Informa Markets leads MICE sustainability initiative in Singapore exhibitions

The Finland Pavilion at FHA-F&B 2023

In a game-changer for the local exhibition industry, where exclusive ‘preferred partner” arrangements are common, Informa Markets Singapore and leading exhibition contractors are collaborating to reduce waste and better manage recycling.

The seven-member Singapore Sustainability Alliance, launched in October 2022, is working on sustainability targets for the identified pilot event, Informa’s FHA-F&B 2024, though initial measures had already been tried at FHA – HoReCa last September and FHA-F&B earlier in April.

The Finland Pavilion at FHA-F&B 2023

Janice Lee, event director for FHA, shared with TTGmice the various sustainability actions taken at FHA-F&B 2023.

“As wood is the largest source of waste in exhibitions, FHA collaborated with LHT Holdings to pilot the recycling of wood from booth structures, platforms and furniture that would otherwise go to landfill,” she said.

Additionally, carpets in Hall 5 of the Singapore EXPO were reused for other purposes, and e-badges were introduced to do away with plastic holders and lanyards.

Recycling stations were also set up in every hall, with items made of paper, aluminium and glass sorted and recycled. Informa also worked with Alpha Biofuel to recycle the 300kg of used cooking oil collected into bio-diesel fuel.

The tradeshow was powered by renewable electricity through the use of energy attributes certificates, helping in the journey to becoming carbon neutral.

During the event itself, Informa and the Singapore Tourism Board partnered with MiniWiz to deliver an innovative and zero-waste exhibition booth that drew much interest.

The PEO also recognised exhibitors who demonstrated their commitment to sustainable exhibiting, and certificates were awarded to the Finland, France, Germany, and Tindle pavilions.

“Our Better Stands programme looks for great examples of sustainable booths on the showfloor and celebrates the commitment of our exhibitors to sustainable construction,” noted Lee.

On challenges, alliance partner Kingsmen Exhibits executive director, Sarah Chew, said: “While we have been using reusable system components to build booths in the last four decades, exhibitors typically like to stand out in a crowded exhibition. We must continually create innovative and captivating experiences with sustainability in mind, while also considering increasing costs and competition from neighbouring countries.”

Thanks to its efforts, Informa Markets won the Sustainability Initiative of the Year award at the inaugural Singapore MICE Awards 2023. Acknowledging supply chain partners, Sukumar Verma, Informa’s managing director, said: “We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts with the wider industry in this journey.”

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