IMEX America is known for being high energy, vibrant and full of life.  It is also known for balancing those with mindfulness, wellness and healthy practices.  IMEX America is also known for sustainable practices and reducing their environmental footprint even when they are welcoming 10,732 participants using 14,310 room nights visiting 3,100 exhibitors.

The first few years when any organization takes on sustainability initiatives, they can usually “pick the low hanging fruit” and make great progress.  Each year it gets a bit more difficult to make huge gains as you build on the last year’s efficiencies and strategic planning becomes paramount to success.  Overwhelmed, many groups stop right there and check it off the list.  Not IMEX!

Three years ago, IMEX America identified four main sustainability objectives on which to focus.  Each year, new targets are set within each objective to help maintain focus throughout the planning process and deliver results.  In this third year, diligent efforts by everyone on the team were required to improve upon the past.

Let’s take a look at a few of the numbers to see how they did…


Target                                                                                                    Accomplishment

Reduce per participant energy use from 2014                                      Down 5%

Reduce per participant water use from 2014                                         Down 0.4%

Decrease paper use                                                                              Down 12%

Reduce per participant waste by 10% to less than 6.16 kg                   13% to 5.9kg

Bravo!  IMEX continues to raise the bar.

Other accomplishments of note include #WaterWiseWednesday when beef burgers were switched out to turkey burgers saving 331 gallons of water per burger.  Additionally, switching to 100% recycled content paper (for the small amount of paper used) added up to 2,172 lbs. of carbon and 11,779 gallons of water saved.

There are so many motivating stories to tell from their experience lowering the event’s environmental footprint.  To read all of them, check out the case study .  IMEX America openly shares their results in hopes all will learn and follow their lead.