Comms Council Publishes the Carbon Impact of AXIS Awards

Sep 8, 2023
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Comms Council has made a public commitment to measuring the impact of and pursuing a low-carbon event policy for its award shows moving forward, requiring the integration of environmentally responsible decisions throughout the planning process and measuring the emissions of every award show that they put on. This effort comes out of its alignment with the Ad Net Zero Action Plan (Action 4) which challenges industry award bodies to reduce emissions through awards and from events.

Comms Council worked with Toitū to measure and certify their recently held AXIS Awards to a Net-Carbon Zero Events Standard. "The measurement process required us to work closely with our Event Suppliers to ensure they were able to provide us with the right data, and understand the decision points that would allow for a lower-carbon event. It prompted great discussions and forged a stronger relationship with them.” says Jennifer Gunn, Sustainability Manager for the Comms Council. Data provided by Suppliers was then entered in to Toitū’s event measurement template and audited for accuracy.

The carbon impact of putting on the AXIS Awards came to 27.09 tonnes of CO2e. The measurement exercise sets a baseline from which to measure future events against and demonstrated the largest impact areas that warranted attention. For example, despite hosting the event in central Auckland, getting guests to the venue was the largest impact area. This finding offers a creative opportunity to promote car-pooling in electric vehicles or encouraging walking (in high heels no less!) to future events. Other findings help influence decisions for future events.

“Catering being the third largest impact area for our events has prompted discussions about offering vegetarian choices and choosing lower-carbon meat for future events. We want to maintain a high-quality event that everyone is excited to attend, while making lower-carbon choices that most guests won’t even notice.” Says James Wotton, Head of Communications and Events at Comms Council.

The process of measuring the AXIS Awards in effect sets a baseline for the Comms Council carbon budget ceiling for future shows, against which reduction progress can be measured in subsequent shows. Comms Council invites the creators of other awards shows to follow suit in measuring and reducing the impact of Awards Events.

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Ad Net Zero's five-point Action Plan provides our industry with a framework for its transition to net zero.