The Slush Partner Sustainability Contest 2019 Has Born Long-lasting Fruit
This year’s winner is… drum roll…. Airbus!
For the second year now Slush has arranged the Partner Booth Sustainability Contest to encourage participating companies in creating sustainable exhibition booths. Congratulations to Airbus for their impressive efforts in creating the most sustainable partner booth of Slush 2019.
“We didn’t expect this win at all. We are so excited!” Tells Dara Francis Elie, the Communication & Event Manager of Airbus BizLab. “We didn’t think a big corporation would be taken seriously in such a competition”, Elie explains the surprise.
Airbus is a European multinational aerospace corporation and the second biggest aerospace and defense company in the world. At Slush, AirBus was presented by two of its daughter operations, Airbus BizLab and Skywise.
So what made Airbus stand out?
Airbus team and Elie showed great interest and effort in creating a sustainable partner booth. Elie did wide research on materials and successfully created a booth made of only reusable and recyclable materials.
Elie tells she originally had fears of not being able to create a professional look with only using sustainable materials, but gladly those fears were proven untrue.
“We rented most things. Everything that was mostly unused or did not have wear and tear was re-used, like for example the carpet, which will be given to a toy company. There was no paper or plastic to throw away. Almost everything was covered with a recyclable cloth material. Lightbox, the logo and other external elements will be stored at Airbus Helsinki and can be re-used in future Slush events and other Airbus events,” Elie tells of the procedure. “In the future, I will attempt to apply these principles to other projects as well.”
Christian Lindener, the Head of BizLab, says he’s been to Slush for seven years now and thinks of it as a sustainability forerunner: “You are not only talking about it, but you are doing it in every little detail. I am amazed.”
What’s the sustainability approach of Airbus as an aviation company?
The aviation industry is for obvious reasons a big target of ecological criticism. What are people at Airbus doing to create change?
Lindener says Airbus thinks a lot about how to be sustainable.
Airbus BizLab being a startup accelerator only accepts startups who follow the UN sustainability goals. Airbus has researchers looking for sustainable solutions with gas emission studies, waste optimization and a lot of topics regarding the fuel-efficiency and electrification of airplanes. And also being a space company, Airbus provides satellite information that is used to analyze climate change and its effects and those pain points which lead to natural catastrophes.
“This is a journey the entire company has taken. We should be challenging ourselves to make this planet a better place. We believe that any innovation has to be sustainable for the future. We are trying to see the broader view, as in also the social impact of our work, not only environmental,” Lindener tells.
Slush wants to carry responsibility for its environmental impact
Every department of an organization or company has its ecological footprints. Creating responsible organizations and companies being it in any industry means having empowered employees considering their sustainability in each sector.
Elie tells she felt inspired by the competition: “I think it is important as an employee to think ‘how am I contributing?’ Having the opportunity to participate in a challenge like this is a great example of a concrete way.”
Slush faces the same challenges with sustainability as most companies. The operation model of event business is not sustainable as it is, and needs actions and raising awareness. This year Slush once again compensated its footprint, made thorough calculations of the environmental impact and tried to consider sustainability in every decision. But there is still much to do when trying to create a completely sustainable event.
Targets for 2020 will be reducing incinerable and construction waste: taking a tough and close look at where these waste streams come from, and reducing the sources of this waste.
This year over sixty partners took part in the Partner Booth Sustainability Contest and helped Slush with doing things differently. The competition was surprisingly tough and Slush wants to highlight Samsung, Nordea and Tink also for their amazing contribution.
Amazing work, partners. Thank you everyone involved!