Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Green America, Green Festival, and Messe Stuttgart Join Forces

A Powerful Alliance for Sustainable Education and Shopping

August 2, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC -- Three leading green economy organizations have joined forces to grow and expand the Green Festivals, the nation’s largest and most successful series of consumer shows focusing on sustainability education and green products and services.  Joining resources are: Green America, the nation’s largest green business and consumer organization; Global Exchange, a human rights organization; and Messe Stuttgart/Germany, a leading international trade show organizer producing Europe’s largest consumer shows on sustainability, green products and fair trade. The implications of this partnership relate to the growing LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) consumer market which has reached well over a third of US purchases.

On July 31, 2013, the parties signed an agreement for the joint production of Green Festivals in New York City; Chicago; Washington, DC; Los Angeles; and San Francisco. This partnership will allow the Green Festivals to reach more Americans with green living education and green consumer products.

For the last 13 years Green Festival has pioneered consumer education during weekend-long expositions featuring renowned authors, leaders and educators, hands-on workshops, green films, kids' activities, live music, and local, organic, vegetarian food courts.  Green Festivals is the only event that screens exhibitors for their commitments to sustainability, ecological balance, and social justice. The event series has one of the highest waste diversion records in the industry with an average of 98 percent and continues to push the bar for green event production with carbon offsets, on-site water refill stations, public transportation, and bicycle and green hotel promotions to offset travel and accommodations.

Messe Stuttgart’s involvement in this new international alliance heralds the potential expansion of Green Festival into new markets as well as contributing well established German ingenuity. Roland Bleinroth, Managing Director of Messe Stuttgart states, “Green Festivals is a natural ally and partner for our international sustainable event production. We produce a near-identical event in Stuttgart that has had a powerful and lasting impact on changing consumer behavior in our community. From solar power to natural foods to Fair Trade and civil society engagement – all these issues have helped Germany compete on the basis of very high standards.” Messe Stuttgart also built Germany’s largest solar powered exposition hall. Their event management and operations policy includes organic and Fair Trade food, on-site recycling and composting, and a number of high-tech resource conservation initiatives. Blenroth continues: “Messe Stuttgart’s philosophy and practice of sustainability are in alignment with Green Festival. It’s an exciting partnership ripe with possibilities.”

The Green Festival began with an earnest desire to maintain high standards for exhibitors that represent socially and environmentally responsible solutions to America’s most discriminating shoppers. Green America has helped maintain these high standards by vetting each exhibitor and partner for their corporate responsibility and accountability. In 2009, Ford Motor Company joined the greenest companies in America and began an important relationship by helping inner-city youth at each Green Festival. Alisa Gravitz, CEO of Green America says, “Companies like Ford, Cliff Bar, O Organics, and the New York Times have joined Green Festival to ensure a responsible future. There is no green washing at Green Festival, all our partners and exhibitors are transparent in their efforts to provide the highest quality and safest products for the environment and people.”

A recent KPMG report entitled, Measuring Up: Improving Sustainability in Consumer Markets reveals that consumers indicated they are more likely to choose a product that supports a certain cause, and 70  percent say they are willing to pay a premium for that product.” Blenroth concluded, “The global trend of responsible consumerism is something that Messe Stuttgart has helped advance in our production of B2B and B2C events on five different continents. We believe that the inherent value of products which are created locally, sustainably, and with fairness are the wave of the future. Green Festivals is advancing this market philosophy and we hope to help with this important global movement.”

Background

About Messe Stuttgart
Messe Stuttgart is the organizer of various trade shows in the Sustainable Economy. Shows like “The Market for Good Taste – the Slow Food Trade Fair”, “FAIR HANDELN – International exhibition focusing on Fair Trade and globally responsible trade and activities”, “Garden outdoor environment – exhibition for garden and lifestyle”, “i-Mobility – exhibition for intelligent mobility, environment and technology”, “YogaExpo – the trade fair for yoga, ayurveda & co.”, “Minerals Fossils Jewelry”, “Haus Holz Energie – the large sustainable building and energy trade fair” gather every year more than 80,000 attendees and 1150 exhibitors to the Stuttgart Exhibition Centre.

Messe Stuttgart assumes a pioneering role in Germany when it comes to the conservative use of resources and environment-friendly behavior in connection with events. The dedication and commitment of Messe Stuttgart is forward-looking: 34,000 square meters of solar panels produce 4.32 million kWh of electricity per year, precipitation is fed back to the natural water cycle via a retention basin and for the climate system ice is produced at night-time using electricity at a cheaper rate, which is then used to cool the rooms during the day. 

Sixty-seven trade fairs and exhibitions were held in Stuttgart in 2012. This figure represents a marked increase compared with the previous year (55) and was made up of 45 own events and 22 guest events -- of which 43 were trade fairs and 24 public exhibitions. Messe Stuttgart manages two subsidiaries in the growth markets China and Turkey. It also maintains a network of foreign representatives in 54 countries. http://www.messe-stuttgart.de/en/

In 2012, Messe Stuttgart attained a total income of around 129 million Euro and a double digit profit before tax of around 14 million Euro. These figures are the highest ever in the history of the company. Europe’s most modern trade fair and congress center also attracted a total of 1.27 million visitors in 2012, i.e. a substantial increase with the previous year (1.12 million visitors). The number of exhibitors (20,601) reached the highest level since the establishment of the Messe Stuttgart (2011:18,492)

About Green Festival
Green Festival®, a project of Green America and Global Exchange, celebrates what's working in our communities and around the world - for people, business and the environment. Green Festival® is the largest sustainability event in the country and continues to grow year after year featuring more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music; and a unique marketplace of more than 350 eco-friendly businesses - everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to Fair Trade gifts and beautiful kitchen tiles made from renewable resources. Green Festival is the only green event that screens exhibitors for their commitment to sustainability, ecological balance and social justice using Green America's green business standards. Green Festival® walks its talk: each year it gets closer to being a zero-waste event. http://www.greenfestivals.org

About Green America
Green America® is a not-for-profit membership organization, founded in 1982, working to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Green America works for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come. It runs the largest green business and green consumer networks. Its green-economy programs tackle climate change, building fair trading systems, foster sustainable local communities and help families and businesses go green.
 http://www.greenamerica.org

About Global Exchange
Global Exchange is a 22-year-old international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world. We envision a people-centered globalization that values the rights of workers and the health of the planet; that prioritizes international collaboration as central to ensuring peace; and that aims to create a local, green economy designed to embrace the diversity of our communities. Global Exchange’s influential Reality Tours program buildings international understanding by people-to-people exchanges in countries such as Iran and North Korea.  http://globalexchange.org

 

 

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