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Trade Fairs and Eco-Friendliness – A Contradiction?

Trade fairs – even those presenting green technology – are not exactly known to be environmentally friendly. Every trade fair causes a variety of emissions starting with the production of trade fair stands, transport and other logistics and a lot of waste during and after the fair when a large quantity of material, including the major part of a fair stand are simply thrown away. Photovoltaic manufacturer, Yingli Green Energy was looking for a way to ‘green’ its event and trade fair material and found the ‘greenstand’ initiative for climate-neutral fair stands. The first Yingli ‘greenstand’ is being shown at Intersolar in Munich.

Yingli Green Energy is a leading solar energy company and one of the world’s largest vertically integrated photovoltaic (“PV”) manufacturers. With several large industry events planned for 2010, Yingli Green Energy was looking into “greening” their trade fair logistics and partnered with Munich based trade fair specialist Atelier Damböck Messebau GmbH and ClimatePartner.

The carbon-neutral stands of stand-building company Atelier Damboeck within the greenstands initiative are based on three rules: 1) avoid; 2) reduce; and 3) offset. The first step is to analyze the CO2 emissions produced and savings potential – e.g. by finding production processes using less energy, optimizing logistics and more. The second step is to minimize CO2 output, for instance using environmentally-friendly raw materials, re-using materials such as parts of a fair stand, furniture to outfit stands and events several times. In the third step, emissions that can’t be avoided are compensated. Climate protection consultancy, ClimatePartner offered an objective third party calculation of the emissions produced and the option to compensate those by purchasing emissions credits in the form of internationally recognized environmental protection certificates. With the purchase of these certificates investments are made world-wide in selected climate protection projects. ClimatePartner supports several of those projects and the clients can decide which specific one they want to support with their certificate.

“The greenstands initiative is exactly the kind of initiative we had been looking for,” says Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. “Through greenstands, we are able to support an environment protection project in Cape Town which ties in well with our engagement for the 20 Centres for 2010, the official campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, for which we’re providing solar equipment.”

“The greenstands initiative has drawn a lot of interest. However, we are still working on educating the market by including even more partners and suppliers – for instance trade show organizers – in order to go green. Paramount to the success of greenstands are companies such as Yingli Green Energy who are willing to get involved and invest into environmentally sound solutions,” says Andreas Damboeck, Managing Director, Atelier Damboeck Messebau GmbH.

Article appearing courtesy CleanEnergy Project

photo: Trebosc