For over fourteen years, the BDC has been a certified CarbonNeutral® venue.

We are powered by renewable electricity, send no waste to landfill and have been working hard on improving our energy efficiency and reducing our reliance on gas, in aiming towards to our goal of becoming net zero. We have been reducing our footprint for over a fourteen years now; however, for the residual carbon produced we offset this with the support of Climate Impact Partners, formerly Natural Capital Partners

What does carbon neutral mean?

Carbon neutrality is achieved by calculating our company’s carbon footprint and reducing it to zero through a combination of efficiency measures in-house and supporting external emission reduction projects, also referred to as offsetting. Find out more about how this is done.

What about carbon neutral certification?

Business Design Centre, was the first venue of its kind to offset all carbon emissions and become a certified CarbonNeutral® venue back in 2010. We have continued to do this over the past thirteen years with Climate Impact Partners who certify us under the CarbonNeutral Protocol.

This protocol was first developed and published in 2002, and is revised and updated annually to reflect developments in climate science, international policy, standards and business practice. It is an open source standard and guide developed for business by business that draws together leading independent standards for greenhouse gas accounting into a practical guide to carbon neutrality.

Carbon Neutral Certified

How does this compare with other certifications?

This cross-compliance table summarises the major differences between The CarbonNeutral Protocol and other related national standards and guidelines for carbon neutrality. The documentation on the respective standards should be referred to for detailed information about the way in which requirements must be fulfilled, documented and verified.

The requirements of the following standards and guidelines are considered from a cross-compliance perspective:

  • PAS 2060:2014 Publicly Available Specification for the demonstration of carbon neutrality (Published April 2014)
  • Australia’s National Carbon Offset Standard Carbon Neutral Program
    (Published May 2012, v5 – Nov 2017

How about the offsetting itself?

We have been working with an external assessment partner to calculate our footprint, which we then offset through Climate Impact Partners. We choose to offset our emissions by supporting impactful projects that align with our values. We support different projects in developing countries around the world that specifically benefit the people that live there, as well as the environment, selecting projects that align with and support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Meru Saplings
Meru Forest
Meru Forest Rainbow

What kind of projects do we support?

Since 2010 we have been offsetting across a range of projects, including West India Wind Power and Water Filtration and Improved Cookstoves. As well as providing offsetting, these projects contribute to supporting various elements of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the last couple of years, we chose to add a Community Reforestation Project to our portfolio. This removal project restores degraded forest reserves in Ghana with teak, indigenous trees and natural forest. We also chose the Vichada Afforestation Project, which restores land degraded by cattle raising through afforestation activities. As removal projects, these are the type that we will continue to support whilst reducing our footprint on our goal to aiming for net zero before 2030. 

These are Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program projects. The VCS has become a globally recognised greenhouse gas crediting program due to its rigorous assessment and the way that it addresses new scientific, technological and regulatory developments.  It’s the world’s most widely used voluntary program to ensure the credibility of emission reduction projects, sharing transparently, the information about its projects and their activities.

As well as the projects themselves they contribute to numerous SDGs, including: Zero Hunger by implementing resilient agricultural practices, Gender Equality through creating more jobs and allocating more available areas to women as well as Decent Work and Economic Growth. You can find out more through Climate Impact Partners.

As with all of our environmental impact work, we continue to evaluate, learn and grow. With new technologies, projects and guidelines evolving, we aim to continually improve our own practices whilst ultimately and most importantly, making further reductions to our footprint first. 

What else have we been doing to reduce our carbon footprint?

In 2019 we made the switch to renewable electricity which contributed to a significant reduction in our carbon emissions. We have also introduced many energy efficiency measures across the venue over a number of years including, motion sensors, automatic taps and flushes as well as low energy lighting. A plug and play system is used on our exhibition stands to reduce waste cabling and the lighting used is also low energy. In August 2023, we made significant changes to the venue’s kitchens, removing their reliance on gas by retrofitting them with induction appliances. 

Recycling Bins
Refillable Water Bottles

We work closely with the commercial waste team at Islington Council, to ensure our waste is sent to be recycled, composted or if this isn’t possible it is still diverted from landfill by being sent to an energy recovery facility – the energy created as a result goes back into the local grid. Our catering partners began removing plastic bottles and packaging back over five years ago, aiming to use compostable or recyclable catering packaging where takeaway services are provided. 

You can read more about our impact in our 2023 report: A Platform for Good

We are improving the way that we work with all those who use the venue and will continue to work alongside professional bodies and the wider industry, as this is a journey that we all must take together in order to save the planet. If you would like to get in touch with us about our work, have feedback or a question, please email us at environmentalimpact@bdc.london.