After nearly two years of gathering online for virtual conferences and events, most organizations are more than ready to again gather (safely) in person. This does, however, pose a problem for corporate sustainability efforts — virtual events are very energy efficient, while in-person events require travel and accommodations, food and beverage, attendee giveaways, and so on.
At Acumatica, we view sustainability as a mindset. We are proud of our commitment to net zero carbon emissions goals, including instituting a green/sustainability initiative for our annual Summit event. Sustainable event agency MeetGreen, via its third-party auditing tool MeetGreen Calculator 2.0, recognized Acumatica as a Leader in Event Sustainability for our team's efforts at Summit 2021.
A recap of sustainability efforts at Acumatica Summit 2021
We took a proactive approach to reducing environmental impact at Summit 2021.
Our team's efforts included but were not limited to:
- Provided virtual keynote attendance: Saved 358,400kg of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Optimized recycling and composting at the venue: Diverted 98.98% of total event waste, making Acumatica Summit 2021 a MeetGreen Verified Zero Waste Event.
- Ensured sustainable attendee gifting: Gave attendees backpacks made of upcycled water bottles.
- Eliminated single use, catered bottled water: Saved approximately 11,163kWh of energy.
- Donated recovered event materials: Gathered smaller items exhibitors discarded during move-out and donated them to organizations in the Las Vegas community.
- Donated unserved event food: At our team's request, Wynn Las Vegas provided 750 pounds of food (approximately 2,000 meals) to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.
- Reduced, reused, and rethought printed collateral and signage: Saved 38 signs and all hanging banners for reuse and reduced printed signage by 49.5% from 2020 to 2021.
- Leveraged renewable/solar energy: Used Wynn Las Vegas's rooftop solar panel array and the nearby 160-acre Wynn Solar Facility to power 75% of our onsite energy.
- Supplied digital information: Replaced thousands of printed event guides and materials with our digital mobile app, which we first introduced at Acumatica Summit 2020.
How partnerships helped Acumatica achieve sustainability at Summit
Our annual Summit is the single largest contributor to our carbon footprint. We recognized the significant effort and responsibility required to make Summit more sustainable, which is why we looked for a partner to help us achieve our goals.
MeetGreen works with organizations to develop a sustainable event policy that aids in lowering an event's carbon footprint. They have a tool that benchmarks the sustainable elements of an event based on 14 key categories. With their help, we have created an effective Acumatica sustainability plan that incorporates their suggestions with the things we were already doing. We also work closely with the event venue to prioritize sustainability. For example, we make recycling bins available throughout the meeting space and provide locally grown and sourced food.
Our partnerships with MeetGreen and Wynn Las Vegas have been instrumental in guiding our journey toward sustainable events. Having achieved a richly sustainable environment in 2021, our event planning team will incorporate the same initiatives for 2022 — and take them a step further.
What Acumatica has planned for sustainability at Summit 2022
Our sustainability efforts for Summit 2022 will incorporate the steps we took in 2021, but instead of seeing achievements as "one-and-done," event planners are working with Wynn Las Vegas and our supplier base to make these standard operating procedures for every future event. We set important data-driven baselines in 2021, driving progress towards measurable goals, corporate targets, and global standards. With Wynn Las Vegas's help, we tracked our waste, and, moving forward, we plan to also measure our energy and water consumption in 2022.
The sustainability measures we are taking for Acumatica Summit mirror the measures we take every day to ensure we are limiting our environmental impact. In 2020, Acumatica made great strides in reducing our environmental impact. We have saved six times the emissions produced by our carbon footprint.
We have solidified our internal sustainability efforts. Now, we're turning our focus outward by enabling greater sustainability for our customers in functionality across our industry editions. Our customers can make better decisions, track their progress, and realize their sustainability goals. For example, when an Acumatica ERP customer moves their business from a legacy solution to Acumatica's cloud services solution, the customer reduces the carbon output of their growth business on average by 72%. And they will continue to benefit as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Acumatica's web services platform, further develops its own sustainability efforts.
Now is the time for companies to meet the moment — to prioritize environmental consciousness by focusing on reducing emissions and improving operational efficiency. Companies committed to change can start with small but impactful adjustments (i.e., introducing a digital mobile app to provide attendees with conference information, thereby eliminating the need to print out thousands of event guides). As they implement these seemingly small changes, they will see a significant impact and return on their sustainability investments.