The IMEX Group has made a significant move on its journey to net zero with the public launch of a Net Zero Strategy roadmap to deliver net zero events and operate a net zero business by 2030.
The group says its strategy is part of its commitment to the industry-wide Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE) initiative.
IMEX says its Net Zero Strategy reflects its new vision of a thriving global events industry focused on positive change.
IMEX was an early signatory to the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge and committed to long-term reduction and mitigation of event emissions. Its strategy focuses on reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the course of producing both IMEX Frankfurt and IMEX America shows each year.
Collaboration across the supply chain is key to achieving this goal, the group believes, and says it will work closely with exhibitors and stand constructors to gradually increase the percentage of reusable and sustainable materials used in building each show.
The team will also work with suppliers to gather data that provides a comprehensive emissions footprint – this baseline will then guide future reduction decisions. Data will include numerous indirect greenhouse gas impacts, including emissions from food production, as well as attendee, exhibitor, and staff travel.
The group’s partners, MeetGreen, have worked with IMEX for over a decade to measure and report on the shows’ sustainability achievements. The Sustainable Event Report for IMEX America 2022 (recently released) made public the show’s energy usage, F&B, materials consumption, reuse and its community impact.
Highlights include a landfill diversion rate of 92% and 191,258 kWh of renewable solar energy generated by MGM which powered activities at the venue, Mandalay Bay Convention Center. This, along with a range of recycling, composting and donation efforts resulted in IMEX America again reaching the industry threshold for a zero-waste event.
This measurement will now be expanded as IMEX embarks on the next phase of its emissions accounting and management journey through a new partnership with events industry body isla. Using its platform TRACE, IMEX will measure and report on travel emissions for everyone attending the shows – with results available in a few months. Building on this investment, the team has recently issued an RFP in search of a suitable carbon offsetting supplier.
Carina Bauer (pictured), CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “Our journey to net zero is about incremental steps. Initially we’re focussing on areas that we can fully control, such as the type of energy we use. Then we’ll expand to areas where we can have significant impact, for example waste management and the materials used in our supply chain. Finally, we will be measuring the impact of travel and when we’re able to, we’ll report on this further.
“Our ethos is always to share what we learn and never more so than now, and we’ll be using our ongoing reports to disclose progress. Our roadmap isn’t just about IMEX achieving net zero, but encouraging and leading others to do the same,” Bauer adds.