Ahead of IMEX Frankfurt 2024, taking place 14 – 16 May at Messe Frankfurt, the team has published a Sustainable Event Report revealing the successes, experiments, and learnings from last year’s show.
The report shows sustainability planning in the run-up to and execution of IMEX Frankfurt 2023, sharing notable achievements in waste diversion and energy use, as well as highlighting opportunities for improvement.
Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “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 own events.
Highlights and learnings
- As part of the brand refresh launched at the show, the team invested in “evergreen”, 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% less print production overall compared to 2022.
- Regarding F&B, there was a particular focus on reducing carbon-heavy dishes such as beef (beef generates 60kg of greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of meat produced).
- At the show’s food court, beef options were reduced to less than 5% of the menus and over half (58%) 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 show floor, there was a substantial drop in single-use, “build & burn” booths – a reduction of 38% compared to 2019 levels.
- The IMEX team is now working to improve this as part of the Better Stands initiative.
- IMEX welcomed a new addition: four electric buses which transported attendees from Frankfurt’s main railway station to Messe Frankfurt, saving an estimated 103kg CO2e.
Pathway to positive impact
Carina continues: “Our sustainability efforts at IMEX Frankfurt, and also at IMEX America, are part of our wider strategy to achieve a more positive impact.
“We recently launched our net zero roadmap, part of our commitment to the industry-wide Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE) initiative. Our intention is to reach net zero by 2030, ahead of the 2050 target set out by NZCE in line with the Paris Agreement.
“This roadmap is just one element in our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, and an expression of our vision: a thriving global events industry focused on positive change.”