Messe Düsseldorf launches initiative for more sustainable trade fair appearances
Customer guide with seven guiding principles serves as initial inspiration for sustainable trade fair appearances.
The initiative kicked off with a special stand at EuroShop 2023.
THINK SUSTAINABLY – ACT RESPONSIBLY: The special area at EuroShop 2023 was all about more sustainable events. (Credit: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann)
Messe Düsseldorf recently launched an initiative to promote more sustainable trade fair participations. To this end it developed a customer guide that includes measures and ideas on how exhibiting companies can make trade fair appearances more sustainable and conserve resources – across all planning phases. Messe Düsseldorf showed that every step counts when it comes to sustainability at EuroShop 2023. The special stand “THINK SUSTAINABLY – ACT RESPONSIBLY” presented sustainable materials and approaches and was itself an application example of a trade fair appearance that is as sustainable as possible.
Düsseldorf, 16 March 2023. Show green: for Messe Düsseldorf sustainable action is increasingly becoming the focus of attention. “As a marketplace for new technologies and increasingly also as a platform for sustainable developments, we have a responsibility”, explains Erhard Wienkamp, Managing Director Operative Trade Fair Business of Messe Düsseldorf. The company takes this into account: among other things by supporting offers that contribute to making Messe Düsseldorf’s own events more sustainable. This includes the newly developed customer guide for a more sustainable trade fair participation which the company presented at EuroShop at the beginning of March. The well-known 7 Rs of resource conservation serve as guiding principles here. The measures and ideas presented show how exhibiting companies can act in the most environmentally friendly way possible and thus come closer to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement – one step at a time.
7 R: seven ways to conserve resources
Because when it comes to sustainability and above all climate protection, every step counts. Messe Düsseldorf bundles its know-how in event management and exhibition stand construction in its customer guide for more sustainable trade fair appearances. Whether before, at or after the trade fair: the topic of sustainability is considered in all planning phases of an event in order to keep the ecological footprint as low as possible. This applies to the operation of Messe Düsseldorf itself but also to the activities of exhibiting companies and visitors. Seven guiding principles – the 7 Rs: Reflect, Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle – are intended to support this. Before the trade fair exhibiting companies set the course for sustainability, for example by working with partner companies with experience in sustainable event management or by establishing CSR guidelines. While shell stands are sustainable per se because of their reusability, custom-made constructions can also be realised in an environmentally friendly way if certain points are observed. During the trade fair, the rule is: less is often more. This applies to equipment, decoration, advertising materials and giveaways. Nevertheless, there are exciting, environmentally friendly ways to make the presentation more appealing. After the trade fair, the focus is on the reuse of materials, recycling and an evaluation: where is there potential for improvement? “Together with our stakeholders we are setting out to protect the climate as much as possible at events. And it’s not directly about the perfect solution – even small steps have a positive effect on the carbon footprint”, says Andrea Eppert, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Messe Düsseldorf. “Moreover many measures are not only good for the environment but also for the companies themselves: reduced use of resources and optimised logistics often save effort and costs.”
Special stand at EuroShop as an application example
Messe Düsseldorf is setting a good example. With its energy management system it has reduced electricity consumption at trade fairs by up to 20% compared to 2010 – and heating by almost 30% compared to the year 2000. The exhibition grounds and halls are climate-optimised and run on green electricity. Messe Düsseldorf thus saves up to 5,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. At EuroShop 2023 from 26 February to 2 March Messe Düsseldorf demonstrated that trade fair presentations can be realised in an environmentally friendly manner. The special stand “THINK SUSTAINABLY – ACT RESPONSIBLY”, designed jointly with the industry associations fwd: and IFES and built by Messe Düsseldorf’s Service Alliance, presented sustainable materials and approaches. The stand was part of the “Hot Topic Sustainability” of EuroShop 2023 and itself an application example for a trade fair appearance that is as sustainable as possible. Divided into three zones, the stand reflected the different planning and organisational phases. “The stand concept was based on the idea that sustainability has to be thought about in the whole process right from the start”, says Andrea Eppert, the initiator of the project. “We provided advice on this at the stand, and there were also material samples to touch in order to show what is currently already available.”
Climate partner of the city of Düsseldorf
Sustainability is not a new topic for Messe Düsseldorf. With its Corporate Governance Code it has been committed to sustainable and climate-friendly management since 2011. Based on the “Public Corporate Governance Code for the shareholdings of the state capital of Düsseldorf” it supports responsible corporate management and supervision. In addition to social responsibility this also includes the obligation to continue to improve its own high environmental standards and to sustainably promote the protection of the environment and climate. Messe Düsseldorf has also been a climate partner of the city of Düsseldorf since October 2022 and is thus one of the first signatories of the Düsseldorf Climate Pact. “In this way we underline our corporate responsibility and, together with the other network partners, contribute to supporting the city of Düsseldorf on its way to climate neutrality by 2035”, says Erhard Wienkamp.
Messe Düsseldorf is one of the most successful trade show companies in the world. About 40 trade shows, including 20 world-leading shows, are held at its 613,000-square-meter (6.6 million-square-foot) exhibition center on the banks of the Rhine River. Every year, the international market leaders and top decision-makers of various sectors come together in the 18 exhibition halls to present and discover innovations and to exchange ideas and network. Messe Düsseldorf's areas of expertise include “Machinery, Plants and Equipment” (including drupa, K, interpack, glasstec, wire and Tube); “Retail, Trades and Services” (EuroShop, EuroCis, ProWein); “Health and Medical Technology” (MEDICA, COMPAMED, REHACARE), “Lifestyle and Beauty” (BEAUTY, TOP HAIR); and “Leisure” (boot, CARAVAN SALON). In addition, the subsidiary Düsseldorf Congress hosts numerous conventions, corporate events, conferences and meetings each year. Outside Germany, Messe Düsseldorf organizes or participates in 65 events. The corporate group’s global network consists of 77 foreign representatives for 141 countries – including six international subsidiaries.