Greening the 2023 meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Since 2012, the BRS Secretariat has put in place measures to promote environmental sustainability of its activities, including in the preparation and conduct of its meetings. In line with the United Nations Climate Neutral Strategy, the Secretariat has been working to improve its environmental performance and has been climate neutral since 2012.

The 2023 meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (COPs) will be conducted in line with the Secretariat’s sustainability efforts. A number of actions will be undertaken to reduce the environmental footprint of the Conferences and offset unavoidable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to them.

The Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG) that will be the venue for the 2023 COPs has also adopted several measures to reduce the environmental footprint of its services.

The environmental impact of the meetings depends on all conference delegates, and your support in this important endeavour is highly appreciated.

1. Sustainable measures adopted by the BRS Secretariat

a. Climate neutrality

The Secretariat has taken steps to make the 2023 COPs climate neutral by offsetting unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions for the travel of sponsored participants, through the purchase of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). Participants and delegates who organize their own travel to and from the 2023 Conferences in Geneva are encouraged to offset their own travel emissions using the United Nations carbon offset platform:

  1. To calculate your travel related CO2 emissions, please use the ICAO's official calculator available at:
  2. To offset your emissions, please use the United Nations carbon offset platform available at:
    1. The offset purchase funds an array of projects ranging from wind power projects to efficient bus transit systems, or projects that replace harmful cook stoves with healthy, clean-burning ones etc. Projects that sell their credits can be filtered by region, country, co-benefits or price. Purchasing of certified emission reduction units (CERs) corresponding to your emission estimate can be initiated by selecting the project you wish to invest in.
    2. After you choose the project and purchase the CERs, an attestation of the offset will be made available to you.
    3. Please send us a copy of your attestation at to help us track progress in achieving climate neutrality of the 2023 COPs.

b. Reducing wastes

The 2023 COPs will also aim at reducing wastes, in particular plastic waste, at the meeting venue. In collaboration with the venue and catering services, the use of plastic in take-out containers, sandwich bags, cutlery and cups will be minimized and replaced by alternative packaging using Polylactic Acid and other biodegradable/compostable materials.

Participants and delegates are strongly encouraged to bring reusable drinking containers (mugs, bottles) and use them at the cafeteria and water fountains located throughout the venue. A reusable cup discount will be provided by the caterer.

Please also note that a few restaurants nearby the venue have switched from disposable to reusable packaging through a deposit return system. For more information, please consult

c. Paperless meetings

As a longstanding practice in BRS meetings, the 2023 COPs will be paperless. This is expected to considerably reduce the cost and carbon footprint of the meetings. A paperless meeting also makes it easier for participants to locate documents and allows for faster preparation and distribution of conference room papers. Delegates are encouraged to bring laptops or iPads, as all documents will be made available online and no hard copies will be provided.

2. Sustainable measures adopted at the venue

The CICG has adopted several other measures to reduce its environmental footprint by reducing its energy and water consumption, and waste production.

For instance, the restaurant and catering services have been granted the labels ISO 14001 for environmental management and “Fourchette Verte” which guarantee the preference given to local and seasonal products.

The venue also has a recycling programme and recycling bins are disposed in several locations throughout the venue.

For more information please consult the environmental charter of the Foundation for Buildings for International Organizations (FIPOI).

3. How you can further support these endeavours*

As a delegate to the meetings, you are encouraged to take simple actions that can really make a difference:

  1. Replace short flights with rail trips, if possible;
  2. Opt for direct routes that avoid additional emissions associated with multiple take-offs and landings;
  3. Voluntarily lower your flight class to avoid the higher footprint of business class trips;
  4. Shift meals to plant-based alternatives where possible;
  5. Prioritise locally sourced and in seasonal food items to minimise mileage for transportation and supporting local business. Some useful labels used in Geneva are:
    1. GRTA - Genève Région Terre Avenir: this guarantee mark identifies agricultural products from the region around Geneva;
    2. AOC - controlled designation of origin and IGP - protected geographical indication: AOC and IGP products are high-quality Swiss specialities which display a strong link to the region in which they are made;
    3. IP Suisse: this indicates products of Swiss origin made by means of an integrated production process (limited use of treatment products) which can be marketed at fair prices;
    4. Pro Specie Rara: this identifies breeders and farmers committed to protecting and reproducing rare, old and even endangered breeds of animal and varieties of vegetable.
  6. Reduce food waste and other waste;
  7. Use active travel such as walking or public transport where possible;
  8. Seek out accommodations that have a green guest program or have earned an eco-certification;
  9. Stay at accommodations that are within walking distance of the meeting venue;
  10. Participate in your hotel's linen reuse program.
  11. Bring a refillable tumbler for beverages to use at the venue’s plastic-free hydration stations.
  12. Download any electronic documents for use onsite. Print outs will not be provided, but device charging is available.
  13. Participate in the venue's recycling program.

Please see our leaflet with detailed tips to reduce waste production at the 2023 BRS COPs.  

Thank you for helping us in our efforts to green the 2023 COPs!

For more information, please contact us at


*Some of these items are drawn from the document “United Nations Ozone Secretariat Event EMS Green Travel and Event Tips”.