The following article originally appeared on Daily Cargo News.
The Australian Shipping & Maritime Industry Awards ceremony, in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November 2019, will now be carbon neutral thanks to a new sponsorship from maritime risk management and environmental assessment organisation, RightShip.
In 2016, RightShip decided to offer carbon offset sponsorships to selected maritime industry conferences and events. In 2018, it offset 2448 tonnes of CO2e from nine such sponsorships – a figure it hopes to surpass in 2019.
"As carbon offset sponsors, we liaise with the organisers to calculate the carbon footprint of the event, taking into consideration the number of attendees, the location and length of the event, accommodation, food and drink consumed and how far the delegates have travelled to get there," Kris Fumberger, sustainability manager at RightShip said.
"We are careful to correctly estimate these figures so that any uncertainty is appropriately accounted for.
"We then purchase carbon offset credits from our climate-neutral partners South Pole, which support worldwide sustainability projects," he said.
The credits purchased to offset the upcoming Australian Shipping & Maritime Industry Awards ceremony will support biodiversity restoration in Australia, as well as renewable energy generation at the coastal Bac Lieu wind farm in Vietnam.
"The maritime industry is starting to understand and take action to reduce its global emissions footprint, and the conferences and events circuit is no different," Mr Fumberger said.
"Carbon offsetting allows us to gather together, collaborate and celebrate the achievements of leaders and innovators in our industry without it costing the earth.
"It's fantastic to see DCN showing leadership in climate change action by compensating for the environmental impact of their 2019 awards ceremony," he said.
In line with its mandate to improve maritime sustainability and reduce carbon emissions from shipping, RightShip is a carbon-neutral organisation itself.
This means that RightShip sources its energy through renewables and purchases carbon credits to offset the remaining emissions associated with the operation of its offices in Melbourne, London and Houston.
These emissions include what is generated during the course of a day's work in the office, staff travel to and from work, and also international travel to visit another RightShip office or to attend a conference.
In the 2017-18 financial year, RightShip offset 996 tonnes of CO2e to mitigate its operational emissions output, which helped improve the biodiversity of 1494 square metres of land in Victoria's south-west.
Learn more about South Pole's project, Bac Lieu wind farm, here.