Education And Encouragement–Imex Green Awards 2009 Now Open

Nominations are now being invited for the IMEX Green Awards 2009. The annual awards, which are presented during the international trade show's Gala Dinner in Frankfurt, have become a strong indicator of new trends and developments amongst suppliers and buyers within the global meetings industry.

The Awards comprise three different environmental category prizes and one that recognises an outstanding contribution to a local community project – the Commitment to the Community Award.

The most established award, the Green Meetings Award, increasingly attracts extremely strong entries from corporations and agencies worldwide that have embraced the principles of green meetings and, as a result, can demonstrate detailed environmental improvements and savings.

A more recent award, The IMEX Green Exhibitor Award, was launched to educate and encourage exhibitors to employ a "reuse and recycle" strategy towards their stand design and build. Many of these principles have now been taken up by stand contractors who have spotted a market opportunity to satisfy demand and also substantially reduce waste as well as introducing more environmentally-friendly materials.

The IMEX Green Supplier Award was launched last year as a way to publically acknowledge meetings industry suppliers, particularly meetings venues and hotels, whose investment and foresight play a crucial role in enabling the rest of the industry to achieve their environmental objectives.

Winners of all the awards are chosen by an independent judging panel made up of industry representatives and environmental experts.

Setting a benchmark
IMEX has developed a reputation for taking a strong lead on environmental issues and has become something of a benchmark within the meetings industry. An ongoing partnership with Messe Frankfurt has allowed and inspired the trade show to incorporate a number of green innovations and industry "firsts" into its business all year round.

These include IMEX becoming the first trade show in the meetings industry to introduce green energy - hydroelectric power – which was used for all the organisers' electricity requirements throughout the week of the 2008 show. Next year this energy option will be extended to all 3500 exhibiting companies. A concerted effort to reduce waste also resulted in a saving of 34 tons during this year's show, a reduction of 20% on the previous year's output. The IMEX team has now set itself even stricter targets for 2009.

Other green innovations include the use of biodegradable visitor badges. Printed on 100 per cent recycled paper and coated with a polymer made from lactic acid, the badges comply fully with the European Compostability Standard. As a result IMEX now saves not only the equivalent weight in plastic of nearly five men but, due to their lighter weight, makes a considerable saving on paper usage and postage.

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