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Completely Retail Marketplace Environmental Sustainability Policy

Completely Retail Marketplace Environmental Sustainability Policy

Sustainability Jan 3, 2023 at 4:39pm

With sustainability at the forefront of most business practices nowadays, at Completely Retail Marketplace, we realise that the events industry should be no different. Over the years, we've always had sustainability and our environmental impact at the forefront of our minds.

The back-to-basics format of our exhibitions has meant that we have had control of suppliers, materials, and waste, among other event elements. We've also stored most of our equipment and event furniture to reuse repeatedly for each event.

We have always aimed to be mindful of our consumption, but we do know that there is room for improvement, and sustainability needs to be the first consideration in everything we do as we advance. This means considering every element of the event process, from the initial planning stages to the future impacts.

That is why as of 2022, we've been working hard on our sustainability policy and how to improve and ensure that we exceed our target goals and meet NET-Zero. We've started by measuring our company's annual carbon footprint to see where we can improve from the offset. 

Read the below Snapshot blog post to further understand the Completely Retail Marketplace Environmental Sustainability Policy.


The purpose of this Environmental Sustainability Policy is to outline our commitment to reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions (hereafter referred to as GHGs, emissions or CO2e) and reducing our waste footprint, within our organisation, and in the events we deliver.

This policy focuses on environmental sustainability, rather than attempting to also address financial and social sustainability. These highly important, and interlinked, elements form part of our wider business strategy and shareholder/stakeholder reporting and are also addressed in our vision and values.

Our policy is being communicated to all our stakeholders, including clients, suppliers and staff. This is done to enable them to work with us in achieving our ambitions in this important area.

Completely Retail Marketplace recognises that the environmental impacts from our operations and events mostly derive from emissions from fuel usage for travel, transport and energy, and waste from single-use items.

It is therefore our hope to increase environmental awareness across our organisation with this policy. To also embed carbon reduction and zero-waste practices in our everyday business.

Completely Retail Marketplace Environmental Sustainability Policy

Statement of Intent

Net-zero Goals

Our aim is to create a future fit for everyone. We therefore publicly support a 1.5°C future and are aligning our climate mitigation targets to reach Net Zero Global emissions by 2050. At the latest across our company operations.

We also recognise that most of our event activities are Scope 3 as they are contracted services. Therefore, we commit to measuring emissions from event activities across energy, travel and transport, catering and production.

We aim to reduce event emissions from activities we deliver and contract, in line with a 1.5°C pathway.

We will mitigate both our operational emissions and event delivery emissions by offsetting these with an accredited carbon offset partner.

Net Zero Explained

The Circular Economy

In addition, we are committed to becoming a Circular Economy business. This means we will reduce waste across all company-owned operations. With a view to diverting 90% from landfill and incineration. We are also committed to running “Circular Events” across deliveries. This means we aim to divert 90% from landfill and incineration.

Circular Economy Explained

Monitoring and Reporting

We commit to monitoring, reviewing and reporting on our progress. We pledge to use the ongoing learnings to inform our approach to reducing emissions and waste across our operations and event activities.

Completely Retail Marketplace Environmental Sustainability Policy

In order to claim Net Zero emissions, emissions must first be reduced, in line with global targets, before being balanced. If carbon emissions are balanced before being reduced, these cannot be constituted as Net Zero. 

It is essential that the entire globe reaches Net Zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. We need to limit the global temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

A rise of just 2 degrees has catastrophic impacts on life on this planet, including humans, and may be irreversible. We are currently on a trajectory for a 3-4 degree rise so actions must be taken quickly.

The UK has now set in law to cut emissions by 78% by 2035, and to Net Zero by 2050. We wish to accelerate this transition in line with broader global ambitions to reach Net Zero as soon as possible.

We prefer the term Circular Economy to Zero Waste as “Zero Waste” is often confused with “Zero Waste to Landfill”. These are two different concepts. The first is a practice that reduces and eliminates waste and the latter means that waste is diverted from landfill and is incinerated for energy instead. This practice is known as Waste to Energy and emits considerable carbon emissions and threatens the transition to a waste-free society. 

Achieving status as a Zero Waste business means that the business will be diverting 90% from landfill and incineration.

Our Commitments

We are committed to responsible environmental operations and event planning. As such, we commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste across both our operational activities and our event deliveries. In order to achieve this, we are committed to:

We commit to the following at a company and event level:
  • Pledging to the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge and halving our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 across all company-owned operations. To do this we will set 2022 as our baseline year and set a year-on-year reduction target of 7%.
  • Achieving Net Zero emissions in our company operations well before 2050 and as soon as possible.
  • Disclosing our progress on a yearly basis
  • Reducing waste across all company owned operations with a view to operating as a Circular Economy business by 2030.
  • Measuring greenhouse gas emissions for all event deliveries from 2022 and carbon balancing these emissions.
  • Reducing carbon emissions across our event programme as far as possible and by at least 7% year on year. Furthermore, incorporating company growth into adjusted targets. We will be working with ecollective to ensure measurements are properly calculated.
  • Achieving Net Zero events well before 2050 and as soon as possible. 
  • Reducing waste across all event deliveries with a view to operating Circular Events by 2035.

Achieving our aims

In order to achieve our aims, we will work to deliver our commitments by undertaking the following activities:

At a company level:

  • Switching our office and facilities energy tariff to a 100% renewable energy provider by December 2022. We will be actively encouraging all employees that work from home to do the same.
  • We aim to reduce energy usage in our operations by 20% over the next 12 months and will review progress and set new targets in line with our wider commitments.
  • Requesting that our suppliers commit to reducing their emissions in order to remain on our roster. Suppliers will be reviewed on both cost and environmental performance when making appointments.
  • We are actively promoting lower-impact travel options for staff travel with a reward scheme in place. In addition, we have introduced a requirement for staff to maintain a record of their travel to and from meetings and events, and their commute, as well as where company transport and third-party providers (such as couriers) have been used for day-to-day business activities. These records are submitted monthly. We will use this data to unlock insights into where we can reduce emissions from staff travel. We will report on this within the next 12 months and detail how and where we will make reductions.
  • We are in the process of setting limits and / or restrictions on flights for business travel to ensure reductions are in line with our 1.5°C commitment. We will be implementing a pre-travel assessment for all flights to review necessity before approving travel spend. We will report on our progress over the next 12 months regarding how we have managed this process and the outcomes.
  • We are offsetting all of our company travel with ecolibrium.
  • Offering a 50/50 split for plant-based options at any external staff parties.

We also recognise that as an events business, our biggest area of impact is in the events we deliver. We therefore commit to the following to support our commitments to a 1.5°C future:

  • From the beginning of 2023 we will measure the emissions associated with every event from all services we contract in order to produce a post-event report with emission reduction suggestions for future events and Including offsetting in every event budget we produce. Clients may opt out.
  • Reducing emissions associated with services we are contracted to deliver as far as possible, starting from the beginning of the project.
  • Requesting evidence of energy reductions and / or efficiencies as well as evidence of commitments to reducing emissions as part of our venue and supplier procurement processes.
  • Venues that cannot evidence this will be de-prioritised in our venue proposals.
  • Suppliers will be reviewed on both cost and environmental performance when making appointments.
  • Writing a Sustainable Energy Event Plan for every event to detail our mitigation methods across energy. We commit to reducing and measuring (wherever possible) electricity, gas and other fuel usage across every event we deliver. We will offset this when delivering our own brand events as well as offer the opportunity for any client events.
  • Ensuring all event associated Travel and Transport emissions resulting from staff travel and from services we have contracted are reduced as far as possible. This process will start from the beginning of each project and we will write a Sustainable Travel and Transport Event Plan to detail our mitigation methods across this remit.
  • We will aim to procure suppliers that can evidence ultra-low emissions vehicle fleets or can evidence commitment to moving towards an ultra-low emissions vehicle fleet. We recognise that for HGVs this may be challenging and so we will seek ways to reduce the quantity of trucks through smart design (i.e. flat packing) and consolidated loads.

Measuring the emissions from travel and transport associated with each event including:

  • Staff pre-production event travel.
  • Staff and crew travel to and from site.
  • Transport emissions from services we have contracted for each event (i.e. trucks and couriers).
  • Reducing emissions from audience travel [where managed by us] and measuring at least 50% of this to extrapolate data.

Support our commitments to a 1.5°C future continued :

  • Engage with our event audiences (including partners, sponsors, exhibitors and attendees) in responsible travel and offering solutions for measuring audience travel as part of event measurement.
  • Setting targets on each event to reduce the number of miles travelled by produce to ensure food is locally produced and requesting menus do not feature out of season produce.
  • Designing and proposing 50% plant-based menus as standard. We will collaborate with caterers before proposing menus to stakeholders / clients to ensure delivery against these aims.
  • Where clients request meat or dairy in menus, we will propose red-meat free menus and ensure that where meat and dairy products are served, the produce is locally and ethically reared and free range / grass fed.
  • Tracking and measuring onsite food surplus and waste associated with catering choices. We will use this information to inform future decision-making processes regarding menu design.
  • We will write a Sustainable Catering Event Plan for every event to detail our mitigation methods across this remit.
  • We will write a Sustainable Production Event plan for every event where we are delivering Graphics, Signage or Built Elements to detail our mitigation methods across this remit.
  • We commit to hiring as many assets as possible, such as furniture and decor, even when purchase may be cheaper unless these items have a designated post-event life. 

Where hiring is not feasible, we will:

  • Design assets with the Circular Economy in mind to reduce potential waste generation.
    • Design items to be easily disassembled and separated for component recovery.
    • Design items with the objectives of reducing the volume of waste created in the production stage.
    • Reduce the quantity of raw materials used.
    • Limit the number of different materials that we use to make recycling easier. Coupled with prioritising the use of materials confirmed as easily recycled with our waste contractor or venue.
    • 100% of materials we use will be sustainably sourced materials e.g. renewable or recycled sources.
    • Prioritise the use of materials which are widely accepted for recycling where assets will not have a life post-event.
    • Increase our rosta of suppliers who offer a take-back recycling scheme.
    • Donating assets after the event to charities or community groups in the local area for reuse. Ensuring it is of good quality and is of use to these groups.
  • We will only use biodegradable or compostable materials when it has been confirmed there is a waste collection stream available for them and that they are being correctly managed. Where we cannot confirm this management we will opt for traditional materials that we know are being recycled.
  • Ensuring a segregated waste stream onsite which includes bins for coffee cups and food waste for 100% of our events. Where we are not responsible for catering we will work with the caterers collaboratively to ensure efficient and effective waste management across the whole events.

Monitoring and Improvement

The aim is to constantly try to improve where possible. With that being said, we will monitor our performance against KPIs on a quarterly basis and report on progress at this time.

We will then review this policy on an annual basis and update targets, objectives and information as appropriate.

Progress and Improvements

We are committed to analysing where targets have not been met to enable us to overcome these barriers more effectively in the future.

Where targets have been met or exceeded, we will celebrate this success and set higher targets for the following year, stretching our ambitions to deliver overall Net Zero.

Accountability Culture

We recognise that adhering to this Policy requires every member of our team to play their part.

As achieving our KPIs involves engaging our teams to support our organisational ambitions, and planning from the start of projects is required for all event deliveries, the delivery of this policy falls into the remit of all employees.

We will therefore promote a shared accountability culture within our organisation, ensuring all team members work together to incorporate these sustainability goals into their day-to-day work routines and planning.

This will be achieved through training for staff, embedding these KPIs into our internal operational processes and engaging staff in the development of future KPIs.

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