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
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
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.
- Educating and engaging delegates and exhibitors about new
sustainable best practices in collaboration with ESPID sustainability
- 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