Getting involved - ANU student intern helps develops guidelines to reduce emissions from events

Photo: Simon Burke
7 January 2022

Simon Bourke is a third year Bachelor of Commerce student (majoring in Marketing and Corporate Sustainability). In Semester 2 2021, Simon completed a for-credit internship with ANU Below Zero.

Working with the ANU Corporate Communications and Engagement team, Simon developed the ANU Net-Zero Emissions Event Guidelines, designed to support organisers in reducing the emissions associated with various types of events.

“The focus of the guidelines is to provide practical advice that helps avoid high emissions activities, thereby reducing the amount of emissions produced by an event,” said Simon.

“The Guiding Principles provide a broad framework which can be applied at all stages of the event lifecycle, to assist event managers organise a sustainable and environmentally friendly event. The Actions section contains several practical suggestions that event managers can adopt to reduce the environmental and carbon footprint of their event.”

The guidelines have been designed in a way that makes them applicable to all events across the University of any size or format, from conferences and exhibitions to social and sporting events.

Juliet Meyer, Below Zero Engagement Manager, said that the event guidelines could set a benchmark for event organisers.  “Given the ambitious emission-reduction goals of the University, these guidelines will help us reach our goal.  We hope they will also inspire other institutions to reduce their event-related emissions,” said Juliet.

Simon said that being exposed to the inner workings of the Below Zero Initiative has also reaffirmed his aspiration to work on the consulting side of climate change.

“Bridging the gap between climate science and business practices is a crucial step in reaching the University’s and the world’s greenhouse gas reduction objectives. Seeing first-hand the projects that are currently in development is super inspiring and something I would love to be a part of once I finish my studies.”

The ANU Net-Zero Emissions Event Guidelines will be embedded into ANU systems and processes in early 2022.