6Connex – a provider of virtual and hybrid event solutions – commissioned an independent study to compare the carbon emissions impact of on-site vs. virtual events. The study – conducted by WSP, an engineering and consulting firm – indicated that in-person events generate an average of 40 times more emissions than their virtual counterparts.
“We’ve always known that by virtue of our products we are uniquely positioned as catalysts for a greener future. Virtual events, after all, naturally produce drastically lesser waste and lower carbon emissions compared to their in-person counterparts,” said Ruben Castaño, CEO of 6Connex. “But we wanted to take that a step further and uncover just how much carbon emissions are avoided from virtual events hosted in our platform in an effort to champion a core value we have as an organization – contributing to a better world through sustainability.”
In the spring of 2021, WSP analyzed seven 6Connex-hosted events which had been held in 2020. Attendance at these events varied from 560 to over 18,000 participants. WSP used IP addresses and other factors to determine travel requirements and typical event activities, and then used this information to estimate the creation of carbon emissions virtually in comparison to baseline metrics for in-person events. Emissions were approximated in categories such as travel, hotel usage, meals, waste, event space, servers and other computing technology, and marketing materials.
If held on-site, these seven events would have created an estimated average of 26,370 metric tons more of CO2 equivalents, or about 45 times the amount expended during virtual-only events that occurred in 2020. The most significant carbon emissions would have been generated by the travel to and from the events
“We are always excited when companies come to us to help launch their sustainability programs. Witnessing organizations take on the responsibility of climate action never fails to leave us inspired,” said Ron Feingold, Project Director of Sustainability, Energy and Climate Change for WSP. “We are proud to be supporting 6Connex to assess their carbon footprint and we are honored to be a part of the journey they are trailblazing in the virtual technology space.”