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April 16, 2008

New conference bag has impeccable green credentials

In a direct response to client requests, Nexus is currently researching what it claims is "certainly the industry’s, and arguably the world’s, greenest range of conference bags". They are designed as a replacement for professional branded textile briefcases found at conferences/exhibitions, which usually sell at around £3 each, including branding. The new green bags will compare favourably with these costing around £4 each for a variety of styles.

Nexus is working with global event agency MCI and the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) to create a bag that is not only biodegradable, but is made using processes with a low environmental impact. In-depth research is being undertaken to identify the best materials and processes to create a range of bags that will meet all the corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals laid down by MCI, the GMIC and their clients.
While the research and development stages are still ongoing, the first bags will be available in time for the National Venue Show (NEC, Birmingham, 25-27 September, 2007), made from materials such as jute, which is a plant fibre, and using coconut shell fittings. The range will include a variety of styles, colours and sizes.
“If we all take a moment, step back and look into our own products and services, we will find areas where improvements can be made – from the recycled luggage tags and invites, to the use of energy efficient lighting,” said Nexus Collections managing director, Nick Jones. “By working together for a greener future, we can shout down the cynics and hold our heads up as a green, ethical industry.”

The development of the bags has been lead by MCI’s commitment to protecting the environment beyond simply offsetting, revealed its CSR director Guy Bigwood and board member of the GMIC, and sourcing the conference bags was no easy task.

“Managing the total ecological footprint of our events is very important to
MCI. Offsetting carbon emissions is simply not sufficient and it’s an easy way
out. Instead, we should be examining all elements of our events to see where
changes can be made,” he said. “Hence we are starting to select vendors for their ethical, social and environmentally performance at every stage of the
process; from the selection of the destination, to the hotel, catering,
transport and to the mix of communication products and giveaways.

"It is with this goal in mind that we have been working with Nexus to create
a range of environmentally friendly conference bags. We have approached
this with meticulous care and integrity. It wasn't enough that the bags be
made from recycled plastic, we wanted to go further, sourcing sustainable
materials that used the minimum amount of petrochemicals and that would
biodegrade over time.  Nexus and Nick have worked tirelessly to achieve
this, sourcing and testing a whole range of materials until a good
combination was found. However sustainability is a journey and this is our
first base. I am even more excited to see where we will go to in the

Both MCI and the GMIC are confident that there has been no textile conference briefcase currently available until now which is 100% biodegradable and made from sustainable fittings such as coconut. In fact all the materials and fittings used have been carefully selected on the basis that all processes involved through manufacturing have a low impact on the environment. Therefore, Nexus has also ensured that energy consumption, water usage and chemical usage is minimised.

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