The event: Reed Gift Fairs, Australia’s leading gift industry trade show, held twice a year at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The organisers: Reed Exhibitions Australia, the Sydney-based arm of Reed’s worldwide trade and consumer exhibition group.
The size: More than 13,000 visitors and 600 exhibitors at a four-day event, covering 22,500sqm in five of the Centre’s exhibition halls.
The brief: Under the banner of its successful Ecowise environmental program, the Centre established a partnership with Reed Exhibitions in an attempt to develop new green initiatives and set a benchmark for future events held at the venue. The partners set out to create new procedures and achieve measurable reductions in emissions and waste, whilst encouraging the active involvement of exhibitors, suppliers and visitors.
How we delivered: Having achieved a successful recycling program at the September 2008 event, diverting 19 tonnes of waste from landfill, Reed Exhibitions and the Centre began planning new initiatives to trial at subsequent events. During the February 2009 exhibition, Reed committed to using the GreenPower offered under the Centre’s Ecowise program and began working with the Centre to reduce consumption and offset the cost of renewable energy. Shell spot-lighting was replaced with low-energy LED lighting in parts of the exhibition and timer switching was used to cut power to stands at the end of each day. Cleaning schedules were brought forward to ensure lights were switched off earlier in the evenings, whilst set-up and moving work was better coordinated among exhibitors and suppliers to reduce the amount of time when lighting and power was required. New Eco-Booth displays were used, manufactured from recycled paper and sugar cane waste, while further recycling efforts were promoted among exhibitors and visitors to minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill.
The stand-out feature: An effective communication program allowed the Centre and Reed Exhibitions to coordinate environmental initiatives with exhibitors, suppliers and visitors alike. Everything from electricity-conscious scheduling to the location and operation of recycling stations was shared among participants by email and via on-site displays, maximising coordination and involvement.
The result: By using GreenPower, CO2 emissions were reduced by 106 tonnes, which is equivalent to the emissions of 949 average Australian households over the duration of the event. Energy conservation initiatives achieved a 20 per cent reduction in the event’s power usage, allowing the event to offset the slightly higher cost of using renewable energy. The introduction of better waste management measures at the September 2008 event resulted in 19 tonnes of recyclable waste being diverted from landfill, while further measures at subsequent shows allowed a reduction in overall waste of more than 10 per cent.
“The Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre’s Ecowise program is the leader in our industry and with the continued focus of its dedicated staff and partners like Reed Exhibitions the program will continue to grow and benefit the environment.” Stephen Steenson, Operations Director, Reed Exhibitions Australia.