IEG among leaders to obtain ISO 20121 certification, with Ecomondo and Rimini and Vicenza venues certified

Italian Exhibition Group has certified the Rimini and Vicenza expo centres with ISO 20121 and the organisation of Ecomondo – for 25 years the European expo for the circular economy – and, at the beginning of 2023, the procedure will also be extended to Rimini’s Palacongressi conference centre. The certification was obtained thanks to the consultation of the Hera Group

Italian Exhibition Group (IEG), which has increased its sustainable expo events is among the sector’s first companies at European level to have added ISO 20121 certification to its list of achievements in the field of environmental safety, health protection and sustainability.

The process of environmental sustainability began a long time ago at Palacongressi, on the inauguration day of the new Expo Centre in 2001. Starting with the Elca international Building with Green acknowledgement in Nuremberg, IEG went on to achieve ISO 14001 Environment certification, ISO 450001 occupational health and safety and GBAC Star accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council.

The Hera Group consulted on the strategic certification. The group is one of Italy’s major multi-utilities managing environmental, water and energy services for approximately five million Italians.

During the certification process, begun in March 2022 and particularly complex for a company structured like IEG, the Hera Group provided its support on the various documentary, management, organisation and operational aspects, to complete the process necessary for obtaining ISO 20121 under the profile of environmental, economic and social sustainability.

The best practices introduced with the planning of the Ecomondo event included that regarding the elimination  of carpet in the halls’ indoor corridors, with an annual environmental saving of over 140 tons of carpet and an increase of recharging stations for electric cars.

The expo centre has 1,500 trees and bushes irrigated by surface water-bearing strata, illumination in the halls is favoured by 850 LED lighting fixtures, which save emission of 120 tons of Co2 annually and 360.000 Kwh of consumption. The photovoltaic systems ensure the production of 8.5 million Kwh of clean energy, equal to that necessary to ensure the Italian facilities are self-sufficient. The recovery of water saves 23 million litres and all the fountains recycle the water they use. The underground ‘ice bank’ contributes to cooling the venues, halving consumption. The on-site railway station is used by 20% of the visitors and reduces traffic flow; there are 7 recharging columns for electric cars and motorbikes and this number will soon be doubled.

IEG CEO Corrado Peraboni says: “With this important certification, we have given concrete form to the objectives for sustainable development of the Agenda 2030, principles that are in line with the values of IEG and at the base of our corporate policy.  In recent years, acknowledgements and best practices have also generated virtuous behaviour among our hundreds of thousands of international visitors, but ISO 20121 represents a further step forward, a tangible contribution to the process of cultural change, taking the form of behaviour necessary for protecting the planet.”