As THE event for the built environment, Futurebuild is committed to delivering a considerate event. Under new ownership since 2017, the Futurebuild Events team have been keen to build on the heritage and reputation Futurebuild, formally ecobuild, has for promoting sustainability in the built environment.
Sustainability at Futurebuild
In preparation for the 2018 event, we partnered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme and became the first event in the industry to work to their Event Code of Considerate Practice. As an event, we followed these guidelines, and also encouraged our exhibitors to sign up to them - you can download a copy of the Considerate Constructors Scheme Event Code of Considerate Practice here.
As a business we were keen to work on developing this further for Futurebuild 2019 and deliver our most sustainable and considerate event to date. To enable us to do this, we identified the following key areas to focus on during the planning of the 2019 event.
Click the boxes below to find out more:
Reduce the quantity of materials that were produced for the event
- From our registration build & desks, to seminar features and workshops, we reduced the amount of bespoke design and build by working closely with GES, ensuring that these items could be reused by another exhibition organiser.
- In order to reduce our paper and waste use, we cut back on printed copies of the 2019 Event Guide and Pocket Planners, encouraging visitors to use digital versions and the website where possible.
- By working with LiveBuzz, our registration agent, we were able to provide visitors to the event with recycled badge holders. We encouraged visitors to recycle these badge holders after their visit, so we will continue to use for the 2020 event.
Reduce waste generated by the event
- Carpet: As one of the single biggest pieces of waste materials generated by exhibitions, we were keen to reduce this for Futurebuild 2019 - the Waste Zone for example wasn't carpeted and large carpet tiles were used in relevant areas. Carpet tiles are reused by GES up to 100 times more than bringing in new tiles.
- Graphics: The only bespoke items created for show features, we used the materials with the most sustainable qualities for this element:
- 100% recycled foamex for graphics on seminars & workshops
- 100% recycled reboard for free standing timetables
- Terra Opaq material for hanging banners
- Vinyl cut outs applied to seminar screen surrounds
- Gem Fit 2.0 system for seminar & registration walling/ graphics
- Exhibitor stand: We worked closely with our exhibitors, BEIS, Clean Growth & Business Sweden offering them stand build solutions from our existing shell scheme system as opposed to bespoke builds, allowing both our clients and us to provide a more sustainable solution. This solution has a 25 year shelf life and if damaged is recycled.
- Paper items: Both the onsite Event Guide and Pocket Planners were printed on recycled paper and FSC certified.
- Catering: By working closely with ExCeL Hospitality, we were able to introduce a zero-waste restaurant in the hall, providing prepared and plated food in an onsite kitchen, reducing packaging waste, as well as substituting disposable cutlery & plates for china and silverware. Additional cafe's provided items in compostable packaging. Any surplus food from the in hall catering outlets was donated to local Community Food Enterprise scheme operating in the London Borough of Newham. Food waste was composted in the venue’s onsite wormery.
Supplier appointment: We choose and work with our suppliers not only on the basis of their product/ service but also on their company approach to sustainability. We are proud to have partnered with GES, the first and only global full-service events provider to earn both APEX/ASTM Level 2 Certification in the US and ISO 20121 in the UK. You can view more details on their CSR policy here.
We are committed to creating a healthy & happy working environment for all event participants, and implemented the following measures at Futurebuild 2019:
- Increased break out areas for visitors and exhibitors at the event.
- By working with our partners, ICE and Zip, we were able to provide free water refill stations throughout the event.
- We issued all exhibitors with guidelines on how they could incorporate the Considerate Constructors Scheme Event Code of Considerate Practice into their plans for Futurebuild 2019.
- By partnering with ACO, we were able to film and record key seminar sessions from the event, which were then posted onto the Colab website, giving our non-attending registrants the opportunity to view the content and gain CPD.
- Promoting #weloveconstruction helping to improve the public’s perception of the construction industry.
- We increased the space and resource dedicated to an enhanced programme around Waste and Circular Economy.
- Continuing commitment to encourage diversity at the event, through 50/50 gender split on speaker panels, representation of a range of ages on the panel and not encouraging "promo people" to be employed at the event.
Sustainability at ExCeL
- There are four water refill stations located by the East and West Entrances at ExCeL, as well as by halls S4 and S7
- If you bring a reusable cup, visitors at ExCeL can enjoy discounts on hot drinks at a wide variety of places within the venue. Click here to find out more.
- As a leader in sustainability, visit the ExCeL website to find out more about what they are doing to ensure a sustainable future for events.
To ensure that Futurebuild lives on after the exhibition takes place, we have collaborated with the following projects (click the images to find out more):
Started by Bill Dunster, OBE, and Rani King, MBE, the ZEDgeneration initiative, enabled sixth form students to learn vital construction skills while building affordable, energy-efficient, multi-occupancy homes. The prototype displayed at Futurebuild in March 2019 was erected on a disused garage plot in Southend after the event.
Encouraging attendees to Futurebuild to pledge to the UN Sustainability Development Goals via event partner, Bioregional.
Looking forward to 2020
The Futurebuild team will focus on the following areas so that we challenge ourselves and partners to deliver the most sustainable and considerate event possible:
- Improving the wellbeing of contractors onsite by offering dedicated break areas with complimentary water during build up & breakdown.
- Working more proactively with exhibitors to reduce exhibitor waste.
- Further reducing our large scale and small scale printed materials.
- Committing to zero to landfill for all feature builds and organiser signage.