At the Expo & Event Marketing Dimension in Hall 1 of this year’s EuroShop, The World's No.1 Retail Trade Fair, from 26 February to 2 March 2023, a special area conceived and designed by Messe Düsseldorf jointly with its cooperation partners IFES and fwd: is dedicated to the most sustainable participation possible in events and trade fairs. Under the heading “THINK SUSTAINABLY – ACT RESPONSIBLY. How to create a sustainable future in LiveCom” visitors to Stand A 65 can find out how trade fair stands and event appearances can be made more sustainable. The stand will showcase examples for sustainable approaches and materials and additionally demonstrate how to already take a sustainable approach when planning and conceptualizing participations in events. The stand itself is, of course, optimised according to sustainability criteria thereby serving as a showcase for the most sustainable exhibition appearances possible. It forms part of the “Hot Topic Sustainability” of EuroShop 2023, which plays a pivotal role in all eight Dimensions.
Consulting, dialogue and showcases
Divided up into three zones the stand reflects the various planning and organisation stages of a trade fair participation. It illustrates for each stage, ranging from the planning and conceptualization through to logistics and implementation, which levers exist to keep the carbon footprint of a trade fair participation as small as possible. “The underlying idea of the stand concept is that sustainability must be an integral part of considerations throughout the whole process from the outset,” explains Andrea Eppert, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Messe Düsseldorf and initiator of the project. “The point here is not to get it all perfect the first time but to start somewhere, to question matters and take conscious decisions. This is how to find many approaches from the word go; and if you then are aware of the implementation options already available now, you can achieve a lot overall directly. Our stand aims to support exhibiting companies in this process with consultancy, possibilities for exchange and hands-on material examples.”
While in the planning and conceptualisation zone the focus is on consultancy provided by the sustainability experts of fwd: and IFES as well as the staff of Messe Düsseldorf’s Service Alliance, the implementation zone showcases a variety of sustainable materials for use in stand construction. Each sample features a QR code for more detailed product information.
Stand serves as application example
The Special Stand itself was also built in compliance with the criteria for the most sustainable trade fair appearances possible – thereby impressively demonstrating that sustainable approaches on no account mean doing without and can be real eye-catchers. This showcase was implemented by Messe Düsseldorf’s Service Alliance which has considered a number of sustainability aspects for planning their own stands and stages for years now and that was therefore familiar with the brief: “As a rule, we use shell stands, store our components and re-use them for years and use rented furniture as well as recyclable carpeting, which is in part processed further into bags as part of an inclusive project,” explains Liviu R. Stoica, Executive Senior Sales Manager. In cooperation with Jan Hasenberg, Managing Director of service partner hs designwerk GmbH, it was Stoica who planned the stand, one which is also broken down into three zones visually.
Committed partners make complimentary contributions
For this project Messe Düsseldorf’s service partners presented themselves as a strong network: joining the fray are BTL next GmbH for the most energy-efficient event technology, Expodium Solutions GmbH for underflooring, SE-BO for carpeting, fundus7 GmbH for furniture and SV Business Catering GmbH, who will provide sustainable catering. Also involved as implementation partners of this stand are Kühne + Nagel, Fotoboden and Holtmann+. All of these partners make their services available for free as their personal contribution to the Special Stand. “We are very pleased to have enlisted our partners to help put this Stand into practice together. This way we can show those options already available today for reducing the carbon footprint of trade fair participations and present those offers our Service Alliance can make to our customers today,” adds Liviu R. Stoica.
The Stand is built on the RECY system floor by Expodium; it is made of eco-friendly recycled materials and scores points with its small pack size, its accessibility and reusability. In one zone of the stand this underfloor remains without floor covering while in one of the two other zones it is covered with recyclable SE-BO carpeting, some of which will be upcycled into bags in an inclusive project after the event. In the third zone the recyclable, 100% recycled vinyl floor by Fotoboden is used as floor covering, which will be granulated and recycled into new floor coverings after the trade fair. The backwall of the stand consists of a cotton molleton woven, since textiles can be used several times and are easier to dispose of at the end of their lifecycle. The branded cube is clad with 100% recycled Öko-Tex 100 certified polyester and printed using a dyeing rather than coating process. The stand lettering is made of white, laminated corrugated cardboard from FSC wood, which is 100% recyclable and can be disposed of as wastepaper. The counters are made of untreated natural timber. BTL next uses only LED spotlights and energy-saving screens and the rented furniture made available by fundus7 for the stand is all made of certified, eco-friendly materials and is used many times over. Reusable tableware is the most sustainable solution for catering and therefore predominantly used by SV Business Catering at the Special Stand. However, since not all smaller exhibition stands dispose of dishwashing facilities some food will also be served on Naturesse disposable products, which are made of renewable raw materials and are biodegradable. The food is prepared from regional products as far as possible, made fresh on the premises and predominantly vegetarian and vegan.
Carbon footprint of Special Stand is just under 3t of CO2
In the run-up to the event, the CO2 footprint of building the Special Stand was calculated – at just under 3t it is clearly below that of other stands of comparable size. This is attributable to both the materials used and the short transport distances owed to the cooperation with local partners. The remaining, unavoidable emissions from stand construction were already offset by purchasing Gold Standard emission certificates from an offsetting project in India. Since the correct eco balance of a trade fair participation also requires the amounts of power, water and catering spent as well as the amounts of waste and the travel/accommodations of stand staff, these values will be added after the event and also offset.
The eco-balance of the trade fair appearance and the offsetting of emissions by a high-quality compensation project also serve as a practical example for stand construction companies and exhibiting companies, of which a larger number will be required to submit sustainability reports and to then also capture and record the emissions of their stands. Furthermore, capturing the status quo is important as a reference for a continuous improvement process with the aim of increasingly reducing emissions at subsequent events.
Guided practitioners’ tours on sustainable stand construction
This offer for more sustainable trade fair appearances is complemented by guided tours on sustainable stand construction, which will be held from Monday to Thursday from 12.00 noon to 1.00 pm departing from the Special Stand. The tours will call on various companies exhibiting in Hall 1, which all have complied with different sustainability criteria in realising their participation at EuroShop 2023. All of these exhibitors are also marked as practical examples for sustainable stand construction by floor stickers and can, of course, also be visited and interviewed about their sustainability efforts individually.
You are requested to register for the guided tours by e-mail at MeenersC@messe-duesseldorf.de, but participation is also possible ad hoc and for free. The guided tours will be in English. Following the tours, participants are invited for a deep-dive exchange back at the Special Stand.
For more information visit www.euroshop-tradefair.com.