How we reduced our trade show carbon footprint – without making the stand boring.
At Nopa Nordic and Allison, we specialize in green and environmentally certified products. Therefore, we naturally want our trade show stand to be as sustainable as possible. Here you can read about our initiatives and experiences, including creating what is likely the world’s first exhibition stand with a fully measurable carbon footprint.
Where to find us in 2023
RAI Holland Complex
12.H33 & 12.H41
True to tradition, Nopa Nordic and Allison will participate in this year’s PLMA trade show in Amsterdam on May 23rd and 24th – the place where everyone in the private label world gathers.
Likewise we are striving to reduce the climate impact related to our participation.
– As specialists in green and environmentally certified products, we are extremely conscious of our trade show’s climate impact. The most climate-friendly option would, of course, be not to participate at all. But the trade show is the meeting place for everyone in the industry. It’s the place you MUST be, says Mette Kolling Rothmann, Chief Commercial Officer at Nopa Nordic, and continues:
– Therefore, we’re working on the second-best climate solution: an exhibition stand with the smallest possible carbon footprint. We took a big step last year, and we continue to push the boundaries of how good it can be. In this way, we hope to inspire others to act as well.
To push the boundaries, we pull all the strings, both big and small. While we want to minimize the climate impact, we also want to make a solid and positive impression on potential partners at the trade show.
Learn more about what we’re doing. Hopefully, we can inspire you and your company.
Initiative no. 1: Measure the progress
Last year, we initiated a collaboration with the Danish company MAALBAR, who are specialists in measuring and calculating the carbon footprint of, among other things, furniture. This collaboration allowed us to establish what is probably the world’s first exhibition stand with a fully traceable carbon footprint at PLMA 2022.
This means that we can see how we’re improving year after year and where we can achieve the greatest impact with new initiatives.
Traceability is crucial for our efforts, and we showcase it at the trade show with an interactive screen where you can track the numbers and learn more about our initiatives.
Initiative no. 2: Reuse
In 2022, we set up a new trade show stand. Naturally, we are reusing it this year and planning to reuse it in the years to come.
But the “new” stand was actually a reused stand as well. We reused parts from the previous stand (which we used for four years) and, together with our good partners, built a stand with many reused solutions.
For example, we used wall coverings from Dansk Wilton, which recycles carpets from cruise ships, partitions with content from Le Relais Métisse, which reuses jeans, stools from Small Revolution made from recycled plastic, and various interior solutions from A Circular Design Studio, which also recycle plastic.
Initiative no. 3: Use certified materials
Parts of the stand are constructed using steel. Naturally, this is not the most climate-friendly solution in the short term, but it is necessary for durability – and in the long term, durability makes it a more sustainable choice.
However, the main part of the stand is made of wood. All this wood is FSC-certified, and some of it is recycled. The furniture from FDB-Møbler, which aspires to be Denmark’s most responsible furniture company, are FSC-certified as well.
The paint is from Jotun and carries the the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.
Initiative no. 4: Support local suppliers
Regardless of the mode of transportation, you choose (See initiative no. 5), the climate is affected when you transport people or materials.
That’s why we have been looking for local suppliers in Amsterdam, and we have e.g. found a local florist who provides the plants for the stand.
Initiative no. 5: Travel environmentally friendly
One of the significant differences compared to last year is our transportation to and from the trade show.
As a rule, we have decided not to go by plane, but for logistical reasons, we have three colleagues flying from Sweden to Amsterdam and one flying from Spain. Everyone else is taking trains or carpooling in electric vehicles.
Personnel transportation was our third-largest CO2 emitter at last year’s stand, so we have prioritized addressing this issue. Hopefully, next year it will be possible to completely avoid air travel.
Initiative no. 6: Great partners
We have already mentioned many of the partners who help us reduce our carbon footprint but let us emphasize the point: This would not be possible without great partners who are specialists in their respective fields.
This also applies, and especially so, to Easyfair, which has many years of experience in constructing trade show stands and has been eager to explore new ground with us.
Initiative no. 7: Share your experiences
More than 2,600 companies exhibit at PLMA – and there is hardly anyone who has an overview of the number of trade shows and exhibitions held annually worldwide.
Our initiatives, therefore, only make a small difference in the big equation. But just as it is all the small actions that reduce our individual carbon footprints, it is also all the small actions that we can all take that reduce the overall carbon footprint.
Therefore, we hope that by sharing our experiences, we can inspire and help others to do something similar. We look forward to being inspired ourselves.
As mentioned, we are not only working on sustainability, environmental friendliness, and certifications with our trade show stand.
It is a focus for all our products, and we are the first in our industry to be certified in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and we are among other things a member of Global Compact Network Denmark.
In 2023, our CSR efforts were rated by the renowned rating agency Ecovadis. We achieved a gold rating, placing us among the top 5 per cent of the over 75,000 companies rated by Ecovadis.
Winners of New Product Expo
Two of our new concepts are this year represented in the New Product Expo area, where a commitee have selected the most innovative products after thorough evaluation.
The winner products are:
- Second hand range
- Natural Laundry Pouches