VERGE 20 is on this week (starting October 26 2020). GreenBiz sponsor and coordinate this massive event. Anybody and any company that's got anything to do with sustainability is here. Well, not exactly here since it is virtual this year... But you get the idea.
Opening session was a wonderful start of the week. Even the singing was impressive. Really! I said, "Oh, NO!", when Shana Rappaport started in with a variation of Girl on Fire (Alycia Keyes). Hard song. Not exactly what you are used to at formal conferences. Turned out to be very, very cool. It also kind of elevated the urgency that many of us feel about dragging our feet in the (oil) sands on climate action: This World is on Fire! It also seemed apropos giving the historic fire year (in California, Colorado, etc.)
VERGE is the ultimate sustainability forum each year with all the leading thought leaders and all the leading companies. Energy, food, transportation, circular economy and more. Great ideas for companies to save money and reduce carbon at the same time (like efficiencies, telework, and more). Many sponsor companies are enabling other organizations to move quickly toward (more) sustainability.
We are looking for companies that aiming for negative carbon footprints (like Microsoft's plan to remove all carbon-equivalent of the company's lifetime of business). This would be moving to carbon neutral (renewable energy and such) and then offering to offset all the emissions from my family, my parents and my grandparents.
One of the silver linings of the COVID pandemic was the clean air and restored nature in a few weeks human hibernation from industry. Even with the economy slowed down to, maybe 75% capacity (more like 50% in the US), the estimated carbon reduction was only about 8%. So, the argument is that the equivalent of the worst pain of the pandemic (hopefully without the pandemic and without most of the pain) is what we need to accomplish essentially every year for years.
Just to be clear about the 8% reduction per year that we're talking about: that's a reduction in the increase. That's not reducing the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, it is simply slowing down the massive rate that we are adding to it.
Keynote sessions are free, so the price is right. Plus, you save on the hotel and flight!