GoGreenPioneer @ IFAT 2024

As a global plastics manufacturer and long-standing exhibitor at IFAT, we at SIMONA AG take our responsibility in the area of sustainability very seriously, as evidenced by the multitude of measures already implemented within this field.

We have recently pledged to reduce our CO2 emissions in line with the provisions set out by the SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative), a measure that reflects our commitment to a well-judged and robust climate strategy.

SIMONA managed to reduce its corporate carbon footprint – Scope 1 and Scope 2 – by around 10% from 2022 to 2023 on the back of far-reaching measures. The objective is to scale back our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions even further by an average of 5.25 per cent per year by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement, thus paving the way for us to achieve „net zero“ status by 2050. In this context, we aim to take into account all forms of energy consumption. This includes the power supply to our plants as well as the consumption of our vehicle fleet and emissions associated with our own generation of energy. We already cover part of our strategic green electricity requirements via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

We have initiated or already implemented investments in photovoltaic systems and will continue to do so in the coming years.

In an effort to also reduce our so-called Scope 3 emissions in line with scientific targets, we are focusing on increasing the use of sustainable raw materials and creating closed loops.

OUR VISION

Plastics in harmony with humanity and nature

In 2022, SIMONA drew up a global sustainability strategy, which also included the introduction of an organisational unit responsible for „Sustainability“ within the company. A Global Sustainability Board was established for the purpose of coordinating global activities and overseeing strategic decision-making. In essence, the principles of sustainable practice at SIMONA are closely aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and, like them, consist of many different elements. Our sustainability strategy is best illustrated by the image of a house.

It is built on three pillars

The benefits offered by our plastic products – durability, low weight and ease of recycling – are to be enhanced further by developing products that are bio-based or made using recycled materials. We have already taken an important step in this direction by gaining certification in accordance with the ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) system. This allows us to use raw materials that are generated from waste rather than being oil-based, without compromising on quality or having to obtain the necessary approvals and certificates. This “mass balance approach” helps customers to save CO2.

We have started to log CO2 emissions at our plants and, in a next step, will be moving on to setting and meeting measurable targets for reducing them. We also want to bring about a further cut in our waste rate – despite it already being at a low level – and become even more energy-efficient.

The aim of this pillar of our sustainability strategy is to be an attractive employer to talented individuals and keep employees loyal to SIMONA. „A company like a friend“ – at all levels: from our training courses, mobile working options and health management through to „Vision Zero“, the target of no occupational accidents whatsoever at our sites across the world.

1) Sustainable products

The benefits offered by our plastic products – durability, low weight and ease of recycling – are to be enhanced further by developing products that are bio-based or made using recycled materials. We have already taken an important step in this direction by gaining certification in accordance with the ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) system. This allows us to use raw materials that are generated from waste rather than being oil-based, without compromising on quality or having to obtain the necessary approvals and certificates. This “mass balance approach” helps customers to save CO2.

We have started to log CO2 emissions at our plants and, in a next step, will be moving on to setting and meeting measurable targets for reducing them. We also want to bring about a further cut in our waste rate – despite it already being at a low level – and become even more energy-efficient.

2) Sustainable production and processes

3) Valuing and appreciating staff

The aim of this pillar of our sustainability strategy is to be an attractive employer to talented individuals and keep employees loyal to SIMONA. „A company like a friend“ – at all levels: from our training courses, mobile working options and health management through to „Vision Zero“, the target of no occupational accidents whatsoever at our sites across the world.

MODULARITY & REUSABILITY

Working in close collaboration with our long-standing partner for exhibition stand design, mac.brandspaces, Langenlonsheim/Germany, we have come up with a thoroughly sustainable stand concept. mac.brandspaces may write its company name in lower case, but its commitment to sustainability is COMPELLING. In fact, it is currently undergoing ISO 20121 certification for the implementation of sustainable event management.

The exhibition stand concept follows 6 principles:

reduce          ->     We scrutinise the necessity of each individual component

replace         ->     We replace materials with sustainable alternatives

reuse             ->     We always design for multiple use

retain             ->     We plan a second life for the components from the very outset

recycle          ->     We return used resources to the loop

rebalance    ->     We compensate for unavoidable emissions

More than 90% of our IFAT exhibition stand consists of modular and reusable materials.

  • The substructure features reusable rebated frames, steel supports and floor panels that boast a high degree of modularity and reusability. These components, which are sourced mainly from naturally renewable raw materials, offer a highly flexible approach.
  • The aluminium truss with lighting is fit for extensive reuse.
  • Re-use of stored components: e.g. logos (5 years old, fifth use).
  • Rental furniture used at the stand is sustainable thanks to its excellent durability and reusability.
  • Components manufactured by conventional means, such as product platforms and pipes (see Design), are taken from our own SIMONA product range and manufactured in-house. Platforms and furniture are placed in storage and used several times throughout the year for follow-up events such as congresses, smaller trade fairs and specialist events. Components such as product platforms are designed on the basis of a plug-in principle. In economic and ecological terms, this delivers a number of benefits, such as manageable costs, fast and simple assembly, small packaging volume and a low carbon footprint.
  • SIMONA SIMOPOR CONSTRUCT sheets are used in the lounge:
    a) reused – in the printed version – in meeting and office rooms
    b) recycled – in the unprinted version – and returned to the production cycle
    By using recyclate, we are able to ensure closed material cycles and offer a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional solutions featuring wood or metal.
    In addition, SIMOPOR CONSTRUCT – our all-rounder – offers advantages in terms of low packaging volume and weight, which also helps to reduce the carbon footprint.
  • SIMONA® PE 100 pipes used as room dividers are produced at our ISCC-certified plant in Ringsheim and recycled by us upon conclusion of the trade fair; this material is subsequently returned to the production cycle in full. We therefore consider the use of these pipes on our exhibition stand to be highly sustainable.

After use on the exhibition stand, non-reusable wood panel materials are fed into mac.brandspaces‘ own incineration plant to create thermal energy, thus reducing the use of fossil fuels for heating mac.brandspaces production premises.

As regards our IFAT exhibition stand, we have commissioned our stand designer to carry out a carbon footprint assessment. This also encompasses compensation relating to certified climate protection projects (including a certificate). This includes the CO2 equivalents of emissions from the following areas:

  • Project planning
  • Materials used
  • Production of all components
  • Logistics from mac to the event location and back
  • Assembly and disassembly, incl. travel

The carbon footprint assessment is in progress and can be submitted at a later date.

Advertising material:

Our focus is on durable and sustainable give-aways such as foldable rulers, callipers (which are often used on construction sites) and drinking bottles made from recycled plastics. What is more, we have reduced the selection of give-aways – with an emphasis on the essentials.

We also make a point of limiting the selection of brochures available at trade fairs. In this context, our focus is on using scannable QR codes. The few brochures we do use and selectively display are printed on recycled and FSC-certified paper.

Digital elements:

We are planning to use augmented reality for two „highlight products“ at the trade fair, the focus being on our Infrastructure business line. The hardware used for this – an optical telescope with a tablet on the rear – is a revised version of a 3D-printed prototype. This means that no new production will be necessary. Thanks to the use of augmented reality, we will not have to print information material and will be able to reuse digital content for future trade fairs.

When selecting our caterer, we attached great importance to the aspect of proximity to the trade fair location. We also made a point of focusing on the regional cuisine of Bavaria. Although we also offer vegetarian options, this is not our sole focus. Traditionally, we serve our regional beer, which comes from a brewery in Kirn, where our SIMONA headquarters are located. The handling of beer forms an integral part of our catering concept. In this context, we will not have to hire a refrigerated container. In addition to saving energy, this also further reduces our carbon footprint. It goes without saying that we do not use disposable tableware.

IFAT EXHIBITION STAND

Working in close collaboration with our long-standing partner for exhibition stand design, mac.brandspaces, Langenlonsheim/Germany, we have come up with a thoroughly sustainable stand concept. mac.brandspaces may write its company name in lower case, but its commitment to sustainability is COMPELLING. In fact, it is currently undergoing ISO 20121 certification for the implementation of sustainable event management.

The exhibition stand concept follows 6 principles:
reduce → We scrutinise the necessity of each individual component
replace → We replace materials with sustainable alternatives
reuse → We always design for multiple use
retain → We plan a second life for the components from the very outset
recycle → We return used resources to the loop
rebalance → We compensate for unavoidable emissions

More than 90% of our IFAT exhibition stand consists of modular and reusable materials.

  • The substructure features reusable rebated frames, steel supports and floor panels that boast a high degree of modularity and reusability. These components, which are sourced mainly from naturally renewable raw materials, offer a highly flexible approach.
  • The aluminium truss with lighting is fit for extensive reuse.
  • Re-use of stored components: e.g. logos (5 years old, fifth use).
  • Rental furniture used at the stand is sustainable thanks to its excellent durability and reusability.
  • Components manufactured by conventional means, such as product platforms and pipes (see Design), are taken from our own SIMONA product range and manufactured in-house. Platforms and furniture are placed in storage and used several times throughout the year for follow-up events such as congresses, smaller trade fairs and specialist events. Components such as product platforms are designed on the basis of a plug-in principle. In economic and ecological terms, this delivers a number of benefits, such as manageable costs, fast and simple assembly, small packaging volume and a low carbon footprint.
  • SIMONA SIMOPOR CONSTRUCT sheets are used in the lounge:
    a) reused – in the printed version – in meeting and office rooms
    b) recycled – in the unprinted version – and returned to the production cycle
    By using recyclate, we are able to ensure closed material cycles and offer a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional solutions featuring wood or metal.
    In addition, SIMOPOR CONSTRUCT – our all-rounder – offers advantages in terms of low packaging volume and weight, which also helps to reduce the carbon footprint.
  • SIMONA® PE 100 pipes used as room dividers are produced at our ISCC-certified plant in Ringsheim and recycled by us upon conclusion of the trade fair; this material is subsequently returned to the production cycle in full. We therefore consider the use of these pipes on our exhibition stand to be highly sustainable.

After use on the exhibition stand, non-reusable wood panel materials are fed into mac.brandspaces‘ own incineration plant to create thermal energy, thus reducing the use of fossil fuels for heating mac.brandspaces production premises.

CLIMATE IMPACT AND EMISSIONS

As regards our IFAT exhibition stand, we have commissioned our stand designer to carry out a carbon footprint assessment. This also encompasses compensation relating to certified climate protection projects (including a certificate). This includes the CO2 equivalents of emissions from the following areas:

  • Project planning
  • Materials used
  • Production of all components
  • Logistics from mac to the event location and back
  • Assembly and disassembly, incl. travel

The carbon footprint assessment is in progress and can be submitted at a later date.

STAND EQUIPMENT

Advertising material:

Our focus is on durable and sustainable give-aways such as foldable rulers, callipers (which are often used on construction sites) and drinking bottles made from recycled plastics. What is more, we have reduced the selection of give-aways – with an emphasis on the essentials.

We also make a point of limiting the selection of brochures available at trade fairs. In this context, our focus is on using scannable QR codes. The few brochures we do use and selectively display are printed on recycled and FSC-certified paper.

Digital elements:

We are planning to use augmented reality for two „highlight products“ at the trade fair, the focus being on our Infrastructure business line. The hardware used for this – an optical telescope with a tablet on the rear – is a revised version of a 3D-printed prototype. This means that no new production will be necessary. Thanks to the use of augmented reality, we will not have to print information material and will be able to reuse digital content for future trade fairs.

CATERING

When selecting our caterer, we attached great importance to the aspect of proximity to the trade fair location. We also made a point of focusing on the regional cuisine of Bavaria. Although we also offer vegetarian options, this is not our sole focus. Traditionally, we serve our regional beer, which comes from a brewery in Kirn, where our SIMONA headquarters are located. The handling of beer forms an integral part of our catering concept. In this context, we will not have to hire a refrigerated container. In addition to saving energy, this also further reduces our carbon footprint. It goes without saying that we do not use disposable tableware.

CONCEPT, COMMUNICATION & STORYTELLING

The uniqueness of our stand concept is reflected, among other things, in the subtle integration of our own products into the stand architecture. What is more, the multiple use of our materials, e.g. by reusing them and/or returning them to the production cycle, makes the concept genuinely sustainable.

SIMOClearDuct, an innovative new product within our portfolio, will also be showcased. In the run-up to IFAT, targeted mail shots and social media campaigns will be used to support our storytelling and complement it during the trade fair.

Summary – New Product:

SIMONA has drawn on its R&D expertise to make the laying of cable protection ducts even more efficient and sustainable. Thanks to a unique, patent-pending joining method, there are no protrusions of internal weld beads within the pipe. This not only saves time, but also reduces the waste produced when removing the weld beads created in conventional ducting. This innovative solution is called „SIMOClearDuct“ and features a specially developed welding machine – „SIMOClearDuct Technology“ – and customised cable protection ducts.

We are delighted and proud to be able to present this latest SIMONA innovation to our customers at this year’s IFAT and thus make a contribution to the sustainable use of high-quality plastic products in a field that is of key importance to the energy transition.

PARTNERSHIPS & RESPONSIBILITY

We attach great importance to long-term partnerships. Working as equals, SIMONA and mac.brandspaces have established a successful track record spanning more than 25 years. Building on this long-standing partnership, we are able to save resources in project planning, while also ensuring the sustainable use of materials and components such as our 3D logos, which have already been used on several occasions. Almost all components of the IFAT 2024 exhibition stand concept will be reusable and will be placed in storage between events. In addition, mac.brandspaces is extending its sustainability strategy to the supply chain by defining rules of compliance for its partners as part of a „Partner Code of Conduct“. SIMONA has introduced an annual review of raw material and additive suppliers within the EMEA region as part of the company’s code of conduct. Among other things, this includes evaluating suppliers‘ product quality and reliability of delivery as well as surveying and taking into account the carbon footprint of the top 15 raw material suppliers.