SUSTAINABILITY & DIVERSITY
Our values in action
SUSTAINABILITY & DIVERSITY. OUR VALUES IN ACTION.
Together with Smart City Expo we’ve been working for years towards creating efficient and sustainable cities that leave no one behind, and we’re proud to say that Fira Barcelona has obtained ISO 14001 certification, the most widely recognized international standard in the field of environmental management.
For more than a decade, we’ve attracted the most disruptive brands and voices to influence what’s next in urban planning and smart urban solutions around the world – to build more participatory, fairer, and greener cities together.
So we as an event should naturally lead by example by integrating diversity and sustainability into everything we do, making sure that everyone feels represented and has a voice here.
We’re proud to share the best practices we’ve been putting in place to reduce our environmental footprint, enhance equity, and promote green consciousness.
We’re excited to build upon the success of previous years, while also introducing new initiatives to deliver the best version of our event.
Circularity. Everything gets a second life
We strive to be smart and sustainable by design, and we’re thrilled to see how exhibitors build up their stands with a circular mindset to reduce the high environmental impact of their participation at the event. In 2022, we recognized GZM Metropolis (Poland) with the Green Exhibitor Award for minimizing their carbon footprint, and using fewer and recycled materials in the design, construction, use and dismantling of their booth. Thanks for your efforts!
No single-use plastics. Less paper. Tons of recycling
Four years ago we got drastic with plastic and said goodbye to all single-use plastics in the whole venue. We even set up water fountains so attendees can refill reusable bottles for free. In 2022, this helped us save 1,714kg of plastic waste.
In addition, containers for separating waste are always distributed throughout both halls of the event, with dedicated volunteers on hand to help visitors. Last year saw 2,414kg of selective collection of waste.
We also try to reduce paper usage, so we exclusively use the event app for all the event information – and we encourage exhibitors to provide digital information and avoid printing, too! Overall, these efforts saved 7,963kg of waste production last year.
All the (green) power
to the venue
Our venue has one of the biggest rooftop photovoltaic plants in the world, with 25,947 panels over an area of 135,000 m2 that generate 5.86 GWh of electricity per year, avoiding the emission of 2,200+ tons of CO2. Moreover, Fira de Barcelona has become a pioneer in Spain by furnishing an entire venue with IoT technology to optimize energy consumption. We’ve also installed low-consumption lighting systems.
Plant some trees, help the planet breathe
Year after year we team up with Plant for the Planet to support reforestation initiatives and raise awareness around the global climate emergency. Money collected from attendees’ donations and merch sold has resulted in thousands of new trees. Last year, donations went to the Planting for Doñana reforestation project. Doñana is one of Spain’s most emblematic biodiversity hot spots, and one of the most important protected natural areas in Europe.
In parallel, all CO2 emissions generated by the event are offset by buying Verified Emission Reduction Carbon Credits for sustainable projects. Attendees are given the option to do the same with the emissions linked to their journey and their stay in Barcelona. Last year, 199.99 tons of CO2 were offset.
Full accessibility ensured
We’ve also partnered up with Navilens to implement an accessibility and guidance system for the visually impaired. Labels are set on fixed venue elements which, through an app installed on a mobile phone, provide visitors with voice instructions.
In addition, dedicated prayer rooms adapted to all needs are available in the venue.
A congress empowering diversity
Last but not least, our conference program includes specific sessions about gender inclusivity, equality, accessibility, barrier-free design, and green urbanism. Key topics for making cities – and events – a better place for all. By celebrating the event’s diversity, we can become a positive force of inclusion and look to drive social change.
Working together, a positive impact will spread within the 3-day event and far beyond.
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