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Germany booth wins ‘Green Exhibitor Award’ at IMEX in Frankfurt

Affirming its position as a global sustainability leader in the tradeshow industry, the new eco-friendly Germany booth was proclaimed the winner of the 2013 Green Exhibitor Award during the recent IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany, tradeshow.

“We are delighted to receive the Green Exhibitor award which confirms the commitment of the GCB, and all of our exhibitors, to the important principle of Green Meetings,” said Matthias Schultze, managing director, GCB. “Germany’s expertise in the field of sustainability is one of the key factors behind its status as a world-leading destination for meetings, conferences and events.”

With efforts headed by the German Convention Bureau (GCB), all planning and activities for Germany’s participation during the event and at the “Meetings Made in Germany” booth were designed with an eye toward sustainability.

“The GCB has made sustainability an integral part of its entire operation at IMEX,” said Amy Spatrisano, a jury member, MeetGreen. “We were impressed not only by the environmentally friendly booth design but also with the sourcing of local food and drink as well as the support for community projects.”

The GCB’s plans for IMEX in Frankfurt zeroed in on reducing CO2 emissions, which was achieved by taking a range of measures to minimize its carbon footprint, including powering the booth with 100 percent electricity from renewable sources and requiring exhibiting team members from the more than 215 participating German businesses and organizations in the booth to use public transportation to travel to and from the event. Additionally, the GCB was very judicious in the use of hard-copy brochures, and even the potted plants used as booth decorations were sourced locally.

Moving beyond reduction to compensation, the GCB also worked with CO2OL, Forest Finance Service GmbH, to offset emissions from the Germany stand. Taking into consideration the impact of the Germany booth exhibitors and others traveling to and from the venue, emissions from the power used by technical equipment, waste created and overnight stays, it was calculated the Germany Stand generated the equivalent of 81.54 tons of CO2. To compensate, the GCB is supporting the planting of 571 trees as part of the “Tropical Mix” reforestation project in Panama.

In addition to reducing and replacing CO2 effects, sustainability was at the heart of the GCB’s process for selecting exhibition suppliers for this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt. Catering supplier Accente Gastronomie Service GmbH fulfilled all green selection criteria using regional produce wherever possible and employing low-emission delivery vehicles. In line with the standards of the German meetings industry’s sustainability code, known as “fairpflichtet,” the GCB also worked with sustainable drinks producer LemonAid Beverages GmbH. Specialist conference construction firm mac messe- und ausstellungscenter Service GmbH was chosen to build the GCB booth itself.

“The GCB aims to lead by example,” said Shultze. “Our environmentally friendly Germany booth at IMEX 2013 has shown visitors from around the world they, too, can manage their participation at events in a more Earth-friendly way.”

The German Convention Bureau (GCB) represents and markets Germany as a destination for conventions, meetings, events and incentives both on a national and international scale. It is the first point of contact for companies, associations and organizations around the world planning events in Germany.

IMEX Frankfurt was held May 21-23.

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