Commended for its commitment to carbon footprint reduction, better management of resources and sourcing more sustainable options, the organiser achieved a remarkable 10 percent decrease in waste generated on site.
Upcycling materials into resources for local schools and reusing wall panels from other events to build its feature areas are amongst many new initiatives that organisers UBM Live Built Environment has implemented.
Forming part of UBM’s strategy for continual improvement of its sustainable performance, the Ecobuild and Resource teams looked at the environment, community and economic sides of sustainability in the context of its 2014 events which took place from 4th to 6th March 2014 at London’s ExCeL.
UBM’s strategy to reduce the amount of waste that generated on site was to adopt the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle.
Applying these principles to its feature areas, Ecobuild created open plan designs to minimise material usage, maximised use of hired and reusable components, and ensured waste is recycled or managed responsibly. On top of that, the organiser has reduced the carbon footprint of its event guide by an impressive 28 percent by swapping to 100 percent recycled paper for the first time.
Leading the way towards a more circular economy, the Resource team applied circular economy principles to its theatre area, ensuring every component could be reused, recovered or recycled. Working with contractor Helistrat, closed loop walling was implemented; utilising used coffee grounds from retailer Marks & Spencer and coat hangers from retailer Ann Summers to produce boards and panels. The team also worked with Interface to lay recycled carpet produced from old fishing nets.
In a bid to reduce the volume of waste to landfill generated by the event and put materials back to use in the community, UBM upcycled all its PVC event banners into aprons for local schools’ PMLD departments and donated materials such as MDF, cloth, wood, and perspex used to build its features and seminar theatres to a local school’s Design and Technology department.
In partnership with Ecobuild’s official show partner The UK Green Building Council, Ecobuild encouraged exhibitors to think about the sustainability of their stands and proudly shout about their green credentials through its Sustainable Stand Awards.
Organisers also worked with ExCeL this year to utilise the new LED fully addressable lighting system, ensuring electricity use was as efficient as possible. Lights were turned off in unused areas, and turned down in over-lit areas.
Alison Jackson, Group Director of Sustainability & Construction, Ecobuild and Resource comments on this important accolade: “We are so proud to receive ISO20121 certification, which is testament to the hard work of our specialist organising teams, partners, exhibitors and visitors who enabled us to ‘walk the walk’ this year towards a more sustainable event and beginning of a more circular economy. Thank you to all involved and here’s to setting the bar even higher for Ecobuild and Resource 2015!”
Further highlights of Ecobuild’s journey towards ISO20121 certification:
· Ecobuild has made a long term commitment to a partnership with CRASH, the construction and property industry’s charity for homeless people in the UK
· Through Forest Carbon, the UK leaders in woodland creation certified under the Woodland Carbon Code, Ecobuild is making a long term contribution to the UK’s environment in recognition of our net footprint.
· Worked with catering suppliers Leith’s to improve the sustainability of the catering provided
Alison Jackson speaks out to other events organisers: “In years gone by, the events industry has been one of the worst offenders for waste sent to landfill every year. As a market leader in live events, UBM puts sustainability principles at the core of all our activities to ensure we leave a positive legacy behind.”