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    December 01, 2017 | 10:16 AM

    Maximum Impact, Minimum Footprint: How We Make 24 Hours of Reality a Green Event

    Yet, each and every one of us has the power to do something about it, in part by minimizing our impact on the Earth. And that even goes for us at The Climate Reality Project. Even when we’re putting on a massive global broadcast event like 24 Hours of Reality: Be the Voice of Reality.

    When we present 24 Hours of Reality on December 4-5, we’re aiming big. During the live broadcast, we’ll bring together millions from around the globe, all watching from the comfort of their own homes and in their own languages, to share the truth about the climate crisis, spread hope, and empower everyday people to take their planet’s future into their own hands.

    Just in case broadcasting in 20 time zones and multiple languages and coordinating the schedules and availability of a global rolodex of Who’s Who in music, politics, science, entertainment and more wasn’t enough, we also work to ensure the social and environmental legacy of the event matches the message on camera.

    The good news is that by employing an online broadcast format, we’re able to maximize our impact and reach millions while minimizing the environmental footprint that typically comes with hosting a large event. Plus, careful planning efforts allow the production team to design and execute a global event, while generating a minimal, localized footprint.

    We do it by emphasizing sustainability in all aspects of the event – from the content, to the venue, to the logistics. In particular, we focus on four key impact areas, including: green venue selection, waste reduction and diversion, energy and water use reduction, and stakeholder education and engagement. 

    >> Related: How You Can Get Involved in 24 Hours of Reality <<

    GREEN VENUE SELECTION

    There’s a reason they say “location, location, location!” A venue can make or break an event’s sustainability goals.

    Selecting a studio venue that fits our logistical needs and our sustainability objectives is one of the first steps we take in the planning process for the 24 Hours of Reality broadcast. Some of the venue characteristics we look for when choosing a location for the broadcast include:

    • Public Transit Accessibility – The venue is easily accessible on train, bus, and other public transit routes.
    • Green Design – The venue is built and/or retrofitted with sustainable and energy efficient materials and features. We look for certifications such as LEED and Energy Star to verify the building’s green design.
    • Organizational Buy-In – The venue has employee engagement and education programs that encourage its staff to participate in its sustainability initiatives.

    WASTE REDUCTION AND DIVERSION

    There is one place we absolutely do not want items used during the broadcast to end up: a landfill. To prevent items from being landfilled, we employ a comprehensive waste reduction and diversion strategy.

    The first step of this strategy is to reduce the amount of disposable materials used in the production. To do this, we provide more durable, reusable versions of items that are often single-use, like utensils, cups, and napkins. We also enforce a strict ‘no single-use plastic water bottle’ policy and provide our staff, crew, and talent with refillable, made in the USA water bottles that they can use throughout the broadcast and beyond.

    The second step of the strategy is to implement a waste diversion system that repurposes any standard waste items that accumulates during the event. As part of this system, we set up three-bin ‘Eco Stations’ that separate compostables, recyclables, and landfill items. Furthermore, we partner with local organizations to donate leftover building materials, event supplies, and other materials to community programs.

    ENERGY AND WATER USE REDUCTION

    Our efforts to reduce waste don’t stop at diverting items from the landfill. We also work hard to decrease less visible, but equally as damaging forms of waste: excess water and energy use.

    We reduce the amount of water used during the course of the broadcast dramatically by banning all single-use plastic water bottles, which require twice as much water as they contain to produce. Additionally, we source any plant-based décor from responsible, local growers who employ water-efficient growing techniques.

    To save energy, we use energy-efficient stage lighting, set heating and cooling systems to season-appropriate temperatures, and employ a power-down policy to ensure only critical equipment is turned on during rehearsal and move-in times.

    After the production concludes, we measure overall emissions related to travel to and from the broadcast location and other event-related activities and neutralize them via verifiable carbon offset projects.

     

    Will You Join Us and Be the Voice of Reality?

    We’re at a critical moment in the fight against climate change. We need your voice to make the difference. Join us December 4-5 for #24HoursofReality.

    Posted by Climate Reality on Friday, December 1, 2017

     

    EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT

    We see 24 Hours of Reality as an opportunity to educate, engage, and empower everyone the broadcast touches (including audience members, staff, crew, talent, and vendors) in the fight against climate change.

    Through our broadcast content, online communications, and on-site messaging, we strive to both educate stakeholders about our sustainability initiatives and provide them with the tools they need to make environmentally-friendly choices in their daily lives. Our goal, after all, is to empower everyone involved – from cast to crew to viewers – to take action beginning with the broadcast and continuing long after the lights go down.

    Make sure to join us for 24 Hours of Reality: Be the Voice of Reality on December 4—5. For full show details and broadcast times, visit 24HoursofReality.org.

    Jaime Nack

    Jaime Nack is the president of Three Squares Inc., a cutting-edge sustainability consulting firm specializing in developing comprehensive sustainability plans for corporate entities, government agencies, and academic institutions.