Environmental impact of BES2023

Find out more about the steps we’re taking to reduce the environmental impact of our events

Our Environmental impact

At the BES we are committed to meeting our responsibility to reach net-zero and nature positive, and to lead by example using evidence-led, bold and innovative methods.

Carbon and sustainability are embedded in our vision. This means we try to consider the carbon impact – and broader impact on nature – of all our activities and projects from design to delivery. This is a part of our effort to embed a culture change among our staff and membership that puts nature at the heart of all decision making.

We record and report our carbon each year, which allows us to identify ways to reduce our emissions as much as possible. In 2022 our residual carbon emissions were 79 tons. You can read the 2022 carbon report here.

What’s Next?

Our goal is to reduce our residual carbon emissions by 30% by 2025.

We are exploring carbon mitigation methods that are nature positive and cover a range of UK habitats to begin our nature net positive journey.

We will continue to stay up to date with the latest changes in carbon recording and monitoring, improving the accuracy of our carbon recording year on year.

At BES2023

The ICC Belfast

This year we are delighted to be returning to the ICC Belfast, the first green meetings certified venue on the island of Ireland. We are working closely with the venue to ensure that we eliminate single use plastic, reduce food waste, and prioritise working with local suppliers.


Belfast and Northern Ireland

We are grateful for the support of Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland and Visit Belfast in the organisation of this event. You can find out more about how Northern Ireland is working to make their own practices greener and supporting visitors in doing the same.



Accommodation and travel

As a Society we represent a global community and therefore we recognise that our Annual Meetings do have a large carbon impact.

If you would like to find out more about your own travel options please see our Getting to Belfast page.

Visit Belfast have collated useful information on green stays and activities in Belfast to help you make an informed decision when you book which can be found here.

Virtual event

We understand that people may be uncomfortable with the carbon impact of travelling to our Annual Meeting, and we are delighted to offer an alternative virtual ticket to make the event accessible for as many people as possible. As a virtual delegate you will still have access to our plenary speakers, thematic sessions, an on-demand scientific programme from online presenters selected in our open call, the Early Careers Day, and the opportunity to present a virtual on-demand poster or talk. Additionally, you will have access to our virtual hub where online and in-person delegates can come together to network and view on-demand content.

Please note the virtual ticket does not include access to the scientific programme of in-person talks and posters selected from the open call.


We are working on reducing waste at our Annual Meeting by providing an app with an online agenda for both in-person and virtual delegates to access.

If you require a printed version of the agenda for accessibility reasons, please get in touch with our team at events@britishecologicalsociety.org.