Taras Verkhoglyad
Sales Development Representative, Arloid Automation

Sustainability for Expo Centres – Why it Matters

Expo centres are places where conversations start. Across the world, expos help people come together as businesses, industries, and nations to discuss the latest innovations, share achievements, and plan for the future. Now more than ever, we need a sustainable stage for these events – to align our environmental values, and ensure the conversation is green.

Arloid works with expo centres globally to optimise HVAC systems via cutting-edge AI. Our technology adapts to the specific needs of exhibitions buildings, ensuring building managers can continually harness the power of optimum performance, and enhanced energy efficiency.

In this article, we outline the importance of sustainability for expos, and some expert tips for making improvements.

Importance of Sustainable Events and Expo Centres

At sustainable expos, people gather together under a common purpose or field of interest, make connections, and find solutions to the challenges facing humanity. With climate catastrophe looming, we need them more than ever. And, from conferences to trade shows to global expo events, placing an emphasis on sustainability can offer a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting event organisers. Increasingly, attendees and exhibitors alike are demanding sustainability – and the venues that fail to foster it may find themselves left behind.

Ultimately, the importance of sustainable expo comes down to three key points.

  • Environmental Impact – All of us have a stake in our planet’s future, and expo centres can take steps today to reduce the impact of their building. By fostering more eco-friendly practices during your event, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint, and paving the way for a sustainable events industry.
  • Attract Conscious Global Audience & Brands – As discussed, many organisers and attendees are seeking venues that put sustainability first. To ensure you attract the events and exhibitions where the planet is a key concern, you’ll need to take steps to reduce your impact before it’s too late.
  • Create Conversation – Fruitful connections between attendees and exhibitors – that’s at the heart of any expo event. By focusing on sustainability, you’ll be cultivating an environment where the right conversations happen. And doing so starts with digging deep into your planetary impact.

How to Make Expo Centres More Sustainable

There are a number of ways to make your expo centre more environmentally friendly. Above all, it comes down to cultivating a sustainable ethos throughout your organisation, and ensuring every decision is made with the planet in mind.

Generate Renewable Energy

If you have the budget for it, investing in the equipment necessary for own power generation will dramatically reduce or even eradicate your reliance on carbon-derived energy. At the Dubai Expo 2020, for example, the event utilised renewable energy systems with a combined capacity of 5.5 megawatts across all permanent building work. Together, these systems generated the equivalent amount of energy required to take 180,000 round trips from downtown Dubai to the Corniche in Abu Dhabi – a distance of around 300 km.

Improve Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of the building fabric is integral to expo sustainability. If you’re seeing significant energy wastage across the site, it might be worthwhile updating old computers and equipment for newer models with better efficiency, and improving insulation in roof spaces, cavities, and addressing draughts. If you haven’t already, installing LED lights and double-glazing throughout the building is also an easy way to see a tangible improvement. Even something as simple as maintaining and cleaning HVAC systems with greater rigour can revolutionise your efficiency.

Create Clean Supply Chain

For your expo centre to truly reduce its impact, sustainability should be ingrained in your procurement processes, and encouraged in all your attendees. At every decision-making point, you should evaluate the options in line with a strict set of best practices – from the food and beverage options you source to the materials used to build exhibitions stands to the service providers you work with. By becoming a responsible decision maker and ensuring suppliers adhere to strict environmental requirements, you will be a champion for positive change in the events sector.

Facilitate Greener Attendance

A number of emissions generated by expo buildings are not directly controllable; they come via your attendees. Despite this, there are things you can do to encourage greener attendance. For example, you could improve public transport links and cycling infrastructure so people can leave their cars at home. Or, better yet, why not facilitate virtual attendance using virtual reality, webinars, and more? Not only will this minimise the amount of emissions-generating travel required for your event to take place, but it will open up the conversation to a wider group of people who couldn’t otherwise attend in person.

Reduce Waste

Expo centres have a tendency to generate a lot of waste over the course of the event. Much of this comes from packaging, single-use plastic, and food. So, what can be done? Consider offering reusable drinks containers rather than plastic cups and bottles. When it comes to catering, plan food production more responsibly, and send any unavoidable edible food waste to homeless shelters, food banks, or even animal food producers. Finally, implement an effective waste management scheme, with clear instructions for recycling across the event site so people can quickly and easily deal with their waste in the most sustainable way.

Optimise HVAC

HVAC can be a significant source of carbon emissions for expo buildings, but creating a pleasant internal environment is key to attendee satisfaction. Optimising your HVAC system can have benefits for occupant comfort and energy efficiency, but doing so isn’t always easy. For starters, expo buildings have a number of challenges to overcome, including regularly changing occupancy levels and a range of different rooms types from large auditoriums to kitchens to storage rooms and more. Add to that the fact that manual scheduling and legacy data is wholly insufficient to the task, and it is clear that the industry requires an alternative solution. A solution that works proactively, using live data in real time to optimise conditions. A solution that zones the building into distinct microclimates, offering more nuanced HVAC control. A solution capable of reducing emissions and energy spend by up to 40% in just 60 days – all with zero capex. Say hello to our AI.

Cut Expo Emissions and Optimise HVAC with Pioneering AI Technology

Arloid is behind some of the world’s most advanced AI for HVAC optimisation. We work with businesses and building managers across the globe, deploying a smart solution that delivers real impact – for your finances, and the planet. To learn more about how our AI can enhance the sustainability of your expo centre, talk to us today.

Read next: How AI is Enhancing Expo & Exhibitions

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