Since our inception, it has been AWE’s mission to further human progress through technology, and harness the power of XR to fight the greatest challenges facing humanity. Since there is no greater challenge today, we have committed to do all that we can to leverage our platform and community in service of fighting climate change and its effects.
Building on the efforts of the $100,000 XR Prize Challenge: Fight Climate change, a cash prize designed to incentivize the development of XR-powered solutions that help educate about and fight against the effects of climate change, AWE has now also committed to producing carbon neutral events.
To make AWE USA carbon neutral, we worked with a leading, third-party verified firm, Terrapass to calculate the green gas emissions related to the event and offset the impact by investing into green tech, forest planting projects, and carbon reduction projects.
We followed the Terrapass model to ‘calculate, reduce, and offset’ our carbon footprint - both at our events and in how we approach our business. Our commitment starts today and continues into the future. We plan to use the learnings from our efforts to continue to improve while working to make all AWE events carbon neutral and more sustainable.
Measuring the impact/footprint of a 5000 person event
Through our work with Terrapass we will offset a total of 1,238 metric tons of carbon. This Includes every aspect of the event including an estimated 5,536,000 miles of airline transportation, 21,000 meals/parties served, and 102,721 kWh of electricity used.
The impact of these combined offsets add up to the equivalent of planting 20,470 trees, for the USA event alone.
Trusted third-party verification
"Terrapass confirms that AWE has neutralized the estimated carbon emissions from the AWE USA 2023 event by funding 1,238 mT of carbon offsets from verified carbon reduction projects. Estimated carbon emissions are based on operational data provided to Terrapass by AWE for venue, shipping, air travel, car travel, ground transportation, hotels, paper, water bottles, meals, and waste."
Engaging our community to extend the impact
While AWE has offset the total carbon footprint for our USA 2023 event, the AWE community can help make a further impact by calculating and offsetting their own carbon footprint on the Terrapass website. Through our partnership with Terrapass, the AWE community can offset their carbon footprint for 20% less, by using the code AWE2023.
We understand that the event industry has many opportunities to act more sustainably and we’re working with our sponsors and exhibitors to change the status quo at our events; including reducing one-time use items, working to eliminate print waste, and encouraging sustainable swag and digital lead-generation activities.
Sustainability activities at the AWE events and beyond
Walkable events. We’re taking a new approach to parties this year at AWE USA and have completely eliminated the need for car and bus travel by hosting our parties within walking distance from the convention center grounds.
Wherever possible we’re defaulting to digital signage and apps to help the AWE audience plan their schedules and find their way around the event.
For the limited printed materials we do create, we’ve moved to fully biodegradable or recyclable materials:
Major set pieces will now be made from recyclable cloth banners, instead of vinyl.
Sign boards will be printed on honey-comb paper board, instead of corrugated plastics.
Name tags will be biodegradable and we’ll have recycle stations to collect lanyards & badges after the event.
Local, sustainable vendors. To consider the entire footprint of our events including everything we make and ship, we’re working with new local vendors for things like printing t-shirts and signage to reduce both production waste and shipping.
To limit food and service waste, we’ve requested re-usable or compostable service items for catering at AWE USA events.
Renewable power. The Santa Clara Convention Center uses 100% renewable wind and solar energy and is a green partner with the EPA and an award winner for its sustainability efforts.
AWE has a commitment to accessible content and supporting our global community with digital options. All Main Stage sessions from AWE USA are streamed live on awe.live for people who cannot or do not want to travel. Additionally all AWE conference sessions are recorded and hosted for free on awe.live and on our YouTube channel.
We’ve worked with Terrapass, a leader in the carbon offsets space.
Terrapass adopts the highest standards and 100% of their carbon offsets are certified by the industry’s top independent 3rd party verifiers including Verified Carbon Standard, Gold Standard, American Carbon Registry or the Climate Action Reserve.
Projects are verified every step of the way. An accredited and independent accounting firm verifies that Terrapass projects are realizing the exact number of emissions reductions.
Terrapass completes rigorous assurance processes. Every year, Terrapass completes Green-e® Climate Certification, industry leading 3rd party assurance that carbon offset purchases meet the most rigorous standards for quality.
1,238 metric tons of carbon dioxide are being offset for AWE USA 2023.
Including for 5,536,000 miles of airline transportation and 102,721 Kwh of electricity used.
The total carbon offset is the equivalent to planting 20,470 trees
1,238mt = 2,729,323 lbs
AWE sees these sustainability as a key part of our mission to uplift and support the XR industry. In addition to offsetting the carbon footprint for our three flagship events (AWE USA, AWE EU, and AWE Asia) we will review our efforts and impacts yearly and update our plan as we grow and learn from these initiatives.
Additionally our global team members all work digitally, eliminating the need for daily commutes or managing office spaces.
AWE has a commitment to accessible content and supporting our global community with digital options. All Main Stage sessions from AWE USA are streamed live on awe.live for people who cannot or choose not to travel.
Additionally all AWE conference sessions are recorded and hosted for free on awe.live and on our YouTube channel.
We also host over 30 AWE Nite meetup groups internationally, where community members can connect, learn, and grow with leaders in the XR space through local events and online streaming sessions.