Sustainability at CL24

The PCMA Convening Leaders Sustainability Journey​

“We have before us a unique opportunity — and responsibility — to contribute to the global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”​​

– Sherrif Karamat, CAE
President & CEO, PCMA​ & CEMA

”…And we’ll keep working on mechanisms such as co-creation, empathy and inner development to fine-tune collaboration to power and to reimagine business events.”

– Carolina Goradesky
Head of Global Sustainability, PCMA


Understand PCMA’s passionate commitment to sustainability.


Be a part of this journey with the Sustainability Pledge and Survey.​


Learn about the Convening Leaders 2024 sustainability efforts.​


Learn about CL24 sessions, topics and tours with sustainability in mind.​


Learn about PCMA’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.​

PCMA believes sustainability plays a central role in driving social and economic progress through business events. We are committed to leading our global community forward through the creation of platforms and environments that will:​

  • Drive sustainability leadership
  • Advocate for and showcase the importance of a Sustainability by Design approach
  • Rethink our industry’s production, operations and revenue models ​​

We aim to strongly influence the growing business case for investments in sustainability, building trust and confidence to shape a future where every event is a catalyst for sustainability progress and inspiration.


Be a part of this journey with the Sustainability Pledge and Survey​.​

We are engaging with you, our stakeholders, to assess our actions and personally contribute to advance sustainability. ​

The Participant Pledge: ​​

Sign up for the Convening Leaders 24 Participant Sustainability Pledge to do your part in progressing CL24’s sustainability efforts! We encourage you to embrace at least two best practices during the event, such as taking sustainable transportation, choosing meat-free meals and bringing reusable water bottles.

The Exhibitor & Partners Survey:​

Leading up to CL24, we are tapping into the insights of our vendors to gather data and ensure visibility for solutions to reduce the environmental impact of events. We encourage you to take part in this survey, regardless of where you are in your sustainability journey, to share what sustainability efforts you may already be doing or what actions you plan to adopt in the future. ​


Learn about the Convening Leaders 2024 sustainability efforts.​

At Convening Leaders 2024, we are integrating sustainability across the participant journey and event culture. Through these demonstrations, PCMA will build confidence and trust that the business events industry can and will deliver sustainably.​

From program to operations to engagement with external and local stakeholders, we’ve outlined our initiatives in ways participants can experience interact with.​

These sustainability initiatives will be reported in a comprehensive performance data compilation where we’ll track priority practices and KPIs to be reported.​

Jump to:


CL24 sessions, topics and tours with sustainability in mind​

Our content priority is to work on mindset transformation. We are taking a transversal approach, incorporating sustainability across a wide-range of sessions, even when sustainability isn’t the main content topic. ​

Our goal is to elevate the dialogue, stimulate debates, and demonstrate that sustainability isn’t just a business choice, but an integral part of how we do business, investigating approaches and knowledge to influence decision-making, event design and operations. ​

Sustainability-led sessions:​
Sustainability is the main topic.​
Your Datasets are a Start: Leveraging Your Data to Advance Sustainability​
Making Cost-Effective Choices to Achieve Your Event Sustainability Without Breaking Your Budget​
Carbon Offsets: Are They Part of the Solution?​

Sustainability as a topic:​
Sustainability is one of topics discussed during sessions which are focused on other topics (such as leadership or risk management).​
Elevating Your F&B Game: Culinary Trends & Creative Presentation​
Beyond Touchscreens: Unveiling Tomorrow’s Interactivity and the Intelligent Future Ahead​
Elevating Association Events: Strategies for Leading Innovation and Overcoming Internal Roadblocks​

Sustainability tour:​
Experience sustainability in action demonstration and site visit.​
CL24 Behind-the-Scenes Sustainability Tour​

Sustainability in CL24’s Event Design:

We set commitments based on the EIC Sustainable Event standards and carried out the development of the event sustainably, guided by Honeycomb Strategies and in collaboration with San Diego Convention Center, Sodexo, Heritage, and other vendors. ​

The EIC Certification process is for us twofold: it provides us with a framework to measure our event impact while guiding us to rethink how we plan and produce our work collectively. Together with our partners, we defined and mapped all the sustainability initiatives, focusing to reduce resources, material use and optimize waste management. ​

 Food and beverage: Right-sized ordering, sourcing locally with plant-forward menus, and partnering with all venues and F&B providers for the most sustainable waste management practices: feeding people, then animals, then composting. ​

Waste Management Planning: We are determining waste collection infrastructure, signage and communications, food service ware packaging, exhibit hall materials (at move in and move out), stakeholder training, downstream disposal verification, and measurement methodologies. The facility has agreed to implement an additional BOH waste sorting station to ensure that as much waste produced at the show possible can be diverted. ​

Waste Stations: Throughout the San Diego Convention Center, you’ll find clearly labeled waste bin systems (recycle and landfill) to maximize clean waste streams.

Signage: PCMA events have already eliminated foam core signage in favor of recyclable and reusable materials (like honeycomb substrate). Now we are looking to reduce all printed signage and move to digital displays through the convention center’s technology platforms.​

Reusables: Look for water refill stations throughout the convention center to allow for easy water refill. You won’t find single-use plastic water bottles at our vendors anymore! All our food and beverage service ware is compostable or reusable.​

Vendor Procurement and Sustainability Guides: We implemented supply vetting systems and provided exhibitors with best practices to reduce the environmental impact of the expo. ​

Stakeholders/Partners Sustainability Program: We provide guidance to vendors on sustainable operations and policy related to CL24. We have sent a pre-event survey to bring vendors onboard at an early stage, gathering data and ensuring visibility for the solutions for reducing the environmental impact of events. ​

Local Stakeholders Sustainability Engagement: We have requested that all CL24 venues follow sustainability best practices and notify the CL24 team of non-compliant and unresponsive hotels and request any changes onsite where appropriate.​

Donation Programs: Exhibit materials, such as furniture and household items, will be diverted from the landfill and donated to the local Habitat for Humanity. We will be working with the San Diego Rescue Mission’s food rescue programs to help the community fight food insecurity.

Community Impact: PCMA supports the location communities which host CL24. Join scheduled activities to support Hospitality Helping Hands projects and join us for Party with a Purpose.

Support the Future Professionals: PCMA offers the Next Gen Rate to Business Event Organizers and Business Event Suppliers who are early in their career. ​

CL24 Sustainability Partners:

We can’t make progress without the support of our partners like The San Diego Convention Center, Heritage, and other vendors to make CL24 more environmentally sustainable. ​

Honeycomb Strategies​
Honeycomb Strategies have been working with PCMA for several years and are a key stakeholder to support the development and execution of a comprehensive sustainable event strategy, building on the foundation we established at CL23. Their expertise and coordination with the different parties involved with the sustainability efforts has been instrumental to implement operational best practices for sustainable event management. ​

The San Diego Convention Center ​
In 2022, the City of San Diego updated the City’s Climate Action Plan, setting an aggressive target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. As good neighbors and stewards of the environment The San Diego Convention Center is working to help the city reach the 2035 net-zero emissions goal.  ​

Heritage ​
Heritage is a family owned, second generation full-service special event and trade show contractor. Heritage believes it is their duty to utilize their strategic position in the industry to shape it for the better. Heritage works to not only meet, but also exceed all local, state and federal sustainability legislation and regulations. They are continually improving the environmental and social sustainability impact of operations, and best practices (including APEX/ASTM) are at the core of the business.  ​

Exhibitors ​
Take part in the PCMA CL24 Sustainability Survey. Waste reduction, water and energy conservation, and sustainable procurement can make a significant difference when embraced by all exhibitors. ​

Be sure to consult with Heritage on your expo orders. We encourage all exhibitors to: ​

  • Limit paper waste by providing information digitally and collect customer contact information for future follow-up. Every 8,300 sheets you don’t print saves one tree!
  • Booth and business materials should be reusable at best and recyclable at worst. Recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to run a 100-watt light bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, and a TV for 2 hours. (Source: Environmental Protection Agency).
  • Talk to Heritage early about options for rental furniture and other sustainable materials for your booth build.
  • Donations: for those items that can’t be reused by you, PCMA has partnered with The San Diego Convention Center and Honeycomb Strategies to offer a donation program which will serve the local community.
  • Remember to pack in / pack out all materials. You are responsible for disposing of your waste correctly during move in and move out, as well as during your time at the event.

See You in San Diego!

The future of business events is coming. Are you ready?