We asked ourselves: what is the environmental impact of a fair? And how can we do our part to be more sustainable and consistent with the way we do business?
From 22 to 26 October, pavilion 10, at the stand M01-07 of the Sicilian Region, Boniviri took part in TUTTO FOOD in Milan . One of the most important international fairs for the world of food. It is a great emotion, and it is also an opportunity to present Boniviri internationally.
But we asked ourselves what is the environmental impact of a fair? And how can we do our part to be more sustainable and consistent with the way we do business?
We did some research and Chiara Civardi's article, “Making industrial exhibitions green” (1), sheds light on the impact of the exhibition sector and on less sustainable practices related to tradeshows.
To give an idea of the scale of these events, as mentioned in the study, pre-covid, in 2018 the number of exhibitions organized in Europe exceeded 2,670, bringing together over 735,500 exhibitors and 75.4 million visitors.
As pointed out by the author, “despite their importance, conventional industrial events have substantial environmental impacts . In fact, these gatherings require energy and resources, and are also responsible for emissions in all environmental sectors: air, water and soil ”.
Suffice it to say that a 3-day conference with 800 participants has an estimated carbon footprint of 455 tons of CO2 equivalent , corresponding to an average of 0.57 tons of CO2 per participant - see Neugebauer's study (2). The main contributors to these emissions are travel activities , about 80% of this emission impact.
For its movements, the Boniviri team generated an emission impact of approximately 1 tonne of CO2 eq.
For this fair, the Boniviri team (made up of 5 people), considering the travel by plane, car, motorcycle and metro, generated an emission impact of about 1 ton of CO2 eq . This impact will be included in our 2021 Impact Report and will be offset .
In addition to the issue of emissions, the waste of materials is central to the analysis of the environmental impact of a trade fair event. Just look around, to see how many components of the stands prepared by the companies are destined not to be reused.
Considering the nature of Boniviri as a benefit company and the social and environmental objectives that distinguish our startup, right from the stand, we wanted to give a strong, clear and direct message of the commitments made. We thus imagined a stand where all the components used could find a second life, where material waste is reduced to a minimum and where the origin of the materials is considered in terms of sustainability.
- At the center of the stand we placed three trees donated by our partner Rete Clima: they are those used for reforestation projects of the non-profit. The bottles of our 750 ml extra virgin olive oil, the first Italian carbon neutral organic oil, cling to their roots.
- The eco- pallets that support them are unique. Healthy, systemic and ethical. The wood with which they are made comes from the PEFC supply chain, which certifies the entire wood supply chain, from production to processing. They are the work of PALM SB Ecosustainable Pallet and Packaging in Wood, the first company to have B Corp certification in Italy in the world of pallets, arrived at the fair thanks to the tenacity of Primo Barzoni and Matteo Consolini.
- All paper communication is made of Favini crush paper , obtained from agri-food waste of #olive and with a carbon footprint reduced by 20%.
- Boniviri displays and panels are all made of cardboard and eco-sustainable materials .
"Perfection is reached not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away" (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
We can define it as an ecostand , small, but which has a great desire to tell and be told. After 4 days of the fair, we can say that it aroused great curiosity from visitors, other exhibitors and organizers.
We have found that it is often rewarding to remove rather than add. We hope that our small test can be replicated and allow other companies in our and other sectors to rethink the way they communicate and present themselves at fairs: looking at sustainability first of all as an ethical driver , which can no longer be given up, but also as a competitive lever , which can help to stand out from those who do business "the old way".
1 Chiara Civardi, "Making industrial exhibitions green", https://www.v-ex.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Sustainability-Report_Whitepaper.pdf
2 Neugebauer, S., Bolz, M., Mankaa, R., & Traverso, M. (2020). How sustainable are sustainability conferences? - Comprehensive life cycle assessment of an international conference series in Europe. Journal of cleaner production, 242, 118516