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TEXAS – Textile Exchange has announced that its annual conference in Vancouver this year will be climate neutral. The US non-profit has partnered with consultants, South Pole, to calculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of its upcoming autumn conference with a view to off-setting impacts by investing in projects which cover forestry and wildlife protection as well as renewable energy. Textile Exchange estimates the estimated offset for its event amount will equal over 500 Olympic swimming pools of carbon dioxide gas, however, it says this estimation will be updated after the conference when final event attendees are confirmed.

The world’s largest sustainable fashion event, Copenhagen Fashion Summit, also recently told Apparel Insider it will offer guidance on carbon offsetting to all event attendees from next year.

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A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. For example, an individual might purchase carbon offsets to compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by personal air travel, while broader business events are increasingly looking to carbon offset at the aggregated level based on number of attendees flying in and out of an event.

Environmental groups generally agree that the most important thing is for people to reduce emissions first and foremost … and only then consider offsetting emissions they cannot reduce as a very last resort.

Outlining its work with South Pole, Textile Exchange said: “We first quantified all data that relates to the GHG footprint of the event, from planning and marketing to its execution. This includes emissions from transport and accommodation for both organizers and attendees but also energy and food consumption. There is also a reduction strategy in place that includes using Renewable Energy Certificates from a North American wind farm and powering the event with 100 per cent renewable energy. By compensating the unavoidable emissions with high quality emission reduction projects under internationally recognised standards, we not only ensure that the emissions created by our event are compensated, but that positive impacts contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals are continually supported in developing countries.”

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