Sustainability research : Environment impact ...
Sustainability research

Environment impact framework presented

Photo: SISO

A new report identifying key focus areas to support the B2B trade show industry's transition towards a more sustainable, low-carbon economy has been released by a cross-industry task force. The report, titled "Finding the future, together: Towards a more sustainable B2B trade show industry in the U.S. and Canada" identifies 30 near- and long- term steps to secure a more sustainable future.

The report offers a foundation of data and knowledge for decision-making, knowledge-sharing and action, highlighting the industry's most significant environmental impacts. "The B2B trade show industry delivers enormous social and economic benefits", said Heather Farley, chair, SISO Sustainability Committee and COO at Access Intelligence. "Like all industries, we know that our impact extends to the environment as well, and that, through working and partnering in a collaborative way, we can keep progressing towards a more sustainable, lower-carbon future. To support and inform these efforts, it was important to conduct authoritative independent research to evaluate the most material environmental impacts of the U.S. and Canadian B2B trade show industry."
„We can keep progressing towards a more sustainable, lower-carbon future.“
Heather Farley, chair, SISO Sustainability Committee
The report's two-year independent research programme identified the largest environmental impacts of the U.S. and Canadian B2B trade show industry as: 1) Carbon: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from participant transport, particularly flights, as well as energy use at venues, and logistics, where the study focused on the shipping from the warehouses of general service contractors (GSC) to the venue. 2) Waste: generated at venues and at GSC warehouses where many of the materials and booths are built and supplied. 3) Booth construction: including booth materials (such as carpet), construction methods, transport, reuse and other variables.

With these impacts identified, the task force explored 30 near- and long-term actions for industry-wide adoption that will help improve the industry's collective sustainability, including transitioning to renewable electricity at all parts of the transportation supply chain, creating time-bound targets to reach net zero carbon and moving to a more circular model by phasing out unsustainable materials, implementing industry-wide agreement on design and material specifications of booths and commonly used equipment and materials, optimising logistics, and reducing air pollution, collaborating with host cities and key partner industries, such as airlines and hotels, to transition to a lower-carbon transport system and reduce generated waste, investing in infrastructure to support waste recycling and energy efficiency, optimising industry standards for sustainable design, data and metrics.

"We are passionate about building a sustainable future for the industry and helping the markets we serve embed sustainable practice into their own communities and activities", expressed Charlie McCurdy, CEO of Informa Markets. "And through the task force, we now have a platform to showcase emerging best practices and continue to innovate and evolve together. This is only the beginning, and we look forward to more industry stakeholders joining this effort."