Megan Gell
Jun 24, 2019

MWC Shanghai gears up for most sustainable edition yet

Sustainable suppliers, incentivising green booths and donating unwanted electronics are just a few reasons MWC Shanghai is recognised as the largest carbon-neutral event in Asia.

The electric in-venue shuttle bus used at MWC Shanghai
The electric in-venue shuttle bus used at MWC Shanghai

MWC Shanghai is the largest carbon-neutral event in Asia, and has been officially certified by the British Standard Institution (BSI) as Carbon Neutral under the international PAS2060 standard since 2015. In 2016, all GSMA events and offices worldwide became carbon neutral. The 2019 edition will be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Pudong from June 26-28, 2019.

How has sustainability at the event evolved?
The main focus areas at the event include the calculation of the event carbon footprint and the offset through the purchase of Certified Emissions Reductions as well as various initiatives that aim to reduce the environmental impact of the event.

In addition to achieving carbon neutrality, we focus on working with suppliers to source materials and staff locally and to select recyclable materials with lower emission factors where possible. In 2017, we launched the Donation Room initiative whereby exhibitors can donate unwanted furniture to a local charitable organisation.

In 2018, GSMA launched the Sustainable Development Goals at MWC Shanghai as well as its Carbon Footprint Offsetting Programme for attendees.

As of 2019, exhibitors will also be able to donate unwanted electronics. Exhibitors can also participate in the Green Stand Initiative, where in addition to promoting the use of sustainable materials for their stand build, we provide them with a free carbon footprint study of their stand after the event.

In the future we will be focusing on reducing single-use plastic and other waste reduction by working with the venue and catering outlets, as well as focusing on improving recycling at the event. New emphasis on recycling from the Shanghai government will help drive this initiative moving forward. 

How does sustainability at MWC Shanghai differ from other GSMA events?
We are able to source a higher percentage of materials locally, which has a positive impact on reducing our carbon footprint.

How can event stakeholders best contribute to reducing emissions?
The most impactful way the GSMA and stakeholders minimise carbon emissions at MWC Shanghai is via the sourcing of build materials locally, as well as the sourcing of more local staff, which reduces emissions from travel and accommodation.

What new initiatives will be in place at MWC Shanghai 2019?
In addition to donating unwanted furniture and unwanted electronics, we have introduced water fountains in locations around the venue to allow attendees to refill their bottles, in a bid to reduce single-use plastic waste. We will also be recycling attendee badges at the end of the event.


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