Posted by


Christian Druart


Secretary of the UFI Sustainable Development Committee


One of the objections I often hear from companies who have expressed interest in a sustainable development policy is the difficulty of getting started.


I asked four of the speakers of the 2012 UFI Best Sustainable Development Strategy award competition to share their advice on where to begin. All four will be presenting at this year’s UFI Focus Meeting on Sustainable Development in Hamburg, . Here are their responses.


Barbara Weizsäcker, Director of Public Affairs for Messe Frankfurt GmbH said a corporation needs to extend its vision beyond its immediate business environment and assess its strengths and weaknesses, define realistic goals and adopt sustainability as an integral aspect of their business.


Nik Rudge, Managing Director of UBM Amsterdam said that for most companies the resources needed to implement a sustainable develop strategy already exist. While it’s important to obtain commitment from senior and mid-level management, the best ideas often come bottom up so it is important to include everyone in the development of a workable strategy.


Anne Lafėre, General Manager Exhibitions for Belgium Based ARTEXIS, shared five key points which include: getting senior management support, involving people from all levels of the corporation, accepting the Pareto Principle (80% of results come from 20% of the actions), collaborating with stakeholders and making the initiative fun.


Denise Capello, Business Development Manager, Amsterdam RAI (The Netherlands), answered my question with a great piece of practical advice. “Just begin with small steps by using common sense, like you would do in your own home. Once you’ve started with sustainability you will become more and more eager to improve and think of new solutions, since there is definitely a fun factor in sustainability!” Her presentation at our Focus meeting titled, “Our influence on society and the environment,” is more relevant than ever”


If you haven’t registered to attend this year’s focus meeting, there is still time.


Follow the discussions at #ufihamburg.