Sustainability at the One Young World 2019 London Summit

Tree banner


Sustainability is a top priority at One Young World (OYW) and is a core part of our operations.

Given that distance and the availability of time to travel mean that the majority of Summit participants use air travel to get to the Summits we are determined to do everything possible to reduce the effects of carbon emissions related to the Summit especially from travel. We are committed to playing our part in delivering on the Paris Agreement as rapidly as possible.

Here are some of the steps that are being taken this year.

Carbon offset: delivering on the Paris Agreement

The most significant contribution to the Summit’s carbon footprint is air travel. We want to mitigate against this to the maximum extent with the following steps.

  • Partners have been asked to provide the details of the carbon offsetting scheme they themselves have used to offset their Delegates' travel.
  • This year, 350+ of our Delegates and Partners will not be emitting any carbon from flight travel.
  • Delegates living in Europe have been asked to travel to the Summit via train, where possible.
  • In addition, BP Target Neutral is offsetting the emissions of all flights to and from the Summit, as well as all other emissions associated with Summit production and accommodation. And they will provide us with the details of all the schemes they are using in order to do this.

If you want to learn more about how BP is addressing climate change, we encourage you to go to the Advancing EnergyStage at St. James Room (QEII) on Wednesday 23 October, 11.50am, where BP’s CEO, Bob Dudley, will illustrate the energy transition, and will also be answering questions directly.

Hydrogen electrolysis: supporting green mobility

One Young World has partnered with the teams at Siemens, Linde and Mainzer Stadtwerke who are demonstrating a technological avenue towards green mobility based on green hydrogen electrolysis. This cutting-edge process of producing green fuel can then be used to power fuel cell powered vehicles. Unlike traditional internal combustion engines which emit greenhouse gases, fuel cell direct emissions are water and heat. With this initiative, emissions are limited, and progress of green mobility is supported.

  • On behalf of One Young World, Siemens and local partners will work to produce 50tonnes of green hydrogen with Silyzer 200 electrolyzers which are powered by renewable energy sources (i.e. wind and solar).
  • The hydrogen produced will primarily be used by public transport fuel cell buses in the Rhein-Mainz region and secondly by local hydrogen(H2) consuming industry partners.

If you want to learn more about Siemens and their role in support of green mobility, we encourage you to go to the Advancing Energy Stage at St. James Room (QEII) on Thursday 24 October, 18.00pm.

Minimise single-use plastics

Plastic litters our streets and our oceans. The plastic that does end up in our landfills doesn’t biodegrade, remaining on our planet indefinitely. Plastic can be recycled, but the process is much less efficient than that of other materials, i.e. glass or aluminium. Minimising single-use plastics is therefore an important tool for creating a more circular economy.

  • One Young World is working with Coca Cola, as official soft drink beverage supplier this year. Coca Cola invites Delegates to stop by the Freestyle fountains. These drinks can be served right into the Coca-Cola refillable flasks that will be provided to each Delegate.
  • Delegates will have the choice of cans, glass and PET to drink from in the Coca Cola fridges also.
  • Recycling bins will be provided alongside all Coca Cola fridges where materials will be collected and recycled post-summit. To maintain the 100% recyclable process, Delegates must recycle their drinks containers. If you want to learn more, please click here.
  • All coffees served by JDE Coffee at the Summit will be served in the newly launched ButterflyCup Easy to Recycle and Plastic-Free coffee cups. The ButterflyCup can be recycled along with ordinary paper (newspaper, cardboard, etc) and the paperboard used is from sustainable forests (FSC, FESC approved).
  • OYW is providing plastic-free badges and pins for all Delegates.
  • If it rains, the umbrella plastic wrappers that will be provided by Omnipack are biodegradable EL724 plastic. 

Meat Reduction

Meat is an inefficient food source, requiring more land and energy than a typical plant-based diet. Deforestation and methane gas emitted by animals both result in high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing meat consumption is therefore an important tool for minimising individual carbon footprints.

  • Delegates will be able to choose a vegetarian/vegan breakfast option at their hotel.
  • All of the lunch options during the main Summit days at the QEII Centre will be vegetarian.
  • A vegetarian dinner will be provided at the Natural History Museum.
  • Partners have been encouraged to provide vegetarian dinner options on the 23rd and 24th of October.

Transportation in London

  • Hotels and venues: Central Hall Westminster & Queen Elizabeth Centre (QEII) are all within walking distance (15 minutes max)
  • Delegates have also been provided with Oyster Cards to promote the use of public transport, if walking is not possible.
  • Where car journeys are unavoidable, electric vehicles have been prioritised.

Selected venues implement robust CSR & environmental policies

  • Learn more about Central Hall Westminster’s efforts here
  • Find out about QEII Centre’s sustainability policies here and here
  • Explore the Royal Albert Hall’s sustainable progress here:

Fashion sustainability at the Opening & Closing ceremony

One Young World is working with Private Drama and fashion designer Patrick McDowell & Phoebe English to bring fashion sustainability to the forefront.

  • Patrick McDowell will design and produce sustainable costumes for all two hundred performing artists for the One Young World Opening Ceremony using reclaimed fabrics.
  • Phoebe English will produce a completely sustainably sourced costume made from reclaimed and recycled materials for the Aerial Artist who will perform during the Closing Ceremony.
  • Read more about the initiative here.

A Sustainability checklist has been provided to all Delegates prior to the Summit.


Got any ideas on how to make our future Summits even more sustainable? Please send your suggestions to [email protected].