The Wellbeing Summit 2022
THE WELLBEING SUMMIT 2022,
PLANTING THE SEED FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE EVENT
The Wellbeing Project believes in environmental awareness and social inclusion. Sustainability was one of the organisational key guiding principles for The Wellbeing Summit’s first edition in 2022. From the event design, inspired by supporting the circular economy model, to measuring and planning for the reduction of carbon emissions; every aspect of the Summit was designed with sustainability in mind.
We set two main objectives:
- Implement strategic actions towards holding a responsible event.
- Better understand our carbon impact by measuring the event footprint.
We also looked to include programmes and themes in the Summit that would create discourse and raise awareness of our planetary crisis. We were supported in achieving these objectives by our partner UreCulture who specialises in environmental sustainability planning for cultural agents and non-profit organisations.
With The Wellbeing Summit 2022 Sustainability Report we want to transparently share with you our journey and commitment towards sustainability.
Our first steps in 2022
Strategic actions taken to reduce our environmental impact
As the primary source of emissions during an event, it is essential to be aware of the impact caused by traveling, to monitor it, and put in place preventive measures.
What we did:
- Provide recommendations for responsible travel, including the invitation to delegates to make impactful donations in compensation for the carbon impact.
- Offer Economy Class tickets to speakers, artists and grantee delegates.
- A free hybrid option was also set up, with digital access through our event platform for participants wishing to follow the plenary sessions and have access to online exclusive content.
During any event, resources are widely used. Following the circular economy methodology, we tried to minimise resource consumption and waste wherever and whenever possible.
What we did:
- Paper-free event.
- Use of already existing buildings (no event tent/marquee).
- All materials for the Welcome Pack were sourced locally (Spain and Portugal).
- Yute tote bag instead of cotton tote bag.
- No goodies, the only gift was a plantable pin with mint seeds.
- All attendees’ badges were made of plantable seed paper and the badge holders of recycled cardboard.
- No single use carpet.
- All furniture was rented instead of bought and most was made from sustainable or recycled materials.
- Stage of the Welcome Cocktail made from recycled wood pallets.
- Staff t-shirts made from organic cotton and locally sourced.
- No plastic bottles, but water fountains.
The catering offered has an important environmental impact and it is crucial to opt for responsibly sourced food.
What we did:
- All our caterers committed to using organic (or equivalent), local and seasonal products.
- Vegetarian options were always available (low-carbon options).
- Except for the Welcome Cocktail and the Lunch Box on the last day, all attendees were provided with lunch vouchers – to be used in local restaurants close to the main venue – in order to have a positive impact on the local economy and avoid waste systematically created by catered lunches.
- The catering offered at specific smaller events was provided by a local association employing young people at risk of marginalisation.
City and venues
The selection of the appropriate hosting city and venues are key to reducing the impact.
What we did:
- Selection of a small city and specific venues which were all at maximum 15 min. walking distance between them and, alternatively, reachable by public transportation.
- A public bus at an affordable price ran every 30 min. from the airport to the city centre.
- For transportation of attendees with specific accessibility requirements, artists and speakers pick ups and production staff, electric cars offered by one of our sponsors were used.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
The Wellbeing Project is deeply committed to inclusivity, therefore creating an event in which everyone would feel represented and included was key. We also believe that the ecological challenge is a global one and that it can only be tackled by a diverse, inclusive and united community.
What we did:
- The Wellbeing Summit 2022 was a “by invitation only” event in order to carefully curate the invitee list and ensure diversity and inclusivity. An example: 83 different countries and 6 continents represented. Still, anyone could express their desire to participate through a self-nomination process and each candidate was taken into consideration and carefully evaluated before being invited.
- Selection of speakers and artists to ensure diversity and inclusivity. An example: 54.2% female speakers; 60.2% female artists.
- Sponsoring for delegates with diverse backgrounds: 53.4% of delegates had a subsidy of their ticket. This could range from a partial subsidy all the way to a free ticket to attend TWBS 2022. For 10.4% of delegates The Wellbeing Project covered the ticket, the flight and the accommodation.
- Management of visas to ensure diversity: 151 visa requests were managed by The Wellbeing Project.
- All venues were accessible for people with disabilities or impairments and a support team was available on demand to guarantee full accessibility to everyone. An example : 7 accessibility requests for the full duration of the event were promptly attended.
- Yoga mats and pillows were redistributed to local associations working with homeless people.
- The catering offer at specific smaller events was provided by a local association employing young people at risk of marginalisation.
- A contact list of babysitting services available in the city was provided on TWBS 2022 website.
Measuring our footprint: Our 2022 carbon audit
Like any human activity, major events impact their environment and the planet. We are fully aware of this responsibility and understand the opportunity The Wellbeing Summit has to lead by example. It was crucial for the Wellbeing Summit to carry out an audit and measure the carbon impact of the event, as we can only change what we measure.
The Wellbeing Summit 2022 carbon audit and footprint will act as our baseline to track and measure improvements in our 2025 edition.
Raising awareness for our planetary crisis to help create change
We considered it fundamental to include environment-related content in the Conference and Arts Programmes in order to inspire, help raise awareness and create change.
What we did:
Examples of environment-related content in the Arts Programme:
- Yazmany Arboleda – Hospital for the soul
- Himali Singh Soin – Ancestors of the blue moon
- Mohau Modisakeng – The water drummer
- Daniel Steegman Mangrané – Fog dog
Examples of environment-related content in the Conference Programme:
- Satish Kumar, peace-pilgrim and environmentalist – Opening Plenary Session and morning meditation
- Kumi Naidoo, human rights and environmental activist – Closing Plenary Session
- Laureline Simon, founder and director, One Resilient Earth; Mallika Dutt, founder Inter-Connected, activist, social change leader; Carolin Schmee, partner at Manejo Ambiental; Clare Celeste, artist – Workshop “Our Relationship with Nature: How Climate Change Impacts Emotions”
The Wellbeing Summit 2022 Sustainability Report
Discover The Wellbeing Summit 2022 Sustainability Report, created in partnership with UreCulture and its team of environmental researchers and climate change consultants. With this report we have taken the first step in the fight against climate change: measuring carbon emissions.
The report outlines all the sustainability actions taken during the 2022 Summit and reviews the event’s carbon emissions. This is a significant step towards a more sustainable world and a great tool to identify areas of improvement with a commitment to continuously advancing.
Looking Towards The Wellbeing Summit 2025
In 2022 we planted the seed to align with best practice in sustainable and responsible events planning for The Wellbeing Summit 2025.
Some preliminary ideas include:
- Study environmentally-friendly modes of transportation to travel to the Summit.
- Deepen our knowledge on how to reduce waste and support a circular economy, in collaboration with our providers and partners.
- Look for providers and partners who share our values and are taking concrete steps to reduce their environmental impact.
- Research innovative solutions for inclusivity as, for example, access riders.
Over the next two years we will continue to research and look for innovative solutions to reduce our environmental impact, promote eco-friendly and socially inclusive practices and design a sustainable experience for our attendees and stakeholders.