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Focus on sustainability: New program at the Frankfurt consumer goods fairs

12 Oct 2021

The fact that products are aesthetically pleasing and trendy alone is no longer enough for an increasing number of consumers today. Sustainability, with all its facets, is now a core global social and economic issue with enormous reach and significance - this is evident both at Messe Frankfurt's consumer goods trade fairs and in the actions of the company itself.

More and more people are becoming more mindful and critical when shopping, are usually well informed and ask about the origin, manufacturing conditions and materials of the products on offer. A growing number of suppliers are adapting to this, and the Frankfurt consumer goods fairs are also further expanding their commitment to sustainability. In addition to the tried-and-tested Special Interest Ethical Style at Ambiente, the three consumer goods fairs Christmasworld, Creativeworld and Paperworld will be offering the Special Interest Sustainability for the first time in the 2022 event year. "Each of our consumer goods fairs has its own aspects and focal points in the area of sustainability. The Special Interests Ethical Style and Sustainability help to make these even more visible. After all, where else but at trade shows can so many companies present their sustainable products to an international audience at the same time?" says Philipp Ferger, Vice President Consumer Goods Fairs.

As a curated selection, Ethical Style and Sustainability draw attention to suppliers who are doing remarkable things in the field of sustainability. Any exhibitor at Ambiente, Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld can apply for the programs in one or more of the six categories. The deadline for applications is November 18, 2021, and an independent jury of international experts will decide which companies and products are included. This is made up of Christina Bocher (DEKRA Assurance Services GmbH), Kees Bronk (CBI, Center for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries), Lutz Dietzold (German Design Council), Max Gilgenmann (expert on textile sustainability criteria), Sabine Meyer (Side by Side, Caritas Wendelstein Werkstätten) and Mimi Sewalski (

Consumer goods fairs and sustainability: practical examples

Ambiente has been addressing the issue of sustainability for years and is now the international trading center for sustainably produced consumer goods with "Ethical Style". Ecologically and socially responsible exhibitors selected by the above-mentioned jury on the basis of their application receive an "Ethical Style" mark in the online exhibitor search as well as a mark on their stand on site. In total, there are six different Ethical Style categories, including resource-saving manufacturing, fair production as well as environmentally friendly materials. In addition, MADE51 is once again participating in Ambiente 2022 as part of a special presentation. The initiative of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) works together with partners from the business community to secure sustainable livelihoods for refugee artisans.

Festive decorations at Christmasworld are becoming noticeably more sustainable. Not only is much greater emphasis being placed on the quality of the products and thus on their longevity. Products are also being produced more frequently in a resource-friendly manner using environmentally friendly materials. Recycling is also gaining in importance: this ranges from ribbons made from organic cotton to vegan candles, Christmas tree stands made from recycled plastic waste, and spectacular light decorations for city centers made from biodegradable sugar cane. In 2022, these products will then be designated with the special interest "Sustainability" for the first time.

Sustainability, environmentally conscious purchasing and ecological action have been important core themes of the stationery industry and thus also of Paperworld for years. In the meantime, manufacturers from all paper, office supplies and stationery segments are increasingly focusing on sustainable and environmentally friendly products and their production. In addition to the "Sustainability" Special Interest, topics relating to sustainability will also be integrated in various ways in the supporting program. In the innovation area "Future of Work", eco-fair purchasing and environmentally friendly solutions for the modern office will be the subject of specialist presentations. In addition, the Sustainable Office Day is moving into the area for the first time. The wide range of lectures on environmentally conscious purchasing will be accompanied by best practice examples from the winners of the "Büro & Umwelt" competition, which will provide concrete solutions for sustainable and environmentally friendly office equipment. As a cooperation partner, the Paperworld team is supported by the Bundesdeutscher Arbeitskreis für Umweltbewusstes Management e.V. (B.A.U.M.) will be on hand as a cooperation partner.

In addition to the "Sustainability" special interest, Creativeworld focuses on the social aspect of sustainability and has been running the "Kreativ hilft" fund-raising campaign for many years. Creativeworld and the Frankfurt Children's Office call on exhibiting companies to donate their creative products to Frankfurt children's and youth facilities for a good cause after the trade show. Most recently, more than 100 manufacturers from Germany and abroad donated materials ranging from A for acrylic paint to F for felt-tip pens and S for stancils. More than 3,000 Frankfurt children and young people benefit from these donations every year.

Sustainable action and business at Messe Frankfurt

As a company, Messe Frankfurt sees it as its duty to integrate sustainability and environmental protection into all processes within the group of companies and to constantly develop them further. The company has switched entirely to green electricity since the 2020 event year and obtains 100 percent of its power supply from renewable sources. This includes the power supply for stands, halls and the grounds at the Frankfurt site. Renewable energy has been a high priority at the exhibition center for years. A total of three photovoltaic systems are currently in operation on the property.

Thousands of cubic meters of stand construction materials and goods move through the halls and grounds during the construction and dismantling of the events. Many tons remain as waste, but only for a short time. This is because around 90 percent of this volume is returned to the materials cycle. In addition, waste advisors are on the road at all events during set-up times to provide information on waste avoidance and disposal. Each exhibitor pays a square meter-dependent environmental contribution. Furthermore, Messe Frankfurt has been the first German trade fair company to participate in the United Nations Global Compact since 2010. The worldwide CSR network is committed to sustainable corporate governance and compliance with the ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, anti-corruption and environmental protection.


Press information and photographic material:

Christmasworld focuses on the busiest and most emotional time of the year, and reflects the ‘point of sale’ experience unlike any other consumer-goods trade fair. This makes it the world’s most important order venue for the international seasonal and festive decoration sector. Held annually in Frankfurt am Main, Christmasworld presents the latest products and trends for Christmas and all other festive occasions. But that’s not all: it also supplies innovative concept ideas for decorating big and outdoor areas for the wholesale and retail trades, shopping malls and city centres. Christmasworld is distinguished by the complete spectrum of seasonal and festive decorations. In 2020, it welcomed 1,063 exhibitors from 47 countries and 42,834 visitors from 128 countries (FKM-verified figures).
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The international trade fair presents the latest products and trends for paper, office supplies and stationery in Frankfurt am Main. Paperworld offers the world's largest range of products for commercial office supplies (visionary office) and private paper and stationery supplies (stationery trends). This makes it a source of innovative business ideas for wholesalers and retailers, booksellers, internet and mail-order businesses and commercial consumers. In addition, the multifaceted complementary programme offers inspiration around the themes of lifestyle trends and Future of Work / New Work for retailers, architects, planners and facility managers. In 2020, Paperworld welcomed 1,591 exhibitors from 69 countries and 30,723 trade visitors from 141 countries.
Further information:

Creativeworld is the world’s leading trade fair for the international hobby, handicrafts and artists’ requisites sector. In 2020, a total of 368 exhibitors from 39 countries made presentations to 9,201 trade visitors from 102 countries (FKM-verified figures). At Creativeworld, exhibitors show their latest products, techniques and materials for decorative crafts, graphic and artists’ requisites, handicrafts, textile design, graffiti, street art and creative hobbies. And, as a trend and business platform, the trade fair is the first important venue of the business year. Creativeworld is the ideal order platform for the wholesale, retail and specialist trades, DIY markets, garden centres, the internet and mail-order trades. With its multi-faceted complementary programme of events, Creativeworld is a source of new ideas, inspiration and expert knowledge.
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Ambiente is the leading international trade fair and the world’s number one in products associated with dining, cooking, household items, furnishings and ornaments, interior design, gifts, jewellery and fashion accessories. In 2020 Ambiente opened a dedicated hall for the hotel, restaurant and catering industry (HoReCa), thus establishing itself as the leading international front of house platform. As a global contract business hotspot Ambiente has a strong emphasis on the international contract market. It is “The Show” for the entire industry. The breadth and width of its unrivalled product range make Ambiente unique throughout the world. Ambiente 2020 featured 4,582 exhibitors from 92 countries, attracted around 101,000 trade visitors from 158 countries and presented classic and innovative products over a period of five days. Moreover, this most important global consumer goods exhibition offers a wide range of industry events, programmes for newcomers, trend presentations and award ceremonies.
Further information:

Nextrade – the digital marketplace
The digital ordering and data management system for suppliers and retailers in the consumer goods industry extends the trade fair and allows orders to be placed at any time of day or night, 365 days a year.

Conzoom Solutions – the platform for retailers
Conzoom Solutions is a knowledge platform that offers the consumer goods industry a wide range of studies, trend presentations, workshops and guidelines for the point of sale. It provides a complete overview of Messe Frankfurt’s international portfolio in the consumer goods sector – bundling a wide range of information for retailers.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
The Messe Frankfurt Group is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Group employs approximately 2,450 people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 29 subsidiaries around the world. The company generated annual sales of approximately €257 million in 2020 after having recorded sales of €736 million the previous year. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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