IMEX Frankfurt champions sustainability with fresh event report

The report is part of IMEX Group's wider strategy to achieve a more positive impact

The IMEX Frankfurt team has published a Sustainable Event Report revealing the successes, experiments and learnings from last year’s show.

The report lifts the lid on sustainability planning in the run-up to and execution of IMEX Frankfurt 2023, sharing achievements in waste diversion and energy use, as well as highlighting opportunities for improvement.

The report is part of IMEX Group’s wider strategy to achieve a more positive impact

As part of the brand refresh launched at the show, the team invested in date-free signage that can be used year after year. They also reduced printed signage where possible and used digital projection in some areas. The result was 85 per cent less print production overall compared to 2022​.

Significant strides were made in the areas of F&B, with a particular focus on reducing carbon-heavy dishes such as beef (beef generates 60 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of meat produced). At the show’s food court, beef options were reduced to less than five per cent of the menus and over half (58 per cent) of food sales were vegetarian or vegan.

Exhibitors also played their part: Frankfurt Convention Bureau, for example, delivered all booth materials and supplies by bike to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Across the showfloor, there was a substantial drop in single-use, “build & burn” booths – a reduction of 38 per cent compared to 2019 levels. The IMEX team is now working to improve this as part of the Better Stands initiative which sets classification criteria according to how much of a stand/booth is reused or recycled.

Four electric buses were also utilised to transport attendees from Frankfurt’s main railway station to Messe Frankfurt, saving an estimated 103 kg CO2e.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, said: “This is the second report we’ve produced, working with our sustainability consultants MeetGreen, meaning we can now benchmark our progress against 2022. It’s an opportunity to share our successes and our challenges with the wider industry so that they can take what we’ve learned and weave these into their events.”

The IMEX Group has also launched its net zero roadmap, part of its commitment to the industry-wide Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE) initiative. The company intends to reach net zero by 2030, ahead of the 2050 target set out by NZCE in line with the Paris Agreement.

All participants at this year’s IMEX Frankfurt can play their part by signing up to the People and Planet Pledge. Exhibitors can also use the IMEX Sustainable Exhibiting Guide.

IMEX Frankfurt 2024 will take place at Messe Frankfurt May 14-16, 2024.

The IMEX Frankfurt 2023 sustainability report can be downloaded here.

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