This Just In

IMEX Frankfurt Achieves Visionary Status for Sustainability

people walking on the sow floor at IMEX Frankfurt 2022, which achieved Visionary status for sustainability.

CHICAGO — IMEX Frankfurt, an IMEX Group trade show in Europe, released the IMEX Frankfurt 2022 Sustainable Event Report, detailing the show’s successful sustainability initiatives and efforts. IMEX Frankfurt 2022 achieved Visionary status through the MeetGreen Calculator 2.0, the highest level of achievement on the calculator. 

The 2022 edition of IMEX Frankfurt drew in 9,303 participants, 2,373 exhibitors from 150 countries, 2,268 hosted buyers from 76 countries and 166 press attendees from 20 countries. With visitors coming from more than 100 countries, the trade show’s location at Messe Frankfurt is a strategic choice as it’s located centrally in Europe, Frankfurt’s airport is a major hub in Europe and local public transit moves about 2.5 million people around the region every day.  

Further strengthening Messe Frankfurt as a sustainable location for the show is that the venue adopted 100% renewable sourcing as a standard operating procedure in 2020. IMEX Frankfurt was powered by 100% renewable electricity sources. The report estimates that 87 metric tons of CO2 emissions were eliminated compared to what fossil fuels would have emitted. 

“We’ve been pushing ourselves and our standards for the last 20+ years at IMEX Frankfurt,” IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer said. “However, we’ve also maintained long-term relationships with many of our partners at the Messe and in the city so, in effect, we’ve learnt and ‘grown-up’ together. Compared to many other countries, the environmental mindset and much of the infrastructure in Germany was already quite advanced although that didn’t always translate easily into our sustainable event ambitions.”    

Related. Net Zero Carbon Events: Trade Show Industry Update 

To reduce event emissions by IMEX exhibitors, suppliers and partners, a total of 2,900 trees were planted. Impressively 95.5% of all waste was diverted into recycling, donations or converted into energy.  Recovered event materials totaling 635 kg were donated to the Frankfurt community, creating a social impact as well as environmental. 

“Collaboration is absolutely vital! You can’t do this alone. It takes a village, and it also takes a team of champions who’re prepared to question, nudge and gently challenge every step of the way and every choice you make. This means of course it can take longer, especially if you’re starting from scratch and need to educate, guide or information partners and others in your supply chain. In 2023 though, compared to when we launched IMEX Frankfurt over 20 years ago, there are many more resources, experts and sources of reliable information available.” 

According to the report, IMEX Group will use this report as a benchmark for future events, as the group continues to find even more ways to be sustainable in the areas of carbon, food and beverage, general contracting services and waste management. 

If you’re taking your first steps towards sustainable events in 2023, make year one your benchmarking year,” Bauer said. “You can’t change what you don’t measure.  Our experience shows that if you bring your attendees along with you, always being open and honest and communicating a lot more than you expect to, they’ll understand. For example, we had an issue last year when a few people ‘complained’ about us using disposable plastic cups in one of our lounges. Those cups weren’t plastic – they just looked it – so we learned a valuable lesson about explaining what things are made of, especially if they look plastic! Badges are another great example. That plastic-looking badge-holder is made from a corn-starch derivative. That nylon lanyard is recyclable and reusable silk. The list goes on….” 

Reach Carina Bauer at 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TSE Data Center