Mobile World Congress Barcelona, a 100 % neutral event

30 June 2021 | CO2


The GSMA kicks off Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2021, the world's largest mobile ecosystem event. This year's MWC Barcelona will be a powerful combination of a physical and virtual event. The GSMA is committed to bringing the best of the mobile industry to its 35,000 in-person attendees and thousands more around the world. This new format promises to herald a new era of connectivity and collaboration for the mobile industry.

In addition, Factor's team, represented by Raquel Algilaga, Senior Consultant and mitigation expert, will be present in Barcelona to support the GSMA in the calculation of the carbon footprint of the Mobile World Congress and the neutralisation of its emissions.


What is carbon neutrality for MWC Barcelona?

The GSMA, as the company at the forefront of organising this series of international events, has been calculating the carbon footprint of all the activities carried out during the MWC Barcelona event since 2014. Some of these activities included in the analysis are:

  • Transport and accommodation for attendees and GSMA employees before, during and after the event.
  • Transport and construction of exhibiting companies' stands.
  • Energy consumption, water consumption and waste generation within the event facilities.
  • Catering services.
  • Communication materials.

The support provided by the Factor team consisted of calculating the carbon footprint and defining its management plan, as well as assistance in the verification and declaration of the carbon neutrality of the event.
In order to obtain the carbon neutrality certification, the following milestones were undertaken:

  • Development of a study for the understanding of the carbon footprint of MWC 2021 (based on the same principles of the studies developed in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019).
  • Creation of a carbon management plan to advise on the reduction of the event's carbon footprint. 
  • Elaboration of a carbon neutrality statement for formal certification based on the PAS 2060 standard.
  • Assistance and facilitation in obtaining the Carbon Neutrality Certificate. 

Every year, the GSMA designs and reviews its Carbon Management Plan to reduce emissions from all activities included in this analysis. Thanks to this plan, reduction measures have been implemented such as the Attendee Offset programme in which, through the official event website, all attendees have the opportunity to calculate and offset the emissions generated by their transport and accommodation during their participation in the event.

GSMA is aware that part of its emissions cannot be reduced due to its main activity. Therefore, after calculating the total footprint of the event, the GSMA offsets its residual emissions by purchasing credits in the voluntary carbon market. The mechanisms used by the GSMA ensure and accredit that the credits purchased have been used for the implementation of projects and technologies that reduce emissions globally. Once these credits are purchased to offset residual emissions, the event is certified as a carbon neutral event, something that MWC Barcelona has been doing since 2014.

Since 2013 Factor Ideas for change supports GSMA with the calculation and offsetting of emissions from its international events, as well as from all its offices. With more than a decade of experience Factor CO2 specialises in providing solutions in mitigation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as adaptation to climate risks. Its services include from GHG emissions accounting and neutrality strategies, thanks to initiatives such as Go CO2 neutral, to climate change vulnerability studies or the development of climate action strategies.


Source: Factor


Factor Ideas for change

Factor has more than 15 years of experience offering technical consulting services in the areas of climate change adaptation and mitigation, carbon footprint analysis, sustainability, circular economy, renewable energy and carbon markets, amongst other things, undertaken on behalf of governments and international organizations, as well as for over 400 companies, with more than 1,100 projects undertaken within 40+ countries.