Trade fairs are part of the solution on the way to a sustainable economy

The position of the German trade fair industry on environmental sustainability

In summer 2022, the trade fair industry in Germany adopted industry-wide standards for environmental sustainability for the first time. The aim is to achieve climate neutrality by 2040, with milestones such as switching to 100 percent green electricity by 2025 paving the way forward. The industry position was further developed in the winter of 2023.

Future-oriented business and socially responsible action go hand in hand: The German trade fair industry is pushing towards climate neutrality.

The German trade fair industry comprises numerous players who have an influence across different areas of the industry: Site operators, trade fair organizers, exhibitors, visitors and service partners are just some of those involved. We will all work together responsibly to achieve the goals we have set ourselves and to continuously improve and expand them in line with social, political and industry requirements. We will monitor and report on our achievements on a regular basis. We have developed an industry positioning with nine building blocks and thus opened the door to a process that we will continue to develop and improve.

Trade fairs are part of the solution on our path to a climate neutral economy.

Trade fairs are marketplaces for companies worldwide to exchange products and services, but also to enter into new collaborations and market innovations. Trade fairs are meeting places where industry partners work together as problem solvers to pave the way to a sustainable future. Trade fairs function as think tanks where working on economic solutions to combat the climate crisis can be facilitated. In short: trade fairs are part of the solution on the way to a climate-neutral economy.

The German trade fair industry fully supports the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Building on the many existing climate protection measures of the varying players in the trade fair industry, we as an industry want to make our contribution to achieving the climate targets. In doing so, we act according to the principle of "avoid before reduce before offset".

The German trade fair industry is also committed to the sustainability goals of the United Nations as a guideline for its own business practices and has pledged to implement the following measures as a first step:

The Main Goal: Climate Neutrality

  • We are continuously reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The German trade fair industry is climate-neutral by 2040.


  • We make product- and service-specific sustainability criteria an integral part of our procurement processes.  
  • We work towards compliance with these criteria throughout our supply chains.


  • Together with our catering partners, we are expanding the use of regional, seasonal, and organic products in catering for customers and employees.  
  • The German trade fair industry is committed to avoiding food waste. The industry enters into agreements with its catering partners to continuously evaluate the offers for food and beverage, keeping them in line with demand.


  • We are continuously working to improve the management and bundling of logistics traffic near trade fairs. We use intelligent logistics systems to optimize this traffic volume.
  • The German trade fair industry is also pursuing the decarbonization of its location-based logistics vehicle fleets.

Exhibition Stand Construction

  • We see trade fair stands as a business card for exhibiting companies that serve to present innovations and brand worlds.
  • The German trade fair industry will develop a portfolio for sustainable trade fair stands and actively offer them to its exhibiting companies. It will also create an incentive system for exhibiting companies to opt for sustainable, reusable exhibition stands.  

Green Electricity

  • We are driving forward the expansion of renewable energies. We are consistently working towards replacing fossil fuels with district heating and renewable energies in our business processes. As well as defining specific energy-saving targets for our companies.
  • The German trade fair industry will be using 100 percent green electricity by 2025.


  • Together with our partners, in particular public transport companies, we will create offers for low-emission or emission-neutral travel to and from our events.
  • The German trade fair industry will expand the charging infrastructure for electromobility at its trade fair venues.


  • We use water as sparingly as possible and use the latest water-saving technology in our companies.
  • We continue to expand the greening of our exhibition grounds and buildings in relation to the usable open space, in particular to store rainwater and improve air quality.

Recyclable Materials

  • We are committed to the efficient use of recyclable materials and the use of reusable materials.
  • The German trade fair industry is committed to working consistently to reduce waste volumes.

December 2023

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