IMEX turns up the green heat with new carbon free European rail tickets


A new ticket initiative from German rail company and IMEX in Frankfurt travel partner, Deutsche Bahn (DB), will allow the trade show to provide carbon-free train travel to all of its European hosted buyers in 2011.

The tickets will be available to all hosted buyers traveling to the Frankfurt trade show from anywhere in continental Europe. The ticket, called “Umwelt-Plus,” guarantees that Deutsche Bahn will only use renewable energy for all hosted buyer rail tickets. Unlike compensatory measures, “Umwelt Plus,” avoids carbon dioxide emissions altogether since the electricity used is produced exclusively from renewable energy sources in Germany. DB purchases the amount of renewable energy required for journeys in advance. This additional energy replaces the energy from other sources in the rail power grid.

Once the show is over, IMEX will receive a certificate showing the total carbon dioxide saving made as a result of the new green tickets. Last year nearly 900 hosted buyers traveled to IMEX in Frankfurt by rail, coming in from Germany, Brussels, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Paris.

Deutsche Bahn’s commitment to using greener energy and investing in ecological and carbon-free power plants is behind the new ticket option. IMEX will pay a small levy on top of its normal ticket price to support carbon free travel. The new ticket further reinforces the IMEX Group’s ongoing efforts to reduce the show’s environmental impact and, in particular, to reduce waste wherever possible.

Two years ago, IMEX introduced the first ever biodegradable visitor badges made from recycled and recyclable paper badges coated in corn-starch laminate. The company also runs the only Green Awards in the international meetings industry and last year offered the option of hydroelectric power to all of its exhibitors.

Each year IMEX in Frankfurt sets new recycling targets for the show. In 2010, following a concerted campaign to educate stand-builders and exhibitors, 87 percent of the show’s waste was recycled and total waste output was reduced by 30 tons compared to 2009. In all, 32 tons of paper and 29 tons of cardboard waste were recycled during IMEX in Frankfurt 2010.

A new initiative called The Green Team also encouraged exhibitors to follow two out of three green steps in return for wearing a green lapel ribbon that demonstrated their environmental commitment.

The IMEX Group intends to extend its green track record next year when IMEX America opens on October 11 in Las Vegas. The company recently appointed MeetGreen as Official Sustainability Partners for the new show.