In 2011 Scan On Show, a partnership between Scan Display, On Show Solutions and Tau Management, was awarded the tender to manage Meetings Africa, South African Tourism's annual business tourism exhibition.
One of the changes that Scan On Show immediately introduced to the exhibition was the inclusion of event greening strategies. Last year this resulted in the purchase of renewable energy, eco-procurement principles and the conducting of an independent eco-audit. This year the team built on this foundation by including the following:
- All stand builders were charged a R500 Green Stand Deposit - an initiative undertaken by the Event Greening Forum on Scan On Show's behalf;
- The exhibitor briefings and exhibitor manual urged exhibitors to embrace event greening strategies, and acknowledged those who did so successfully through the Green Stand Awards;
- Water coolers made tap water available throughout the venue. This was in conjunction with a communication campaign around why drinking tap water is (a) safe and (b) 'greener' than drinking bottled water;
- A lanyard tree was set up to collect visitor and exhibitor lanyards after the show. These will be crafted into new products by the Soweto Sewing Company;
- The Event Greening Forum stand communicated the show's event greening strategies to interested visitors and exhibitors;
- All the recycling was sorted and weighed on site for more accurate readings for the eco-audit.
Says Justin Hawes, MD of Scan Display and a director of Scan On Show: "All of the parties involved in this project – the organisers, Scan On Show, the client, South African Tourism, and our suppliers - are committed to improving the sustainability of this event. We believe this has not only direct positive benefits for the environment, but also encourages us to be more creative in planning how we do things, and more efficient in how we use our resources."
The results of the 2012 eco-audit will be available in the next month. However Scan On Show has already confirmed that the amount of waste to landfill was reduced from 39% last year to 26% this year – almost reaching the target of 25%. All other waste from the event was reused or recycled.