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April 11, 2008

IMEX PREVIEW: Taking the lead on green issue

IMEX 2008 will reinforce the strong lead it has taken on environmental best practice within the international meetings industry with a series of new ‘green’ initiatives at this year’s show.

IMEX will become the first exhibition in its sector to use completely biodegradable and recyclable badges. In common with many other shows, IMEX traditionally used to print over 21,000 plastic badges and the same number of plastic badge holders.



IMEX: leading the green agenda

The new badges, which have been sourced on request by badging services provider, RefTech, will be printed on 100% recycled paper. They are coated with a polymer made from lactic acid, which is made from fermentable sugars. This derives from corn, which itself is a 100% annually renewable resource. No petrochemicals are used in their production and the badges are also completely compostable in water. As a result IMEX will save not only the equivalent weight in plastic to nearly five average men but, due to their lighter weight and ability to be printed as part of a direct mailing letter, will also save on paper usage within the badge mailing.

Green energy first
On top of this, the show will be the first exhibition at Messe Frankfurt to take advantage of green energy. All of the organisers’ lighting and electricity requirements for the week will be provided by a local hydroelectric power scheme.

Also new for 2008 is the launch of the IMEX Green Suppliers Award. This award complements the existing and popular Green Exhibitor Award and also a series of Green Meetings Awards, run in conjunction with the Green Meeting Industry Council. The Green Supplier Award is designed to recognise and reward the efforts of the many suppliers within the global meetings industry to measure and improve the environmental impact of the facilities and services they offer to clients. The Award has been greeted with an enthusiastic industry response. Judges were delighted both by the volume and high quality of entries. The winner will be announced at the IMEX Gala Dinner on 23 April at the Frankfurt Opera House (Alte Oper).

Focus on train travel
In addition, hosted buyers and visitors from selected European destinations have been encouraged to travel to Frankfurt by train with the help of special promotional discounts from Deutsche Bahn. All visitors travelling by air are also being invited to offset their air miles through IMEX’s online carbon offset scheme. To further reduce emissions, IMEX has introduced an anti-idling policy on all its courtesy buses.

Other ‘green’ initiatives include the introduction of new IMEX delegate bags made of environmentally friendly jute. IMEX already makes every effort to source food, flowers and other perishable supplies from local, seasonal growers. This year stand construction teams will also be faced with stricter waste and disposal policies. Paper usage is also on target to be lower than ever before thanks to enhancements in the interactive messaging and information services available on the IMEX Mobile Exhibition Assistant.

IMEX 2008 will take place at Messefrankfurt from 22 – 24 April www.imex-frankfurt.com


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