Sustainability Report for IMEX Frankfurt launched: a milestone in measurement sets benchmark ahead of May show

Ahead of its May trade show, taking place 23 – 25 May, the IMEX Group has published its first ever externally-verified Sustainability Report for the annual show in Frankfurt.

The IMEX Group has tracked and published the environmental performance of its American show, IMEX America, since 2012 but today’s report represents a significant achievement for its German counterpart.

The report for the Frankfurt show in 2022 has been prepared by sustainability partners MeetGreen, an organisation devoted to accelerating the event industry’s transition to a sustainable future. It marks an extension of an existing partnership as well as the first step in an ongoing process of data-gathering intended to measure and improve the show’s environmental impact.

Today’s report is also an important milestone in IMEX’s Pathway to Net Zero.

In working with an external authority to validate results, this report represents an important sustainability step for IMEX and establishes the benchmark against which all future IMEX Frankfurt shows will be measured.  Previous environmental reports for IMEX Frankfurt have been conducted by IMEX staff only.

The new report covers aspects such as waste management, energy and water usage, event design and also social impact.

IMEX Frankfurt is currently the only show at Messe Frankfurt to track such a high level of sustainable data and to make it public.

The report reveals notable achievements in waste diversion and energy use, as well as highlighting several opportunities for improvement. These include simplifying and standardising carbon footprint measurement, sourcing more carpet with recycled content and expanding community donations.

Renewable energy influence

As well as benchmarking the show year on year, the report is designed to share the IMEX team’s learnings with the rest of the global business events industry and – ultimately – deliver long term change. A prime example of a long-term shift is the show’s energy use. Since 2012, IMEX has worked closely with host venue Messe Frankfurt to achieve 100% renewable electricity use. As a result, Messe Frankfurt has now adopted 100% renewable sourcing as a standard operating procedure across all its events.

IMEX Frankfurt 2022 sustainability report highlights:

• 99.5% of all waste diverted
• 100% of venue electricity powered by renewable energy
• 87% of show waste diverted to recycling, organics or donation channels
• 95% of event service ware was recyclable or re-usable
• 635kg of event material was recovered and donated to the Frankfurt community which at the time also included 800 Ukrainian refugees who were being given sanctuary at Messe Frankfurt
• IMEX Frankfurt has achieved MeetGreen’s highest standard of sustainability scoring – Visionary level

“We’ve long been committed to improving and developing our sustainability practices at IMEX Frankfurt and were able to share some good results prior to the pandemic,” explains Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. “However, thanks to an expanded partnership with our sustainability consultants MeetGreen, I’m delighted to share this first externally-verified Sustainability Report for IMEX Frankfurt 2022.

“This, together with our sustainability reports since 2012 for IMEX America, is part of a long-term commitment to the environment. As supporters of the Net Zero Carbon Events industry initiative, we’re also set to publish our roadmap to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 later this year.”

It takes a team

Sustainability success is always a collaborative effort and IMEX Frankfurt is no exception. The IMEX team led by its internal ‘green squad’ – a staff team who work closely with the host venue and Frankfurt city along with key suppliers and, of course, attendees. Visitors and exhibitors at this year’s IMEX Frankfurt can play their part once more by signing up to the People and Planet Pledge. Exhibitors are also encouraged to use the IMEX Sustainable Exhibiting Guide.