At the IB, sustainability is a primary goal. We acknowledge the pressing need to tackle the climate crisis and are proactively implementing measures to minimize our ecological footprint. Here's how we are integrating sustainable approaches into our professional development events.
The IB offers accessible and sustainable workshops that require little to no travel and are available to all educators.
- Requested face-to-face workshops: Our requested workshops deliver on-demand IB training organized to meet the professional development needs of one school or school community. Face-to-face workshops are hosted on a school’s premises or suitable local venue. We also work closely with the IB Educator Network (IBEN) to prioritize local leaders to further reduce international travel and our carbon footprint. Additionally, all materials are sent to schools electronically and we discourage on-site printing.
- Virtual and online events: Our virtual and online workshops allow teachers to engage in professional learning without the need to attend training at a school facility or other venue, supporting our transition to a net zero future.
To support those in our community who would prefer to attend face-to-face scheduled events, we have introduced several practices to reduce or off-set our carbon footprint and still make it viable to attend meetings face-to-face in a more sustainable way.
Green procurement and planning
For our scheduled events, we partner with suppliers and vendors who prioritize sustainable practices and offer environmentally friendly services.
Furthermore, during the planning phase, we carefully select the destinations for IB scheduled events based on the number of IB World Schools in that city or country and ensure the destination is easily accessible by different public transportation modes.
We have implemented a few measures to reduce waste generation, such as:
- No use of plastic: We eliminated the use of plastic water bottles in the meeting rooms and the use of plastic cutlery, plates, bowls, and pens. By switching to alternative forms of packaging at events, such as reusable water bottles/glasses, compostable cups, and pencils instead of pens, we can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste generated.
- No printed materials: We have stopped printing workbooks and promotional materials and have opted for recyclable paper name badges without plastic holders. We are relying more on technology to share resources with participants such as online workbooks, mobile event apps and the use of LCD screens. By reducing printing, we can save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the printing process, transportation, and disposal of printed materials. Overall, reducing printing at our scheduled events is a simple but effective way to minimize the environmental impact of our events and promote sustainability.
- Food quantity reduction: We work closely with our partners to minimize the amount food waste at our events and where allowed by local policies, we make sure food waste is donated to local farms.
To deliver more sustainable and inclusive events, we have increased the plant-based food options available during our meal functions. This means food is made from fresh, sustainable, and locally sourced ingredients and promotes a global shift to a more plant-based diet. This helps to combat the environmental impact of consuming animal products, as well as helping to reduce water usage and deforestation.
We are also making sure our suppliers support local trade by working with local farmers to source the food for our meal functions. By sourcing food locally, we support the local economy, can provide fresh and seasonal meals, and reduce carbon emissions by not having food shipped from other states or countries.
Sustainable transportation and travel practices
We promote sustainable transportation options for our participants, such as encouraging the use of public transportation or arranging group transportation to minimize carbon emissions.
By prioritizing sustainable transportation and travel practices, we will contribute to reducing the environmental impact associated with event-related travel.
As part of our staffing policy, we prioritize staffing local educators for IB events to reduce our carbon footprint.
Join us in promoting sustainability!
We urge all workshop attendees to contribute by:
- using your own reusable water bottle: water stations will be available for refills throughout the venue
- minimizing food waste by taking only what you can consume
- reducing paper waste: use the event program on the mobile app instead of printing it
- opting for eco-friendly transportation like walking or public transit to reach the venue
- properly disposing of waste in designated recycling bins.
Every small action adds up, creating a significant impact. Together, let's build a more sustainable future and inspire others to do the same.