German trade fair industry to become Climate-Neutral by 2040

Photovoltaics on exhibition hall roofs  РPhoto: Messe Munich / Paul Gerhard Loske


The German trade fair industry will become climate-neutral by 2040. By 2025 at the latest, German trade fairs will supply themselves with 100 percent green power. As early as next year, the German trade fair industry will make sustainability a requirement in tenders with its industry partners. These three and six other goals were set by the 69 organizers, associations and hosts of trade fairs in Germany organized in the umbrella organization of the German trade fair industry AUMA at their recent annual conference in Berlin. The realization has started yet. It is a joint process that will be continuously developed. The accomplishments will be surveyed regularly.

Philip Harting, Chairman of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry AUMA: “Trade fairs are part of the solution on the way to a climate-neutral economy. Trade fairs are the meeting places where industry partners, as problem solvers, jointly pave the way to a sustainable future. Our trade fair venues have been working for years to become increasingly sustainable. Now we are setting industry-wide sustainability standards for our sector of the economy. The principle of avoidance before reduction before compensation applies. In order to remain attractive as the meeting places for the problem solvers of our time, we are tackling this major task in an extremely tense economic situation for our industry after almost two years of a trade fair ban.”

Even in the past two years without trade fairs, the trade fair companies invested around 150 million Euro, including the modernization of hall lighting and the expansion of e-mobility. German trade fair companies alone plan to invest more than 450 million Euro in refurbishment and modernization over the next three years. Further investments are expected from exhibitors, stand builders and service partners.

Also, part of the industry agreement: In trade fair stand construction, a portfolio for sustainable stands is to be available in the future. An incentive system for exhibitors to opt for reusable stands is also to be developed. The economical use of water, the further greening of trade fair sites, the reduction of CO2 emissions through the bundling of trade fair logistics and improved travel options to and from trade fairs by public transport are further points, as are a greater range of organic products in catering and the avoidance of food waste.

The target agreement has been developed under the leadership of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) since fall 2021 with more than 30 experts from trade fair companies and associations. The industry paper also builds on the results of several workshops and member surveys. AUMA’s Executive Board has unanimously approved the paper.

AUMA is the association of the German trade fair industry: nationally and internationally, it represents the interests of 69 members. These include all large and medium-sized trade fair companies in Germany as well as associations representing exhibitors, service companies and visitors.