Europe’s largest event for resource efficiency and waste management, RWM 2015 (15-17 September), is setting out to be the greenest too.
This year RWM organisers, i2i Events Group in partnership with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, will be working with consultants Carbon Clear to assess the event’s carbon footprint. The data will be used to offset unavoidable carbon impacts of the show.
Carbon offsetting allows companies to buy credits for each tonne of unavoidable CO2 they emit. The credits are then offset against a project in the developing world that helps communities by delivering renewable energy, forestry management or improved cookstoves whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, the show organisers will develop a three year plan to meet increased sustainability goals.
Working closely with its suppliers, exhibitors and visitors, a number of measures have already been implemented by i2i Events Group to reduce on-site waste at the event, held annually at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). This includes using recycled and recyclable carpets and shell schemes, re-using the electrics system, hiring furniture which is re-used at other events and use of re-board signage which is made from recycled and recyclable cardboard.
Current RWM suppliers are being encouraged to extend their sustainable practices and future event partners will be selected according to their commitment to minimising waste.
The choice of venue is also critical. In 2015 the NEC won the ‘Eco Award’ at the Exhibition News Awards and in 2014 ‘Best Waste and Recycling Scheme’ in the Business category at Birmingham City Council’s first Sustainability and Recycling Awards.
Brian Pell, Director of Operations at the NEC, explains: As the UK’s number one venue, the NEC recognises and embraces its responsibility to the events industry, local and national communities we are committed to building a sustainable environment.”
Waste generated at the NEC is transported to its onsite waste pre-treatment centre and separated into different waste streams – cardboard, paper, glass, wood, metal, carpet, food and plastic. It is then processed ready for transport to local suppliers, with no material travelling more than 30 miles from the site for further processing.
Food waste accumulated at the NEC is transported to a local anaerobic digestion plant on a weekly basis and processed into energy, with leftover material used as fertiliser by local farmers.
Russell Bacon, Portfolio Director – Environment at i2i Events Group said: “Since 2012 the NEC has sent zero waste to landfill and last year achieved an overall recycling rate of 75.2%, with over 80% of waste from RWM being recycled. These figures show what can be achieved when the right partners work together on shared sustainability goals.”
“We encourage all our suppliers, visitors and exhibitors to join us in adopting greener practices, thereby contributing to the sustainability goals for RWM. This three-year phase is just the beginning of our longer-term plans to become a global exemplar in sustainable event management. We are making significant strides in the right direction and hope our partners will join us in delivering on our ambitions.”