Kenes Group’s pilot project measures carbon emissions

Its sustainability measurement platform, Trace by Isla, takes paediatric conference ESPID 2023 to the next level.

On hand for succeesful sustainability measurement: stakeholders working closely together to reduce waste.
On hand for succeesful sustainability measurement: stakeholders working closely together to reduce waste. Photo Credit: Adobe stock/Deemerwha studio

At the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) 2023 in Lisbon last May, organiser, Kenes Group, took the event to the next level by rolling out unique strategies involving stakeholders for sustainability measurement. Its platform, Trace by Isla, enabled Kenes Group to measure carbon footprint by categories for ESPID 2023 as its pilot project.


To reduce food wastage, Kenes Group created a waste management strategy in collaboration with the Centro de Congressos de Lisboa, the destination, catering supplier, and both a local recycling company and a non-profit organisation to minimise the environmental impact.

To combat carbon emissions from long-distance flights and other forms of transportation, participants were advised on eco-friendly options so they could check with the airlines if they had sustainable practices in place to use biofuel which has a less negative impact on the environment. Delegates were offered different incentives to travel by train instead of flying, and to use only public transportation or to walk to the venue.‌

Sustainable Development Goals:

#3 – Good health and well-being: healthy food was served; a morning run was organised.

#5 – Gender equality: monitoring of non-discrimination among delegates, speakers and committee members and a programme featured diverse topics and speakers from various backgrounds.

#4 – Quality Education: workshops for early careers professionals, audience participation was encouraged through awards and providing a virtual conference alternative. Another new session “Towards Zero Waste: Active participation”, was delivered at ESPID by a local non-profit, to educate doctors and medical practitioners about waste management in the medical field, hospitals and at home.

#12 – Responsible consumption and production: prioritising the virtual platform to disseminate information, having e-posters, encouraging exhibitors to reduce single-use giveaways, and badge recycling.

Venue and delegate action

  • Going paperless, using the mobile app for communications and incentivising exhibitors to print less or no promotional material
  • Ensure good waste sorting practices by the venue during the teardown of the event site
  • Donating reusable items such as clothing, decorations and fabrics
  • Recyclable or reusable materials for signage and banners.

Measurable results

  • Educating and engaging delegates and exhibitors about new sustainable best practices in collaboration with ESPID sustainability committee
  • Introducing various sustainability initiatives for ESPID to 202 delegates through mailshots, onsite and virtually
  • Successful measurement of ESPID environmental footprint with total and per categories emissions calculations.
  • Successfully implementing sustainability and waste management strategy introduced specifically for this event
  • Introduction of a special new session “Towards zero waste: active participation” attended by 72 delegates
  • 1,672 meals donated, amounting to 412 kg of food
  • Reduced cutlery use and Zero use of single-use plastic for meals
  • One meatless meal during the congress
  • Paperless meetings – mobile app and less printed materials
  • Promotion and full support of gender equality – ESPID board: 6 females and 5 males; Speakers: 35 females and 44 males
  • The sustainability strategy included a widely communicated multi-channel, leading to a dedicated page on the conference website where participants could find all the information about the Sustainable Development Goals supported.
  • X was used to communicate on social media. To speak directly to the attendees, a mobile app with push notifications, mailshot, and Kenes Group’s virtual conference alternative platform VirtuOz, was used.
  • The local non-profit organisation in charge of delivering the session “Towards Zero Waste: Active Participation”, engaged in cross-promotion of their activities.
  • A report on the results has been drafted by the sustainability officer and ESPID Sustainability Committee and it will also be communicated to the relevant audience through press releases and case studies.