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UFI selects winners of 2015 sustainability competition

UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, named the winners of its annual Sustainable Development Award competition for 2015.

This year’s competition theme was “Innovative cost-saving in the value chain,” and the jury decided to recognize a venue winner — Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands (Singapore) and an organizer winner — UBM EMEA.

ECN 042015_ASSOC_UFI selects winners of 2015 sustainability competition_trophy-UFI-Award“Both entries were very strong: They successfully tackled different sustainability issues and challenges, and they complement perfectly our objective of recognizing and promoting the best initiatives in all segments of the industry. Our judges were very impressed with all the valuable entries selected during the first round of the competition, but these two really stand out,” said Paul Woodward, managing director, UFI.

UFI’s objective when setting up this year’s theme was to demonstrate how innovative sustainable actions can lead to cost-savings, and the finalists made evidence of this in their respective programs.

As a venue hosting more than 2,500 events in 2014, the Sands Expo and Convention Centre concentrated on energy conservation as its primary Key Performance Indicator for its sustainability targets in 2014. They introduced an interface project between their events booking system and building management system that contributed to a 29 percent reduction in chilled water energy (kWrh) consumption compared to their previous annual baseline data.

“Operating responsibly has always been part of Marina Bay Sands’ DNA. Our teams are constantly evaluating and implementing innovative sustainable actions that reap long-term benefits for the company and our clients. The move to integrate our backend systems to enable automated scheduling of air-conditioning in meeting spaces was not a simple turnkey project,” said Benny Zin, chief operating officer and vice president of conventions & exhibitions, Marina Bay Sands.

“We have a massive property – over 120,000 square meters in convention space, 250 meeting rooms and a constantly evolving space utilization footprint. The team had to creatively put together a solution that integrated existing systems, effectively tracked data, improved productivity for our teams and above all, drove environmental and cost savings in the long term. We are proud that our hard work has been recognized by UFI. This is a very big encouragement to the teams at Marina Bay Sands to continue leading the market in the green space,” added Zin.

UBM EMEA, a UBM plc company that operates in over 23 countries, set detailed senior management sustainability objectives for 2014. This program led to many examples of initiatives, which reduced environmental impact and increased a positive community legacy. These actions also led to cost savings that are more than double the initial targets.

“All of us at UBM EMEA work diligently and passionately to achieve our sustainability targets as we not only understand but also believe in them. It was a natural step to create a set of senior management objectives, which filter through the entire organization, to continue our pursuit of excellence in sustainability. We receive creative ideas about sustainability from all functions within the business, and we ensure it is part of all of our business decisions. I am so proud of this honor, recognizing all of the work we have put in and all that we have accomplished, and I look forward to our future developments in sustainability for us, our partners, and our customers,” said Simon Foster, CEO, UBM EMEA.

The final entries of the finalists are available at www.ufi.org/susdev, together with the entries selected during the first round of the competition: Consumer Electronics Association (U.S.), The Cape Town International Convention Centre (South Africa), ExCel (UK), Fira Barcelona (Spain), Singapore International Water Week (Singapore) and Specialty Food Association (U.S.).

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