A global events business is not, on its face, the most environmentally friendly operation. With lots of travel, big offices and convention centers to heat, light and carpet, UBM consumes a lot of resources. But we don’t take it lightly. We have some of the most sustainability practices in the industry - from our own offices and events to how we support our customers’ efforts to do the right thing.
We’ve started, for example, sustainability audits at all our major events. Just like in a financial audit, sustainability audits establish standards and make sure we commit to them, working in partnership with our venues. We look for things like:
Use of recycling bins
Thoughtful use of carpeting. It had become a norm at big events to carpet as much space as possible and throw the carpet away after the event. Instead, UBM increasingly looks to lay carpet only where it’s truly needed and aims to re-use as much as possible.
Water dispensers which allow attendees to bring and fill their own water bottles instead of buying and throwing out plastic bottles
Use of recycled and recyclable paper and booth materials
Reduced use of printed guides and show materials in favor of apps and touch screens.
UBM’s offices, too, are set up to reduce the use of environmental resources. We prioritize office space built to optimize energy efficiency. Our office in London, for example, has shades that automatically raise and lower to keep internal temperatures steady. Many offices are equipped with mugs and glasses rather than paper or plastic cups. Motion detectors turn off lights when rooms aren’t used. All staff can see regular reports showing whether their office has increased or decreased energy use over time and where their location stands relative to others - it’s gamification, using transparency and competitive spirit to encourage employees to switch off lights and computers whenever possible.
Of course, our customers - our exhibitors and attendees - are our biggest assets in sustainability. The multiply the effect. UBM supports their work with educational pieces like this shareable infographic from our Hong Kong office:
An Events First business has an economic cost, but one UBM consciously and purposefully manages.
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