IMEX America Releases 2011 Sustainability Results

As part of its commitment to environmental stewardship, the IMEX Group has announced key results from the sustainability program at the inaugural IMEX America trade show, which took place last fall in Las Vegas, it announced yesterday.

Conducted by the show's sustainability consultants, MeetGreen, the report details green best practices employed at IMEX America. For instance:

• Show badges and hosted buyer luggage tags were made from recycled paper.
• Badge lanyards were made from plant silk.
• Show bags were reusable and made of recyclable polypropylene.
• Exhibitor waste baskets were reused or recycled.
• Event signage was sourced from within 100 miles of the event.
• Ninety-nine percent of show signs are being stored locally for reuse this year.
• A three-minute anti-idling policy was put in place for all hosted buyer transfer buses.
• The show's audio/visual company agreed to source the most efficient lighting and presentation projectors possible, and to participate in a lamp-recycling program.
• Show organizers worked with the venue — the Sands Expo and Convention Center — to use compostable rather than disposable service-ware wherever possible; after use, it was taken along with food waste to a local compost facility to reduce landfill waste.

The report also contains specific sustainability metrics, including:

• Recycled material: 66.4 tons
• Food donated to a Las Vegas food emergency service: 156.5 lbs.
• Carbon footprint avoided during the show: 1.52 metric tons of CO2e

In addition, IMEX America's decision to use 95 percent post-consumer recycled paper wherever possible resulted in 39 trees, 15 million BTUs of energy and more than 16,000 gallons of water being saved.

Finally, by eliminating bottled water at show-sponsored events and in locations such as the hosted buyer lounge and press center, over 28,000 liters of water was saved, with a measurable saving also in the energy and oil that goes into plastic bottle manufacture.

"Our mission going into the show was to reduce, reuse, recycle and respect," said IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer. "We think we made some very positive strides towards doing these things right out of the gate and are looking forward to making our performance even stronger at the 2012 show through more innovation, more partnerships and more knowledge about the best way to implement sustainable practices in Las Vegas. Being as green as possible is an important part of the IMEX culture and we extend this commitment into our professional education programs because we know that many others in the industry share the same desire to minimize environmental impact in systematic and measurable ways."

The next IMEX America trade show is taking place Oct. 9-11 in Las Vegas. At that show, the IMEX Group plans to pursue APEX benchmarks.

"Given that the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards have now been launched we are benchmarking the IMEX America show practices against Level 1 of the standards," Bauer said. "Fortunately, we have the enthusiastic support of our major suppliers to do what can be done to implement as much as possible for IMEX America 2012. Realistically, we expect that achieving Level 1 will require a multi-year commitment from both our internal team and our vendor partners. We will be documenting our experiences throughout this process and intend to share that as our story unfolds."