Green Festival Expo in Los Angeles just one week ago.
Months of pitching, negotiating, and logistical planning between Green Festivals, Inc. and myself as well as between myself and the rest of the Carbon Credit Capital team, finally culminated in my trip out west. We set lofty goals, such as offsetting the entire 3-day expo to make the entire event net-carbon neutral, and decided upon innovative and interesting modes of getting it all done. While I had hoped (and while I still do) to integrate the price to offset each individual’s attendance into the price of the ticket they bought at checkout (an iteration of our Carbon Neutral Checkout™ carbon pricing model), the commonly agreed upon method was to set up an “Offset Box” where individuals could make contributions to a grand total in order to nullify the carbon emissions from their traveling to the festival, regardless of whether they walked, biked, rode public transit, drove, or flew, as well as their walking around, taking literature, and sampling products.
After somehow sneaking my arguably oversized carry-on baggage onto my connecting flights, it was time to put the Box to the test. Both Friday and Saturday brought to my attention that not only is there a considerable education gap when it comes to the general public understanding what a carbon credit is, there was also a false impression within attendees that we were a credit card company! Nevertheless, I was able to have some very interesting conversations with some even more interesting characters, and was able to get a fair amount of attendees to offset their attendance, as well as portions of their own carbon footprint.
The Festival, while perhaps not as busy as expected, was certainly alive and bustling by Sunday. There is also something to be said about having two previous days of experience by Sunday morning, which enabled me to be much more unabashed when trying to get attendees attentions. Let’s just say it is not exactly a walk in the park to get hordes of people who would otherwise walk right past you to stop and take a minute to have a conversation, when they had come to the festival really just to look around and possibly buy some eco-friendly soap.
The festival as a whole as a very interesting experience, between the businesses owners I met and networked with, as well as the throngs of people both willing and unwilling to learn about the environmental mitigation method that is carbon offsetting. Our partnership with the Green Festivals is certainly one which we will continue to develop, and upon which we will improve to offer both Festival attendees and exhibitors a seamless way to reduce or eliminate their carbon impacts, whether associated with the Festival, or in general.
With that all being said, let’s get to some stats: we have calculated the carbon footprint of the Green Festival at the LA Convention Center to have emitted about 65 metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (or it’s equivalent in other gasses). The Offset Box was able to generate enough cash to offset all of the Festival’s energy and fuel usage (Scope 1 and 2 emissions). While we were hoping to make the entire festival neutral – encompassing electricity, fuel, incoming and outbound travel (for exhibitors and attendees), food, waste – this is a legitimate accomplishment, considering there are some companies and corporations who boast carbon neutrality for only offsetting their Scope 1 emissions! Furthermore, we were able to get the equivalent of about 1,500 attendees to offset their personal attendance, which is similarly no small statistic.
It is clear there is an appetite amongst business owners and consumers alike to take responsibility for their environmental impacts and more importantly take action. It is now up to CCC and GFE to spend time making these options much more available, clear cut, and executable to the same parties. Looking ahead to San Francisco in mid-November, I fully expect we will be able to get this option to offset attendance online at checkout when buying tickets. I imagine this will make it much more conducive for all to offset in the moment, as opposed to being confronted with this option days and even weeks after your purchase.
Until then keep a look out for updates on our website, in our newsletters, and on our social media to make sure you are informed about the latest developments in this bourgeoning partnership, and I will make sure we keep raising the bar for you and yours!