Sustainability taken to new heights at Sustainable Consumption Conference hosted at Copenhagen Business School

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With support from the VELUX Foundations, the Sustainable Consumption Conference was hosted at Copenhagen Business School last week, raising the bar for how sustainable conferences can be executed.

 
07/09/2018

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On June 27-30, more than 200 scholars and policy practitioners participated in an international conference on sustainable consumption at Copenhagen Business School, co-organized by the VELUX Foundations, Copenhagen Business School and the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI). The conference included over fifty parallel sessions on topics such as sustainable consumption and time, grassroots innovations, sustainable consumption and social difference, social psychology and consumer behavior, and the sustainability dimensions of the sharing economy. The event also served as venue for several specially organized sessions devoted to topics such as how to live well in a world of limits and sustainable consumption in the digital age.

What is a sustainable conference?

The conference coordinators placed a high focus on implementing sustainable solutions at the conference. Some of the initiatives carried out were;

  • Each conference participant received one reusable glass bottle, which replaced single-use plastic bottles for the distribution of water throughout the conference
  • Every meal served at the conference was vegetarian, reducing the environmental impact of the conference’s catering by 44% compared to meat-based meals
  • Participants were asked to sort their waste throughout the conference, using designated bins for paper, plastic, food, and general waste
  • The conference was largely paperless, and programs and other general information were made available in ways that reduced the need for paper, such as printed posters and an app
  • The lanyards for name tags were made from recycled polyester, and both name tags and lanyards were collected for reuse after the conference
  • Food waste was minimized by asking participants to give notice in advance about which meals they were going to participate in, and any leftover food was brought to a nearby center for the homeless

The initiatives successfully demonstrated that hosting a sustainable conference does not have to be hard, and does not have to diminish the participants’ experience at the conference.

Sustainability veterans and new talent

Keynote presentations for the event were delivered by celebrated Danish urban planner Jan Gehl and alternative monetary system expert Mary Mellor, and also included two keynote panels featuring notable figures from Denmark’s business and political communities. Another highlight of the conference was a sustainable business fair that provided a forum for approximately one dozen local entrepreneurial ventures ranging from a local brewery to a vendor producing insects as a source of nutritional protein.

Furthermore, the conference served as the occasion to present the SCORAI Outstanding Paper Award to an Early-Career Scholar. The recipient of the prize was Jack Clark (University of Iceland) for a paper with the title “Limits to sustainable consumption: quantifying greenhouse gas limits, impacts, overshoot and reconciliation at the national and individual scales.”

Sustainable events at CBS

It is the ambition that the sustainability initiatives implemented at the Sustainable Consumption Conference are to set a new standard for hosting events and conferences at CBS.

A video will be produced to showcase the conference days and various sustainability initiatives, and the data and learnings from the conference will be made into a Sustainable Events Guide Book to be distributed across CBS.

 

For enquiries about the Sustainable Consumption Conference, contact Louise Thomsen at lth.msc@cbs.dk.

The page was last edited by: Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility // 07/09/2018