Greening the events of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat (BRS) is dedicated to enhancing sustainability in all aspects of its operations, including its events. This commitment aligns with the Strategy for Sustainability Management in the United Nations System 2020-2030 and supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Since 2012, the Secretariat has proactively worked to minimize the environmental impact of its meetings and offset unavoidable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Currently, a green events policy is being pilot tested for events of more than 300 participants.

The Sustainable Event Policy aims to achieve the following objectives, in alignment with the UN System:

  1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions at our events whenever possible.
  2. Prevent solid waste from our events from causing pollution or harm to the environment and local communities.
  3. Ensure that event activities do not contribute to or worsen local air quality issues.
  4. Promote water conservation at our events and prevent the release of untreated wastewater into the environment.
  5. Avoid adverse impacts on biodiversity from event operations.

The environmental impact of our meetings depends significantly on the behavior of all participants.

1. Sustainable measures adopted by the BRS Secretariat for events with more than 300 participants

a. Climate neutrali


The Secretariat has taken steps to ensure these meetings are climate neutral by offsetting unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions from the travel of sponsored participants through the purchase of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). Participants who arrange their own travel are encouraged to offset their emissions using the United Nations carbon offset platform.


Acknowledging that switching to a plant-based diet can significantly reduce an individual’s annual carbon footprint (up to 2.1 tons with a vegan diet or up to 1.5 tons for vegetarians1 ), the BRS Secretariat supports this transition. To this end, at least one vegan/plant-based and/or one vegetarian (dairy permitted) option is available for each meal at the meeting venue.

b. Reducing wastes

Our goal is to minimize waste at our meetings, particularly plastic waste. In collaboration with the venue and catering services, we aim to reduce the use of plastic in take-out containers, sandwich bags, cutlery, and cups, replacing them with alternative packaging and other biodegradable/compostable materials.

Meeting participants are strongly encouraged to bring reusable drinking containers (mugs, bottles) and use them at the cafeteria and water fountains located throughout the venue.

We also strive to reduce the use of organizer generated handouts, giveaways and packaging and we promote the donation of leftover event materials, where applicable.

c. Paperless meetings

BRS meetings have a longstanding practice of being paperless, which significantly reduces costs and carbon footprint. A paperless format also allows participants to easily locate documents and facilitates faster preparation and distribution of conference room papers. Delegates are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets, as all documents are available online, and no hard copies are provided.

2. How meeting participants can support the Secretariat in greening its events

Participants 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 their 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;
  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 their 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 are not provided, but device charging is available.
  13. Participate in the venue's recycling program.

For more information, please contact us at

Draft Sustainability Policy for Events