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Moving into a more sustainable future

9-12 May 2023 • interzum

In keeping with its role as the leading international trade fair in its field, interzum is taking responsibility. With its new global lead theme “neo-ecology”, the trade fair is promoting the dialogue aimed at increasing sustainability and is itself also actively engaged in measures to fight climate change. This year’s event is due to take place from 9 to 12 May 2023 and, in the run-up, interzum has launched an initiative to make the world’s biggest industry event for furniture production and interior design more sustainable in the future.

The first step on this journey involves working with ClimatePartner to scrutinise the trade fair’s own carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – ranging from event technology and energy to logistics and waste disposal along the way through to food service. These emissions will then be reduced wherever possible. Any emissions that can’t be reduced (yet) will be offset by financing two certified, internationally recognised climate protection projects.

The first interzum-funded project in Bhatel in the Indian state of Gujarat harnesses wind energy to supply renewable electricity. This low-emission form of power generation saves around 167,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. At the same time, the local population benefits from a more stable electricity grid and long-term employment contracts. Also in India, degraded agricultural land in the Indian state of Karnataka is being reforested as part of the second project. The project is helping a total of 1,296 farming families from 155 villages to plant trees and manage the land. Both projects are certified in accordance with the Gold Standard VER (GS VER), which has particularly strict requirements regarding sustainable development and the involvement of the local population.

“Through these measures, interzum is assuming responsibility and taking an important step towards becoming a more sustainable trade fair,” explains interzum Director Maik Fischer. “In order to achieve our long-term goal of comprehensive climate protection, it’s crucial that we prevent and reduce emissions. With the global lead theme “neo-ecology”, we’re also highlighting our ambition to generate vital momentum for the sustainable design of tomorrow’s living and working environments together with our exhibitors,” continues Fischer.  Building on the experience gained this year, Koelnmesse will continue to develop interzum’s sustainability strategy for future events.

interzum’s multifaceted engagement with the central theme of neo-ecology is evident in the topics and presentations at this year’s trade fair. Aspects such as resource efficiency, smart materials, renewable energies or recycling and upcycling are key to many of the exhibitors’ innovations. The Trend Forums and platforms for dialogue at interzum will showcase pioneers of the circular economy, low-emission bio-based materials and solutions for climate-positive construction. The interzum award 2023 will provide further inspiration for trailblazing eco-friendly solutions in furniture production and interior design. The new award category “Neo-Ecology” will recognise innovative products, processes and concepts that reduce resource consumption and carbon footprint or raise social and ethical standards.

interzum’s initiative is part of a company-wide strategy at Koelnmesse. This sees the company work to consolidate its sustainability activities in the three core action areas of nature, events and community – aspects that it aims to address comprehensively in the future. All measures and ideas are aimed at being a marketplace that allows trade fair operations to be as resource-efficient as possible. Koelnmesse’s ambitious goal is to be climate-neutral by 2035. To achieve this, the company wants to reduce its CO2 emissions, cut resource consumption and increase its use of renewable energies going forward. As a framework for these and a host of other activities, Koelnmesse is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations, which also provide the foundations for Koelnmesse’s future sustainability strategy.

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