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28.07.2016 Adding value with sustainable business practices

Corporate Social Responsibility – an integral part of Messe Frankfurt’s company philosophy

At Messe Frankfurt, sustainability means responsible business practices, encompassing economic, ecological and social factors. Accordingly, sustainability has always been a key component of Messe Frankfurt’s corporate culture, something that is reflected in the activities of all parts of the Group worldwide.

One of the areas in which Messe Frankfurt demonstrates its commitment to CSR is in its participation in sustainability networks. Since 2010, Messe Frankfurt has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact – the first German trade fair organiser to become a member. The worldwide CSR network is committed to sustainable corporate management and to the ten principles that it has set out in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption activities. As a participant in the “Charter of Diversity” initiative, Messe Frankfurt has also committed itself to recognising and promoting the valuable role of diversity in its corporate culture. Since 2013, Congress Frankfurt has been supporting the “fairpflichtet – rightandfair” code for the sustainable organisation and implementation of events. Since 2012, the company has grouped its various CSR activities into four areas: Environment/Sustainability, Social Responsibility, Education/Science and Commitment to Culture.

Messe Frankfurt operates one of the world’s largest exhibition grounds at its Frankfurt base. Sustainability plays an important role in the continued development of the exhibition grounds. The new Kap Europa congress building, which has been in operation since mid-2014, was the first congress building worldwide to be awarded Platin Certification by DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen) The DGNB certification process looks at a building’s entire life cycle.

Energy efficiency and the conservation of resources are of central importance for the company. By implementing innovative measures for sustainable operation, it is possible to identify new potential for saving energy again and again. For example, as part of a public-private partnership, Messe Frankfurt has been operating photovoltaic systems on its exhibition grounds since 2009 – the total output of approx. 1,100 kWp of green electricity is enough to meet the needs of up to 350 households. By using efficient exhibition hall technology and tailoring systems operation to actual needs, it is possible to bring about a sustainable reduction in the consumption of electricity, water and heating energy. For instance, by adapting the outside lighting in the Agora, the 18,000 m² forecourt on the outdoor exhibition area, for the use of state-of-the-art LED technology, it was possible to reduce energy consumption by up to 75 percent.

Through the systematic separation and recycling of waste, up to 90 percent of the waste that is generated at the Messe Frankfurt exhibition grounds each year is fed back into the material cycle. These are leading figures in the sector.

The convenient location and ideal transport connections offered by the Frankfurt exhibition grounds form the basis for sustainable mobility and logistics. Exhibitors and visitors with a combination ticket can use public transport at no additional cost. In addition, an integrated logistics concept helps to reduce the volume of event-related traffic on the exhibition grounds and in the surrounding area. At the same time the intensity of cargo transport has been increased.

The topic of environmentally sustainable business practices also affects the catering sector. At Accente Gastronomie Service GmbH, Messe Frankfurt’s catering subsidiary, this begins with the purchase of predominantly local and regional food. Wherever possible, we avoid using disposable packaging and food containing dyes, preservatives and additives. The 80 or so catering companies that provide meals and refreshments during events only use reusable dishes and easily biodegradable materials.

Messe Frankfurt’s commitment to culture is a reflection of its business fields, events and communities and is documented in the organisation of events, sponsorships and awards for outstanding achievement in music, architecture and design.

Messe Frankfurt’s international trade fairs are a driving force for sustainable business practices. At Light + Building, for example, there is a strong emphasis on energy efficiency, intelligent energy management and related topics. Since 2013, Messe Frankfurt has presented a “new talent” prize for upcycling – i.e. the use of “waste” to manufacture new products – at its Heimtextil event.

In the highly innovative field of green technology, Messe Frankfurt offers a growing range of international trade fairs – with eight events in three countries promoting the global transfer of technology and knowledge in this area. Messe Frankfurt’s portfolio of environmental fairs covers the gamut from recycling and waste, water and energy management to renewable energies and sustainable building materials.

With events such as Ecostyle, the Green Showroom and the Ethical Fashion Show, the Group has further specialised events in its portfolio that are dedicated to sustainable fashion and consumer goods. Sustainability is also a core theme for guest organisers at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organisers, generating around €648 million in sales and employing 2,244 people. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 30 subsidiaries and 55 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in 175 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at approx. 50 locations around the globe. In 2015, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 133 trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.
Comprising an area of 592,127 square metres, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres.The historic Festhalle, one of the most popular venues in Germany, plays host to events of all kinds.Messe Frankfurt is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.
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