«Mobility is still one of the big drivers of climate change today. We can only change that if we question our beliefs. Is it really always the best idea to use a vehicle weighing two tons to transport 70 kilograms of human over a distance of less than five kilometers, regardless of its propulsion system? There are so many effective and immediately seizable opportunities for more climate-friendly mobility. That's why, as a partner, we expressly welcome the fact that the IAA is taking the high social good of mobility further and setting new standards with the open trade fair concept as well as concrete measures such as the Blue Lane», says Stephen Neff, CEO of myclimate.
This year, for the first time, the IAA Mobility is transforming itself from a pure car show to an international mobility platform with four pillars: the Summit, the Conference, the Blue Lane and the inner-city Open Space. Under the motto «What will move us next», it stands for the digital and climate-neutral mobility of the future. The focus is on opportunities for networked, smart and multimodal mobility. It also shows how the exhibitors' presentations in the Open Space can be designed to be CO2-neutral in balance sheet terms. The specifications for the presentation in the Open Space of all exhibitors are based on innovative and sustainable mobility concepts. For the calculation and compensation of emissions, IAA Mobility has found an experienced partner for effective climate protection in myclimate.
«It is unusual for participants to be asked about their emissions in the run-up to the trade fair.» Harald Rettich of myclimate, who is calculating the greenhouse gas emissions for each exhibitor's appearance in Munich for IAA Mobility 2021, knows that the topic is still uncharted territory for many partners. «This is not yet common in the trade show industry. Some exhibitors and stand builders were surprised to learn that they have to take CO2 emissions into account in their planning», says the Team Leader Corporate Partnerships Manager at myclimate, IAA Mobility's partner for effective climate protection.
All exhibitors in the Open Space commit themselves to making their trade show appearance balance CO2-neutral. The Open Space is located in the heart of Munich; where the innovative mobility of the future will be lived – for example at Wittelsbacherplatz and Königsplatz, at Max-Joseph-Platz and the Residenzhöfe. Test drives with various vehicles are planned here. Entertainment and dialog will be at the forefront of the presentation of new mobility solutions. What visitors see here, they can also try out right away – on test lanes for micromobility or the Blue Lane. As an environmental lane, which may only be used in a climate-neutral manner or as a group of at least three people, it connects the trade fair center with the open space in the middle of Munich.
No two trade show appearances are alike – not even when it comes to the CO2 footprint.
How does one approach such a mammoth task as CO2-neutral trade fair appearances? First, the exhibitors' plans are queried and their greenhouse gas emissions are calculated on the basis of special parameters and converted into CO2 equivalents (CO₂e). Important factors include, for example, stand size, cooling or heating, materials for the stand, transport to the site, the amount of waste the stand will produce, or the travel route of the stand builders and stand supervisors to the venue.
Harald Rettich of myclimate says, «Some exhibitors fly in a car to showcase, others bring a bike to the show by train - that has a different impact on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions the exhibitor produces.» There is no benchmark for how many emissions an exhibit booth produces on average, Rettich explains, adding, «Every trade show is different.» It depends, for example, on the materials used – whether they are reusable or not. The question of how recycling is done can also increase or decrease the carbon footprint.
CO2-neutral with the help of CO2 offsetting.
To ensure that the IAA's CO2 footprint is ultimately zero in balance sheet terms, all emissions generated are offset by carbon offset projects financed by exhibitors' donations. Exhibitors can choose from myclimate projects with ten different technologies. Biogas, solar or composting are among the choices. Or cooking ovens, recycling plants as well as reforestation projects, for example. The CO2 emissions are offset in the high-quality myclimate carbon offset projects, which meet the highest standards (Gold Standard, Plan Vivo) and, in addition to reducing greenhouse gases, demonstrably make a positive contribution to sustainable development locally and regionally. myclimate carbon offset projects thus contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. While the balance CO2-neutral presentation is obligatory in the Open Space, it is optional on the exhibition grounds, the Summit. In the sense of a climate-friendly overall presentation, myclimate and IAA Mobility recommend that exhibitors also make their presentation there balance CO2-neutral.