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Paddy Cosgrave Web Summit

Web Summit ramps up sustainability efforts

Web Summit ramps up sustainability efforts for it’s 2018 event, in its commitment toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

This year, Web Summit has been working closely with the United Nations on achieving the organisation’s ​Sustainable Development Goals for it’s 2018 event.

“Not only is it important to place Web Summit at the forefront of the world’s first developments and discoveries, we also need to be at the forefront of finding solutions to the world’s greatest problems. We are proud to announce our commitment to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals” ​- says Paddy Cosgrave, Co-Founder and CEO of Web Summit.

In combination with event partners, speakers, stages and other initiatives, here are the main factors making Web Summit 2018 is it’s most sustainable event yet.

Offering reusable bottles and introducing sustainable catering

In line with the UN’s ​Responsible Production and Consumption SDG, Web Summit is ensuring that all catering companies at this years event use either biodegradable or recyclable cutlery and crockery. They have also partnered with the ​Miripuri Foundation and their ‘turn the tide on plastic’ initiative – giving away 30,000 reusable drink bottles at the event.

Ensuring the use of sustainable furniture alongside IKEA

In addition to the Responsible Production and Consumption goals, the company also holds a partnership with IKEA, to ensure furniture at this year’s Web Summit can be repurposed, reused or recycled.



web summit antonio guterres united nations
António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations, on centre stage during the Web Summit 2017 Opening Cermony at Altice Arena in Lisbon. Photo by Seb Daly/Web Summit via Sportsfile.

Addressing food wastage and the UN’s Zero Hunger goals

Web Summit have partnered with local Portuguese non-profit ​Zero Desperdicio​, to be sure all excess food coming from the conference is to be distributed across the city of Lisbon to those in need.

Planting 70,000 trees with Ecosia, to achieve carbon neutrality

This year, the event has partnered with German sustainability start-up ​Ecosia.org​, to have one tree planted for every Web Summit attendee. These trees will be strategically planted as part of ecosystem regeneration projects, in an effort to support biodiversity and local economies.

Growing the already active women in tech community, striving for gender equality

Since the beginning, Web Summit have been committed to changing the gender ratio within tech. In 2016, they offered 10,000 heavily discounted tickets to the conference, 14,000 in 2017 and 25,000 in total for all of their events around the world. Outside of the event, Web Summit will continue to engage in their fast-growing ​women in tech community​, with over 11,000 members to-date.

Fostering and growing our women in tech partnerships with​ ​booking.com​ and IBM

The conference has also collaborated on this effort with IBM, who are providing a women in tech lunch at this years event, and again with Booking.com, who are hosting the women in tech lounge, as well as mentor sessions and roundtables.

Welcoming innovative industry and infrastructure start-ups to the tech scene

In the past, Web Summit has had startups such as ​WEDOTECH and ​BABLE as exhibitors. This year, even more pioneers in this space are being welcomed to get involved in 2018. Examples include ​Compare Your Footprint​, the first comprehensive online carbon calculator, and ​Energi Mine​, a start-up using deep learning and artificial intelligence to trade and manage energy.

Web Summit Lucas Joppa Neanda Salvaterra
Lucas Joppa, Chief environmental officer, Microsoft, Neanda Salvaterra, Energy Reporter, The Wall Street Journal on Planet : Tech Stage during the opening day of Web Summit 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Web Summit via Sportsfile.

Further committing to quality education within the tech sphere

Web Summit has placed a lot more focus on improving both their ​Forum and ​planet : tech stages to bring the most important leaders in there field together to tackle a number of topics covered in the UN’s SDGs. The content from these stages will be made available to the public, so everyone around the world can be a part. The event will also host a number of workshops to enhance social and environmental thought leadership.

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