Sustainability at events: trade show organizers’ green revolution

PCG explains the evolution of trade shows towards sustainable development strategies and how your involvement in environmental protection can boost the interest of your participation.

Sustainable development is now at the heart of the concerns of international organizations. Large companies have CO2 quotas to respect, consumer choices are moving towards greener companies,…. But what about trade shows?

Trade shows generally require a large amount of energy, especially events related to the technology and industry sectors. The graphic sector is not to be outdone and very often leads to the consumption of a large number of supports and materials that will never be recycled (PVC supports, foam, aluminium,…).

However, we note that an increasing number of events are becoming involved in environmental protection. This commitment has become a guarantee of quality, and today it is a real marketing asset for many companies.

Trade shows: Pollution Issues in Business - PCG Barcelona

Why is it so important to care?

Events such as trade fairs attract a large number of participants and visitors, generating a lot of waste (energy, plastics, communication products, samples, food waste, stand design and decoration,… are just a few examples among many others.

Beyond reducing the carbon footprint, taking part in an environmentally friendly trade show can be beneficial to a company’s reputation. Indeed, according to data from the Forbes Magazine, 88% of the consumers prefer to turn to companies committed to sustainable development. A real need has arisen for a collective awareness of our environment and health. This becomes a real selling point!

What can be done?

➤ Most trade fairs now provide sorting bins for their participants and visitors. An effective way to involve them and perhaps get them to adopt this behaviour at home or within their company.

Trade Show and Environmental Issues - PCG Barcelona

➤ In order to reduce waste, organizers are moving more towards the use of recycled materials, paper cups and plates or reusable for catering.
But participants and organizers can also use recycled and recyclable materials for communication products. Large format products can be designed to be reused in the future.

➤ It has become increasingly important for the audience to adapt their diet to a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle. The exhibitions regularly call on caterers in collaboration with organic, certified and local producers. On the whole, it seems essential today to work with structures and suppliers committed to a sustainable approach.

➤ Some forums even offer phone applications to exhibitors to help them manage their energy or waste consumption.

➤ Host cities for these events can implement combined public transport tickets or tickets included in the entrance fee to limit car travel, which is highly energy consuming.

➤ Awarding a Green Company Certificate at trade shows – This certificate is considered to be prestigious for companies, in addition to boosting their credibility in sustainable development, also gives them the desire to do their best by fostering their competitive spirit. So, who will be the greenest at the next show?

Mobile World Congress: an eco-friendly trade show - PCG Barcelona

➤ Others, such as at the Mobile World Congress, offer their participants the possibility to calculate their CO2 footprint during the exhibition days (flight, food, hotel, stand,…) and compensate it by participating in an action (planting trees, recycling,…) in order to obtain a neutral CO2 emission.

➤ Event organisers are well aware of the ecological trend and now offer to collect waste from their participants (cleaning service) but these products are not always recycled.

At PCG we encourage and help you to recycle your printing products. We offer our customers the opportunity to collect and recycle their printing products for free, by transferring them to recycling centres such as Barcelona’s “Green Point”. => Watch the video here ! 

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