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Koelnmesse is involved in a number of processes to ensure the careful handling of resources and the protection of the environment and is expanding measures it has already established. These improve both the energy balance of the individual events and of the administration building.

Koelnmesse's contribution to air pollution control

  • Koelnmesse uses up to 120 forklift trucks on the trade fair ground to unload the trucks. 80 percent of these have been gradually replaced by environmentally friendly diesel/hybrid forklifts and 20 percent by gas-powered forklifts. This reduces diesel consumption by up to 50 percent.
  • According to a survey, around 23 percent of all trade fair visitors and over 25 percent of all exhibitors use Koelnmesse's free VRS ticket. This measure is supported by the optimal public transport connection in the Cologne trade fair area. It is located just a few steps away from Cologne Messe/Deutz railway station and a tram stop. This is not only practical for trade fair participants but also relieves road traffic, thus protecting the environment. The contract was extended in 2019 and the offer of environmentally friendly travel is being actively promoted with the aim of further increasing the quota.
  • During the large trade fairs in particular, there is an inevitable increase in traffic in Cologne. Koelnmesse's logistics concept, close cooperation with the city of Cologne's tourist information office and promotion of the use of local public transport help to significantly reduce the negative impact on road traffic and emissions. The logistics experts use modern IT technology to control traffic caused by construction and dismantling for events.
    Since the opening of the new Zoobrücke trade fair multi storey car park in 2018, all trucks weighing 3.5 tons or more can be guided towards a meeting point in the immediate vicinity of the trade fair. This eliminates waiting times with the engine running on the road − and thus harmful emissions.
  • In 2018 and 2019, Koelnmesse received a total of around 4.2 million euros in funding from the federal government for the digitalisation of traffic management. It will also match this sum itself. This means that by 2024, a total of around 8.5 million euros are expected to be invested in the optimisation and control of Koelnmesse visitor and truck traffic in coordination with the City of Cologne − and therefore in the reduction of emissions. The aim of the measure is to produce less congestion and less waiting time and, as a result, fewer emissions.
  • The Zoobrücke multi storey car park built by Koelnmesse as part of the Koelnmesse 3.0 investment programme is located directly on the highway access road and within walking distance of the Deutz/Koelnmesse tram station. In future, a new Mobility Hub will make 3,200 P+R parking spaces available to the public all day, seven days a week, outside of trade fair hours. The Mobility Hub networks private transport with environmentally friendly modes of transport and transport models such as public transport, car sharing, bike sharing, e-hailing (calling taxis and arranging ride opportunities) and on-demand travel services.

Increasing energy efficiency

  • Koelnmesse has switched from its own power house to district heating. Since the beginning of 2016, Koelnmesse has been producing its own electricity in an environmentally friendly manner using a block-type thermal power station . With this measure, Koelnmesse reduced its annual CO2 emissions by 3,200 tons.
  • With a total area of 284,000 square metres, the 11 Koelnmesse halls require a significant amount of energy, which is constantly being reduced through the ongoing renovation of the building. 200,000 square metres of exhibition space on the southern grounds will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology as part of the Koelnmesse 3.0 investment programme. The technology in the northern halls is also currently being enhanced at key points.
    With these measures, Koelnmesse will reduce energy consumption for heat by up to 30 percent or 3 gigawatts and electricity consumption for building services by up to 25 percent or 3 gigawatts annually from 2019, once all measures have been completed.

Resource management

  • Koelnmesse places great importance on the sustainable handling of raw materials. Well over 90 percent of the waste generated in a year is sent for recycling.
  • Long before the new EU regulation banning disposable plastics came into force, Koelnmesse stopped issuing straws at trade fairs and exchanged disposable solutions for sustainable ones such as materials made from bagasse or PLA (polylactic acid, food-safe organic plastic made from potato or maize starch and lactic acid, fully biodegradable and compostable within a few weeks). Furthermore, no aluminum or plastic foils are used for outer packaging.
  • Trade fair management also proactively ensures the efficient use of resources wherever possible. At several trade fairs, for example, no carpeting is used or lighting, heating and air-conditioning systems are controlled depending on public traffic.
  • The trade fair stands operated by Koelnmesse consist largely of system material that is reused many times over.
  • Together with the contract partners, the stand lighting was switched to energy-saving and environmentally-friendly LEDs.

Koelnmesse joins net-zero-CO2 initiative in the events sector

"Koelnmesse has committed itself to organising its events worldwide by the end of 2050 in a way that will result in net-zero-CO2 emissions. We have already taken the first steps and are now putting strategies in place to reach this target", said Koelnmesse President and Chief Executive Officer Gerald Böse.

This is how Koelnmesse and UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, are taking part in an initiative of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), which is the worldwide umbrella organisation for the events sector. It represents the common interests of the leading international associations in the conference sector.

Koelnmesse GmbH is member of the German Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK)

Net-zero-CO2 initiative in the events sector

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