COP26 illustrates ESG infiltrating to different sectors and functional units

In 2021, we have advancement in incorporating ESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance – with the working function sector.

The COP26 UN Climate Summit, the negotiations calling to “keep 1.5C alive”, achieves International Standard For Sustainability.

According to the GOV.UK, COP26’s effort attaining sustainable event had reached the ISO20121 international standard. The ISO20121 certificate awards the organisation that sets out the requirements to establish, maintain, and continually improve an event sustainability management system.

COP26 President Alok Sharma told:
“Sustainability was at the core of COP26, and I am proud that the UK has added yet another impressive standard of environmental compliance to the event with the ISO2021 certification. To build on our work with ISO20121, COP26 will also be a carbon-neutral event and become the first COP to have achieved PAS2060 validation on carbon neutrality. This will make good on our priority to reduce and avoid emissions at the highest level.”

How did COP26 demonstrate that they minimise potential adverse environmental impacts on communities and the local economy and maximise the positive effects?

The green event measures taken at COP26 are(extracted at

1) Prioritising low carbon alternative energy sources such as electric and low emission vehicles, solar energy for temporary traffic lights and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in generators instead of diesel.
2) Prioritising sustainability by including explicit requirements in our supplier procurements and with partners.
3) Encouraging delegates to use active travel such as walking and cycling or public transport where possible.
4) Catering prioritises locally sourced, healthy, and in-season food items to minimise mileage for transportation and support local business.
5) Working with our hygiene partners, we supplied PPE that was sustainable, washable, and included filters to follow local COVID regulations and deliver a safe COP26.
6) Repurposing the furniture, which Ikea UK provided to furnish the conference, will involve working closely with Glasgow City Council to ensure the furniture is given a second life at charity organisations and local community projects across the city. Other legacy examples include distributing the conference carpets in the temporary structures to low-income families, sending MDF sheets and cotton roof panels from the Hydro installations to wood recycling and men’s shed projects in the city and turning the hundreds of metres of black-backed fabric graphics into bags, pencil cases, laptop bags, and boxes.
7) Employing local people for specific event roles.
8) Prioritising leaving a legacy in the events industry by hosting industry-wide workshops on improving standards and best practice for future events.

Leaving a positive legacy is one of the COP26 seven Sustainability Governing Principles. Practising the green event reflects the organisation culture with real action. Imagine (or you have probably seen it) you seeing the claimed green event with plastic bottle water provided for the event guests. Unquestionably, you would doubt how “green” the organisational culture is at the first glimpse.

It is also seen in real-world cases – the 2015 VW diesel emission scandal, the 2018 Starbucks’ “nitro lid” containing more plastic material than the previous lid and straw combined, and deceptive labelling and labour practices cases in the cocoa and chocolate industry. Caroline Sapriel, the founder of the global consultancy, once said: “A number of high profile cases related to false sustainability claims calls into question whether organisations are making genuine commitments.” It is always the matter of the cultural root of the governance towards sustainability.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website:, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,