How can Virtual Events support the climate crisis?

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Post by
Matt Francis
Last updated :
September 4, 2023
 | 20 min read

How can Virtual Events support the climate crisis?

The 5th June marks World Environment Day but this isn’t just a time to celebrate the magnificent and beautiful world that we live in.  It’s an also an opportunity to look to the future of our diverse and astonishing planet, the climate crisis, and how our actions, every day, can support the Earth’s complex ecosystem for generations to come.  Here we take a look at how using Virtual Events can reduce environmental impact and support the climate crisis.

We all make decisions every day that impact the environment in the long and short term; from choosing to buy free range eggs over those from caged hens, to recycling our waste properly, or even taking a walk to the shop instead of driving.  In the business world there is much to be done too.  The global pandemic has forced many businesses to quickly and dramatically change how they operate, and we’ve seen a sharp and intense rise in the demand for virtual experiences and Virtual Events as a result.

Virtual Events and carbon emissions

According to ON24, a typical Virtual Event with 2,300 participants reduces carbon emissions by 3,300 tons compared to hosting that event face to face (in the format we’d have done before the pandemic.)  That’s the same effect as approximately 17,000 trees!

Your event could achieve the same outcome with minimal negative impacts on the environment.

What can we learn?

An event hosted annually in New York is a great example.  The live event produced 1,153,291 KG of carbon emissions as a traditional face to face event but, when hosted virtually, that figure dropped to 16,798 KG.  That’s an overall reduction of around 99%.  Not to be sniffed at!  Find out more here.

Yes, there will always be the requirement for human, face to face meetings and events, but the opportunities and successes of Virtual Events and experiences have opened our eyes to the reality of doing business more sustainably from now, and forever.  Here are our top four things to consider…

How Virtual Events help the climate crisis...

Air travel

It may seem obvious (and it is) but less air travel is better for the planet.  We’ve seen attendees and speakers from all around the world join in virtual events without the need to fly there; from training and educational events, to webinars, conferences, product launches and online exhibitions and everything in-between.  Even when we’re back in the room together again, we now know that not all of the content needs to be physically together in the room.  Consider who, and what, travels to your venue and what content (or speakers) could be streamed instead.  Not only is this an opportunity for a more diverse and compelling content stream, but the difference that a few minor tweaks can make can have a hugely positive impact on the environment.


Saving money can be a big reason why companies move from an in-person event format to a virtual one.  However, that’s not always the only thing to be reduced.  The waste generated by in person events – including energy, water, paper and food – to name a few – is much higher, naturally, than the waste generated by virtual experiences.  According to an Eventbrite survey, 90% of event creators adopted e-tickets in 2020 Eventbrite; do we really need all of those paper tickets again?  Let’s hope not.

Education and training

Huge numbers of connections and online interactions have taken place between workforces from remote locations around the world during the Coronavirus pandemic. A lot of these interactions have been critical to facilitate the ongoing running of a business that simply couldn’t operate otherwise, but a lot of these interactions have been educational too.  Just because staff are at home does not mean they have to stop learning (cue all schools during Covid driven school closures.)  While some learning will always need to take place in a room, with an educator, it’s something that can often be done remotely instead… as we’ve seen across the globe.  This means there is the opportunity for more educational events to be available than ever before, but not at the expense of our environment.  Do all in person educational events need to take place in person?  We think not.

For more information on Virtual Experiences, the Cloudpresenter platform and how your business could use them, contact us today.

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