The IMEX Group continues to demonstrate its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and producing trade shows which minimize environmental impact by publishing its annual IMEX America Sustainability Report 2013.
At the same time IMEX is using Earth Day (April 22) to launch a short campaign reminding all participants and partners of the essential contribution they make each year to the reuse, recycling and reduction of waste and vital resources during IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America.
The new sustainability benchmarking report - compiled and audited by IMEX’s sustainability partners MeetGreen® - illustrates that the trade show’s overall compliance with the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards improved by 9% in 2013, reaching a high of 72% (2013 target: 70%).
Significant reductions in energy and water usage combined with a 10% improvement in waste being sent to landfill, and a marked increase in composting rates, defined the show’s green performance for 2013. In addition 8,590 pounds of show materials were donated to local charities, mostly comprising signage and carpet. Innovative use of all the plastic carpet covers ensured these were donated to a local Las Vegas co-op for reuse as greenhouse enclosures.
Host partners, Sands Expo®, surpassed their 2012 achievements with a waste diversion rate of 90.32% which, when combined with the results from IMEX America’s host hotels The Venetian®|The Palazzo®, resulted in an overall diversion rate of 79.6%. This resulted in the 10% improvement in waste diversion from landfill compared to 2012. Despite increased attendance figures, overall water use was also reduced by 16%.
The Sustainability Report highlights several other notable achievements: 32% of all food served met the APEX/ASTM sustainability standard for food and beverage operations, and over $5,000 dollars were donated to three local charities which IMEX America has pledged to support over the long-term - Opportunity Village, the Shade Tree and Clean the World. Donations were raised through the innovative IMEX Badge Back program, which gives $1 for every used visitor badge dropped into a sponsored recycling bin. A generous donation from MeetGreen® also allowed IMEX to invite visitors to create hygiene kits from reusable toiletries, which resulted in over 700 kits being made and donated to the Shade Tree shelter for women, children and their pets.
The report also includes full transparency on areas for improvement at IMEX America 2014 and beyond. These include increasing sustainable food options; encouraging and enabling more of the show’s additional hosted buyer hotels to report on sustainability practices and reducing post-show waste on the floor from exhibitor booth materials.
Says Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group: “I’m really happy to share this report with other planners and peers in the meetings and events industry and to make our green efforts and results fully transparent to all. Every year and every show is different, and if there one’s lesson we’ve learned above all it’s that the communication and ‘championing’ of best environmental practice cannot stop. Every single individual in our complex supply chain needs to understand and act on our green objectives in order for us to keep on meeting or overtaking the previous year’s results. It takes constant vigilance, corporate commitment and caring at a personal level so Earth Day 2014 presents the perfect opportunity to thank everyone for doing their bit, and to encourage them to keep on helping, whether they plan to join us in Frankfurt or Las Vegas.”