page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48


EXHIBITION NEWSindustry view38MARCH 2011EXHIBITIONNEWS.CO.UKSustainability has become a buzzwordthroughout the business and eventsworld, but what does it really mean? Sustainability is about protecting theenvironment and balancing the needs of peopleand industry with their impact on the planet. Itlooks at social, commercial and ecologicalaspects and is practically-focused, weighing upcosts as well as returns. There are many issuesin sustainability such as transport.Sustainability has a particular application inthe exhibition industry. While events are idealways for companies to meet existing and newclients and customers, by their very nature theycan be wasteful because they consume a lot ofsingle-use resources over a short period. Aswell as financial impact on individualcompanies, this has an overall environmentalimpact by consuming fossil fuels for heating,lighting and transport and creating landfill.Many companies are starting to look atsustainability and making changes already. Forsome, this is simply the right thing to do, and forothers, it is a route to improved efficiency andcost savings. Where users are demandingsustainability, providing it as part of theexhibition package can give suppliers acompetitive edge.While sustainability standards are currentlyvoluntary, they are likely to become legislation inthis area, and the move will be easier forcompanies that have started to put changesiinto place already.First steps forwardThe easiest approach to sustainability is tobegin with the supply chain and start askingquestions. Can stands be fitted withrecyclable carpets or low energy lighting? Arecabling and other systems reusable? Cansuppliers cut the transport carbon footprint byreducing the numbers of vans required fordelivery? If sustainable options are specificfrom the beginning, suppliers canaccommodate them more easily and theexhibitor has more control over the process.Many people believe adding environmental andsustainable options will be significantly moreexpensive. Some choices are, but others savemoney, so exhibitors and organisers can balancegroups against each other. As more peoplerequest sustainable options, this will drive theprice down as well. To manage the balance, it's important to trackcosts, have a budget and stick to it. This makes iteasy to see where cost savings come in. Forexample, having brochures available by emailrather than as print copies will allow you to spendmore on more sustainable alternatives, such asfair trade coffee or locally-sourced organic food,or purchasing reusable fixtures and fittings thatcan be used for future exhibitions.Some sustainable options can offer positiveadvantages to users, as well as to theenvironment. For instance, press releases thatcan be downloaded online, along with images,slides and additional information are more usefulto weighed-down and time-pressed journaliststhan reams of paper in glossy folders.New British Standards will provide a driver andguidelines for event organisers and exhibitors. BS8901 (Specification For A Sustainable EventManagement System) is the British Standarddesigned specifically for the events industry,covering things as huge as the 2012 Olympics toa small summer fete. These standards grew outof efforts to make the UK 2012 Olympic bid themost sustainable as a long-term solution, ratherthan just the most environmentally friendly. As part of the AEV's Sustainability WorkingGroup, we designed BS 8901 as amanagement system, rather than just achecklist. While the industry might have liked a'to-do' list, I believe this is more powerfulbecause it will make event organisers thinkabout the issues specific to their event.Because the UK was first to create a specificstandard, we can set the standards around theworld. We are going through the process ofdeveloping the standards for international use:ISO 20121 should be the first internationalstandard for 2012, just in time for the Olympics. We will be asking for public comments andfeedback on the new international standard fromMay so this will be your opportunity to makechanges and have your say.Future challengesLooking to the future of exhibition sustainability,the biggest challenge will be transport. Thecurrent set-up, where many vans and lorries arriveat the exhibition centre full and leave empty, isvery wasteful. An idea would be to develop a system wheresuppliers can sub-let the empty journeys to othercompanies, reducing the transport and fuelscosts and the carbon footprint. This would need asea change in mindset, and take a long time toimplement, but would make a major difference.Improving sustainability doesn't have to beexpensive or difficult; it's just a matter ofthinking through the options and making smallstep-by-step changes. ENMaking sense ofsustainability Emma Wellman, chair of the Association of Event Venues (AEV)Sustainability Working Group, sustainability advisor at Earls Court andOlympia and sustainability advisor and venue services manager atOlympia, explores sustainability for exhibition organisers and their clients.