FESPA to deliver sustainable Global Print Expo exhibition in Amsterdam

The head of the FESPA Amsterdam exhibition has confirmed the event has reduced the carbon footprint of its feature builds by 90 per cent, compared to traditional build materials by introducing sustainable initiatives.

In an exclusive interview, head of FESPA Global Print Expo, Michael Ryan, told Sprinter that there are a number of initiatives that have been introduced for this year’s event.

“This year we are working on a number of initiatives to make our events as sustainable as possible. Overall, we will have reduced the carbon footprint of our stands by approximately 90 per cent savings compared to previous non-sustainable initiatives used for exhibitions,” Ryan said.

“We are also asking our exhibitors to repurpose their print where possible and think about what it is they are printing. We have to do that – and we must do that. We know how much it costs to print on various substrates during an exhibition. For example, we are encouraging exhibitors to print for education purposes or another opportunity.

“The vast majority of the signage used for FESPA Amsterdam is recyclable cardboard product that goes straight into recycling. We are working with Dutch company ProBo to also recycle our banners this year as well into a material known as Sign Again.

“We also have four recycling bins for exhibitor’s dump bins – and we are working with BeLight as well as Agfa and Kongsberg to assist with this.

“We are also working with Reboard as much as possible for the various activation spaces throughout FESPA including Club FESPA, and Sustainability Spotlight feature events, while Personalisation Make Wear and World Wrap Masters stands are built from the largely reusable BeMatrix system, delivered by local partner Van Straaten to minimise impact from transport.

“Additionally, the Netherlands has implemented a ban on single-use plastics. The Amsterdam RAI venue has several initiatives to manage the impact of events, including water refill points for attendees to top up their drinking water. FESPA is implementing the ISO 20121 sustainable events management system, which will see us measure energy and waste to ensure reduced negative impacts, in a process of continual improvement.

“When we look at the post-Covid world – it is a completely different place, but we have been encouraged by the support at the exhibition. This year we have 525 exhibitors at the Amsterdam exhibition, and this is the largest event we have held in this four year cycle, and a similar number of exhibitors as last year in Munich.

“I have noticed a stronger focus on textile printing this year and there are many of the traditional screen-printing companies exhibiting as well as several hybrid technologies. There will be a lot of new finishing solutions and applications introduced to address the challenges faced with bottlenecks in production. New software solutions will be announced and we also expect to see a higher level of automation revealed this year. We are also noticing a lot of Direct To Film exhibitors as well. We have 90 exhibitors this year in Halls 11 and 12 focused on textiles and sportswear applications as well as garment decoration. A number of key sporting brands like Nike, Adidas and Puma regularly attend FESPA as well as a number of high-profile brands in the fashion industry.

“We will be using two entrances at the RAI Amsterdam. Entrance K will be more focused on signage and wide format, while Entrance C will be predominantly textile printing and screen printing – however, there will be some cross-over between areas of the exhibition.

“I know there are several global launches planned for FESPA Amsterdam introducing the latest innovation and technology from the major manufacturers. I can’t wait to walk the halls on day one to see what is unveiled.”

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