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Showcasing the Singapore Pavilion’s Commitment to Decarbonization at COP28

Pico chose Unravel Carbon to strengthen the Singapore Pavilion’s carbon reduction efforts.

Showcasing the Singapore Pavilion’s Commitment to Decarbonization at COP28

A global leader in Total Brand Activation with a proven track record of more than five decades, Pico incorporates Content, Community, Creative and Data strategy into cross-platform campaigns to create integrated brand experiences.

The Pico Group operates in 36 cities, employing 2,300 professionals who create powerful, engaging activations with superior results.

Last year, Pico was appointed by the COP28 Singapore Pavilion Steering Committee to assist with supporting and managing planning and operations for the Singapore Pavilion at COP28 in Dubai.

At Unravel Carbon, we had the privilege of being chosen by Pico to support the Pavilion’s decarbonization initiatives. 

Specifically, we were able to help with auditing, generating insights, carbon reduction recommendations, and purchasing high quality carbon credits.

In an interview with Pico’s team, we discussed their work at COP28, Pico’s collaboration with Unravel Carbon, and key findings from the experience.   

Could you give us an overview of Pico’s work at COP28? 

We were appointed by the COP28 Singapore Pavilion Steering Committee  and helped coordinate the Singapore Pavilion’s participation at COP28 in Dubai.

Through a lineup of sustainability leaders from across a broad range of sectors, the Pavilion’s goal was to showcase some of Singapore’s most exciting solutions within the field of climate action.

Our role was to assist with event management consultancy, design conceptualization for operations, offsite hospitality management, as well as partner and speaker management.

We also led the Pavilion’s PR and marketing initiatives.

The stage and seating area for the Singapore Pavilion at COP28 in Dubai. (Photo courtesy of Pico)

Did the Committee provide you with specific requirements in terms of sustainability?

They did, and the main component was developing a networking space and programs that would make a meaningful difference in advancing the conference’s theme: accelerating climate action.

Of course, this all had to be done in a way that kept the Pavilion’s carbon footprint to a minimum, and Unravel Carbon was brought on board to help audit these efforts.

Could you tell us more about Pico and Unravel Carbon’s work together?

It was a good partnership because Unravel helped audit our efforts with respect to sustainability and carbon reduction.

We began by estimating what the Singapore Pavilion’s emissions were likely to be, given the proposed plans.

Unravel also shared strategies for reducing emissions that were tailored to the event industry, and we used this information to better prioritize our carbon reduction efforts.

After COP28, we provided Unravel with the necessary data to measure our emissions, and they produced detailed insights on how we could lower the environmental footprint of future events.

These were critical for us in validating the “reduce, reuse and recycle” principle that we’d adopted.

Finally, Unravel Carbon played a vital role in helping us purchase high quality carbon credits to offset our emissions from COP28.

Unravel Carbon linked us up with multiple partners and one of them, Climate Impact X, recommended a range of projects that met the Singapore government’s carbon credit eligibility criteria, whilst also contributing to sustainable development goals beyond climate action.

Could you tell us more about the findings that Unravel Carbon helped uncover?

The results showed that the Pavilion’s main sources of emissions were related to traveling as well as accommodations.

The second highest source of emissions came from services and built elements; however, this number was actually quite low.

The reason we were able to keep those emissions to a minimum was because roughly 90 percent of our items were either locally sourced or rented from the COP28 organizers.

Also, for the items we did end up shipping to Dubai, we made a point of only doing so when no other option was available.

In particular, our approach was to develop the Pavilion in a way that strictly aligned with the requirements, and then exclude anything else that wasn’t deemed essential.  

Pico was appointed by the Committee, and helped coordinate the Singapore Pavilion’s participation at COP28. (Photo courtesy of Pico)

What was one of the top learnings from COP28 that Pico will use in the future, especially for running sustainable events?

A key takeaway for us will be continuing to place a premium on automating as many processes as possible, and adopting less labor-intensive activations.

This enables us to better streamline our operations, and to reduce the amount of staff that need to be present at events.

Collectively, it leads to a lower number of flights being required, and a subsequent reduction in emissions that’s pretty significant.

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