Barcelona 27 Feb - 2 Mar 2017

Environmental Initiatives

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MWC is the World’s Largest Carbon Neutral Trade Show

Since 2008, the GSMA has been committed to reducing the impact of our business on the environment, both in our offices and at our events. In particular, Mobile World Congress focuses heavily on reducing waste in printed materials, encouraging re-use and recycling of materials, utilising electronic tools and recycling event waste. We work closely with Fira Barcelona, exhibitors and local partners to minimise the impact our event has on the environment.

The objectives of our Carbon Neutrality programme are simple:

  • We will contribute to the preservation of the environment by reducing our emissions and waste
  • We will educate our attendees about our goals and encourage them to be green along with us
  • We will continually identify new and additional opportunities to reduce our event’s environmental impact
  • We will continue to work actively with our suppliers and products wherever possible to minimise our impact on the environment

We also work closely with Barcelona and Hospitalet City Council, Fira Barcelona, exhibitors and local partners to minimise the impact our event has on the environment. Achievements include:

Biosphere Responsible Tourism

  • Since 2011 Barcelona has held the Biosphere responsible tourism certificate, in line with the international criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
  • Fira Gran Via has a Photovoltaic roof consisting of more than 18,000 solar panels, which are able to generate almost 5 Gwh of renewable energy each year.

What We’ve Done

You’ll see signs of our Carbon Neutral programme around the venue; food outlets offer recycled and compostable service items, all event publications are presented on recycled paper, and event bags and badge lanyards are made from recycled plastic bottles.

But we’ve made other efforts that might not be immediately visible:

  • Recognised as the largest carbon neutral trade show by the Guinness World Records in 2015 and 2016 
  • In collaboration with Barcelona City Council, we recovered over 150 furniture items and over 6 tonnes of build material collected from exhibitors and donated to local socially responsible entities in 2016 as part of our Donation Room initiative
  • Our Media Centre is entirely paper-free; all materials for the press are presented electronically
  • Event technology offerings such as our mobile app and digital signage means we are able to print fewer exhibition catalogues and maps
  • The GSMA Stand is entirely paper free
  • We reuse or recycle all hall and walkway carpeting after the event into Solid Recovered Fuel. This reduces our carbon emissions by 240 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to enough carbon to charge approximately 228,000 smart phones for 2 hours every day for a full year
  • The Green Stand Award encouraged exhibitors to build environmentally responsible stands. You can see last year’s results by clicking here

What We Will Be Doing In 2017

Building on our achievements at MWC 2016 here is what we will be doing next year:

  • We offer an environmental webinar titled Together for a sustainable MWC 17 hosted by our environmental consultants Factor CO2 to teach our exhibitors best practices and provide them with useful tips to reduce the carbon footprint of their stands
  • The Green Stand Initiative will provide 30 free carbon footprint studies to space only exhibitors on a first come, first serve basis.  This will replace the Green Stand Award and will provide us with more accurate data for the event carbon footprint study. All data will be confidential
  • We will extend our collaboration to include both Barcelona and Hospitalet City Councils in this year’s Donation Room initiative
  • GSMA will create the MWC green working group with our exhibitors or their respective corporate social responsibility departments to brainstorm ideas, improvements and increase engagement in the environmental programme

For more information on participation please contact sustainability@gsma.com.

What You Can Do

There are many ways you can be ‘green’ at the event. Besides the obvious, we encourage attendees to do the following:

  • Download the event app to take advantage of our digital mapping tools and exhibitor listings
  • Take public transportation using the provided Free Transport Pass. FGC trains and the Metro speed you through the city faster than taxis, and fewer cars on the roads help reduce air pollution in Barcelona. The new Metro L9 makes this more convenient than ever before
  • Donate any unwanted items to this year’s donation room
  • Participate in the MWC green working group and webinar
  • Sign up for your free carbon footprint study