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IFES – Carbon offsetting for the future

  • Sustainability & CSR Manager, Laureen Pahl Holtmann+
  • Dominique Bohler,  Project Assistant Manager, IFES

Covering a 500 sqm floorspace with 18 stands and a central food and beverage meeting hub, the GlobalVillage space was a sizeable exhibition space.

Many stakeholders in the events and exhibitions industry have pledged to meet the goal of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 in line with the Net Zero Carbon Events movement and the Paris Agreement on climate neutrality. IFES (International Federation of Exhibition &Event Services) has pledged to this initiative with its Sustainability team contributing to the development of the roadmap.

As part of this movement, IFES decided to use the recent EuroShop Global Village as a pilot project for offsetting the Carbon Footprint for their global Exhibition participation going forward.

Teaming up with full-service Live communications supplier, Holtmann+, one of the IFES members actively involved in driving the IFES sustainability agenda, allowed IFES’ Project Manager Assistant for Sustainability to collaborate directly with his counterpart at Holtmann+, Sustainability & CSR Manager, Laureen Pahl, on the project. “As an Association, IFES has a reputation for being a ‘first mover’, particularly in terms of trends that will enhance the industry and contribute to its longevity,” says Dominique Bohler,  Project Assistant Manager, IFES. “We are leading a drive to work even more sustainably. In this case, Holtmann+ had the experience we needed to prepare for the assessment and were happy to pass on the knowledge we lacked around the carbon footprint of specific materials.”

Covering a 500 sqm floorspace with 18 stands and a central food and beverage meeting hub, the GlobalVillage space was a sizeable exhibition space. Evaluation included all exhibition materials used within the space such as flooring, rigging, backdrops and frames, furniture, electrical reticulation, bar, and kitchen machinery for all 18 participants as well as the fully catered central bar area.

“Most of the rigging, furniture, frames, and screens used in the space are reusable rentals and care was taken to use recycled fabric sponsored by events and exhibits branding supplier, Moss Inc, for the printed backdrops. The wooden flooring will also be reused (with a 10% offcut factored in), and most of the electrical appliances used were energy-saving devices,” explains Dominique, “but probably the most interesting element is that MontECOlino carpeting supplier which installed the recycled floorcovering, has agreed to further recycle the Global Village carpeting into flat-pack tables for use at our upcoming World Summit in Singapore. It’s a win-win for us!”

The carbon footprint evaluation of the IFES Global Village was generously sponsored by Fokus Zukunft and required a 16 Ton offset. As compensation, IFES purchased 16 gold certificates towards financing the Aksu Wind Farm Project located in Turkey. This project supports goal 7 (affordable & clean energy), 8 (human work conditions and economic growth) and 13 (climate protection) of the UN sustainability objectives and saves 117.986t of CO2 per year.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, exhibition and events stakeholders realised how important live communication is. However, we must bear in mind that our industry, in particular, is part of the issue we have come to know as climate crisis,” says Dominique “so, if we want this industry to survive – and the existing potential for that is unquestionable – we have to act now. For IFES, this is just the next step toward our net carbon zero event future but for the next generation of industry players, it is going to be part of our contribution towards retaining this amazing industry.”

“Put simply, communication experiences are the main business area of our industry. And credible communication is the starting point of credible sustainability. This means that sustainability urgently needs to be implemented in our industry, because our clients, for whom sustainability is becoming increasingly important, want to communicate credibly through us. A sustainable live communication format not only highlights our own sustainability efforts, but also those of our clients. Sustainability therefore makes a company in our industry fit for the future,” adds Laureen.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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