Good support

These Asia-based exhibition organisers list the support they need from convention centres to materialise sustainable events

Benson Tang
Executive director, corporate travel, Informa Markets/executive director, Corporate Travel Community

Corporate Travel Community follows a sustainability checklist.

There must be an on-site organic waste composter that breaks down organic waste, a seawater heating and cooling system that reduces energy consumption, rooftop plants and/or grass to insulate the building to reduce energy consumption for air conditioning, and a sophisticated black water treatment plan that cleans and recycles water for non-potable uses such as for rooftop irrigation and toilet flushing.

During an event, beverages should be served in glasses or compostable cups instead of single-use plastic bottles.

And, in procuring with the community in mind, the venue should have partnerships with local social enterprises, and continues to educate and influence long-term sustainable behaviour with exhibitors, decorators and attendees.

Mathias Kuepper
Managing director and vice president, Asia-Pacific, Koelnmesse

Producing sustainable events is not solely the responsibility of convention centres. It is a joint effort by all stakeholders, where organisers, venues, stand contractors, and other service providers have a role to play.

Convention centres can support organisers by implementing recycling and composting programmes, comply with green building codes when it comes to energy-efficient lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, and water conservation efforts.

In addition, convention centres could switch to green energy and invest in their own renewable energy sources, such as solar power. Being a certified green building certainly creates confidence and helps organisers in their assessment and venue-selection process.

Another important point is also to support organisers in their digitalisation efforts by providing the infrastructure to replace wasteful custom-build orientation and information systems.

Katrina Leung
Managing director, 
Messe Berlin (Singapore)

The tradeshow sector and convention centres, in particular, have a responsibility to make events as sustainable and resource efficient as possible.

There is potential for savings in lighting, for example, through the increased use of LEDs, and in water consumption through increased recycling.

In the long-term, solar cells could be mandatory on the rooftops of the convention centres.

It goes without saying not to use paper wherever possible, and the convention centre should constantly try to find digital options.

Waste separation, continuous improvement of public transport (to access the convention centre) and the reuse of materials for advertising, badges and stand furniture play a major role.

I also welcome a guide for the entire industry on how to conduct events with environmental protection, social justice and economic efficiency in mind.

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