We caught up with Sarah Lindsey, Head of Sustainability and Aerospace Operations at Farnborough International, to find out more…
Can you tell us more about the charter, why it’s important and what it means for the business?
At Farnborough International, we are committed to being a leading sustainable business, events venue, and event organiser and are flying towards Destination Zero!
Encompassing our award-winning venue and internationally renowned event portfolio, Farnborough International operates under sustainability best practices. Collaborating with our industry-leading supply partners, we aim to inspire and support our clients in achieving their own goals by offering more sustainable choices.
We are enabling the Net Zero conversation in the aviation and commercial transport industries through hosting and organising pioneering events on this subject matter. We have been doing amazing things for many years, however, now is the perfect platform and time to tell the industry all about it. Our Venue Sustainability Charter is the first step in our journey to ensure our clients know what we are achieving now and are committed to doing soon. Our long-term goals and road map to Net Zero dateline will be launched at the beginning of 2024.
You’re aiming to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions. Can you share some of the key steps and changes you will be making to reach this goal?
Our four sustainability pillars are all equally important in hitting our Net Zero target.
However, our key focus, in getting us there sooner, is our energy consumption and sources. Our current solar arrays on Hall 1 of our Exhibition & Conference Centre can power the whole building, however with a further investment in an additional 1MW solar array in 2024, we will be able to generate 30% of our annual electricity needs. On a sunny day some of our events will be self-sufficient! We also use HVO biofuel where possible, reducing temporary generator emissions by 90% and will be switching to a renewable energy tariff in 2024 when our current contract comes to an end.
Who will be driving these changes internally and making sure you remain on track?
As Head of Sustainability and Aerospace Operations, ensuring Farnborough International hits its Net Zero targets is a core part of my role. I have been with Farnborough International for over 15 years, but only had sustainability added to my remit officially in June 2023. However, I have been a passionate advocate for many years and am excited to have been given this mandate to deliver positive change.
This charter represents the next step in your sustainability journey. Can you share some of the successes you have had so far as a team?
Our Zero to landfill achievements go back to 2014. Reducing and recycling our waste has been high on Farnborough International’s agenda for almost a decade.
What’s your biggest challenge / concern around sustainability?
Farnborough International supports our clients in making more sustainable choices. However, if these choices continue to come at a higher cost, with no incentive other than the environmental impact, how can we encourage our organisers, exhibitors, and visitors to do the right thing and ultimately safeguard Farnborough International’s own overall environmental impact?
Ideally, venues, organisers, and exhibitors need to support the supply chain to ensure sustainable substrates and services become the norm, to drive prices down, and with it un-sustainable options becoming obsolete.