IMEX America, MeetGreen Launch Sustainability Plan

When it debuts Oct. 11-13 in Las Vegas, the new IMEX America trade show won't just be big. It also will be green, according to the IMEX Group, which today announced the details of a sustainability plan that was developed in partnership with green meetings management company MeetGreen.

"Among the initiatives taking place at IMEX America 2011 we will have specific objectives relating to water usage, energy, emissions, waste reduction and overall event sustainability," said IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer. "By working with MeetGreen on reaching these objectives, we hope that IMEX can continue to take a strong lead on sustainable practices and create a solid foundation for future years."

According to IMEX America, its full sustainability plan covers the trade show venue, hotels, catering, print material, signage and carpeting, general service contractors and transportation.

Some of the key measures at IMEX America will include: Energy Star lighting plans; recycling of copper, aluminum, brass and heavy metals, including extension cords and power supply cards; plus recycling and reuse of waste wood, metal, plastic, cardboard, drywall, carpet padding, concrete, asphalt and glass. Electronic products will be donated to The Blind Center of Nevada, while leftover food will be donated every day to the Las Vegas Mission. Through the Sands Expo, IMEX also will work with 209 local vendors, which will help keep transportation emissions low and support the local economy.

"IMEX America is committed to educating the meeting, incentive travel and events industry about sustainability issues and addressing these in a proactive, measured way," Bauer continued. "At IMEX America we will also have a Sustainability Center — powered by GMIC — where attendees will be able to pick up 'green' tips and best practices, as well as meeting experts and attending drop-in workshops."

According to Bauer, IMEX America's primary sustainability goal this year is green benchmarking. "Our intention is to use this first year to benchmark our performance," she said. "The first year goal is to collect baseline information from our various venues and vendors and to use that data to build a solid sustainability strategy over the long-term."