Black Hat Sustainability

For Black Hat, sustainability is about being responsible over the long term by increasing the positive impacts we have on customers, colleagues, the communities we work in and with, and the environment, as well as the impact of the content we create and curate.

We strive to raise awareness of sustainability issues among suppliers, our customers and the owners of the venues we use. Our Content is at the center of our 5-pillar sustainability approach – We aim to create positive change around key issues impacting information security and to give our community greater opportunities to grow and transform.

Learn more about our initiatives below.


Black Hat works to curate and share knowledge people can trust that is relevant, unbiased and enables more informed security decisions while inspiring progress towards a better world. Our content makes a positive contribution to stakeholders and provides a platform for varying voices to be heard.


Since 1997, Black hat has provided security professionals with a place to learn the very latest information security risks, research, skills and trends.

Black Hat delivers one of the most empirical content selection processes in the industry. The content is reviewed and selected by the Black Hat Briefings Review Board and Training Review Board which are comprised of some of the industry's most credible security professionals and thought leaders across various information security disciplines.

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Community Track

In 2018, Black Hat introduced the Community Track to its Briefings program to provide a forum for idea sharing and discussions of issues impacting the InfoSec community, including career development, legal issues, diversity, inclusion, attribution, substance abuse, mental health, burn out, security awareness, and work-life balance to shed light on issues within the community and help those potentially affected.

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Community Programs

In addition to the educational Briefings and Trainings, Black Hat programs Community Sessions, and Workshops to encourage collaboration among attendees and presenters. Covering everything from personal digital resilience to career-building strategies, Black Hat Community Workshops enable attendees to interact with topic experts and peers alike.

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We set out to create value for the communities in which we live and work and with whom we do business. Creating purposeful partnerships with community groups and creating prosperity for our host cities and audience.


Each year Black Hat donates proceeds from the sale of a one-of-a-kind t-shirt (sold at Black Hat USA) to a non-profit organization. Past receivers include Girls Who Code, Hack the Hood, and H.E.R.O. Child-Rescue Corps.

A portion of the proceeds from Black Hat's Business Pass sales go to support The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). EFF is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world.

For the past 3 years, Black Hat has supported Review Board Member Matt Devost in providing Briefings scholarships to a select number of veterans. In 2019 2-nights' hotel accommodation were also sponsored.

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Partnering Local

Black Hat strives to support the communities we work in by partnering locally. Be it sourcing signage materials, hiring photographers or recruiting volunteers, Black Hat works to develop partnerships and programs to support the regions are events are located in.

For details on a few of the recent initiatives, see below:

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and Inclusion

To encourage open and honest examination of current challenges and advance the diversity of Black Hat events, we develop strategic partnerships with organizations including QueerCon, Executive Womens Forum (EWF), and Women in Security and Privacy (WISP) to host mentorship sessions, networking events, panels on diversity topics and more.

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We want to do all we can to support and nurture the people who are behind our success by providing an inclusive, engaging environment for our colleagues and partners.


Annually, the Black Hat Team participates in a corporate walk to raise funds and awareness for local charities in the cities we work in.

In 2019, collectively our offices raised £357,688 / $482,878 USD. For 2020, we plan to exceed £500,000/$640,000 USD. More details to come on this year’s walks and how you can get involved.

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Conference Associates

Black Hat's Conference Associate (CA) program is designed to offer information security enthusiasts with an opportunity to connect with researchers and the Black Hat community while serving as support staff for the conference. CA's have the opportunity to liaison with speakers, work in the Network Operations Center (NOC), learn the ins and outs of producing the conference, attend DEF CON and more.

Dark Reading

Long one of the most widely-read cyber security news sites, Dark Reading works with Black Hat to provide strong, even unconventional points of view on the information security industry. This offers the Black Hat audience, a space to engage with one another and with Dark Reading editors to embrace new (and big) ideas, find answers to their security questions and solve their most pressing problems.

Visit Dark Reading, Black Hat News »


When it comes to Sustainability and our customers, we focus on two areas: 1) Connecting people and 2) Creating opportunities for learning. We offer them a place to connect with others and find professional development, new solutions and inspiration to solve the business challenges they face.

Electronic Frontier Foundation logo

Black Hat strongly supports and encourages coordinated/responsible disclosure. To this end, Black Hat has a strong partnership with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to provide pro-bono legal consultations to security researchers on the legality of any research or data they plan to present.

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(ISC)2 logo

Black Hat provides Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits through (ISC)2. Members can earn 16 CPE credits for attending 2-day Training or Briefings and 32 CPE credits for attending a 4-day Training. Special service is available, for CISSPs and SSCPs, that automatically forwards their earned credits to ISC)2.

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Since introducing the Black Hat Student Scholarship and speaker nominated student scholarship in 2016, more than 1,000 students have been awarded Academic Briefings scholarships globally. Additionally, Black Hat partners with Review Board Members and community organizations to host additional scholarship programs and initiatives to increase access to Black Hat events and inclusion in the information security community. Past programs include the Future Female Leaders scholarship with the Executive Women's Forum (EWF), a whitepaper competition with International Consortium of Minority Cyber Professionals (ICMCP) members, the IN Security Movement scholarship and more.

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Climate change is happening. As a business, we are committed to reducing our carbon foot print and using resources more efficiently.

Reduced Waste

Black Hat has moved away from paper speaker evaluations, business hall one-sheeters, and switched from producing an 8.5 x 11 program guide to a smaller, 4.5 x 7 pocket guide to cut down on excess paper printing. We only use recycled paper for materials we do print and have enhanced our mobile app to ultimately replace paper guides altogether.

We offer badge recycling and have replaced most foam core signage with High Quality Paper Substrate which is 100% recyclable and contains recycled materials.

Sustainable Venues

Where possible, we work with venues to reduce the waste that arises from our events and improve recycling rates.

In 2018, former Black Hat parent company UBM worked with Mandalay Bay to co-develop a new LED lighting system which consume less energy, do not contain any harmful materials, last longer and are recycleable.

Learn more about Sustainability at Mandalay Bay (PDF), Marina Bay Sands (PDF) and ExCeL London.

Responsible Exhibitor Builds

Black Hat has worked with exhibitors and vendors to implement best practices for exhibitor booth builds and event functions to reduce the environmental impact of our events.

Over the past few years we have switched to using mostly reusable and recyclable materials like single use plastic and carpet and limited the usage of harmful chemical agents and one-time use materials.

Learn more about sustainability at  Freeman, GES and ETS AV.

More Information

Sustainability at Informa