Bring your own cup

Sustainable exhibition stand construction, vegetarian food. climate-neutral travel,, and waste prevention are stated goals set forth in the Sustainable Manifesto. The European Film Market (EFM) is set to make the Berlinale’s film market more eco-friendly. For EFM Director Matthijs Wouter Knol, this includes not only the development of strategies for the prudent management of energy, resources, and waste disposal but also the creation of a sustainable working environment. The sustainability initiative undertaken by the EFM results from actions that had been launched by the Berlinale a few years ago.


“We don’t shy away from setting goals for which we don’t yet have solutions”, says the EFM Director Knol. “We want to transparently communicate areas that need improvement and we want to enter into a dialogue with our clients.” Exhibitors are asked to submit their own approaches and experiences that have succeeded in other parts of the world. For the implementation of sustainability concepts, the EFM can build on initiatives that have already been taken by the Berlinale — but the industry event has its own dynamic. The requirements include, for example, sustainable exhibition stand construction. At the EFM, material for the construction of exhibition stands has been reused since 2006. “The decreasing use of third-party contractors gives us much more latitude over the material being used”, states Knol.


“At the EFM Business Lounge, we test out new materials for the carpet, which may also be reused.”
According to the motto BYOC (Bring Your Own Cup), single-use cups are taboo at the EFM. The participants are advised to bring their own cups or alternatively to avail themselves of the reusable cup system at the Berlinale. “We have requested that our caterer avoid disposable tableware for drinks”, confirms Knol. This concept has also been partly adopted for food service. A more sustainable supply of drinking water is available from dispensers, which exhibitors can rent.


Sustainability is also an issue when it comes to print and advertising materials. For signage, the EFM uses boards made from certified paper products.  “If this material works well, we’ll then expand the capacity.” The cleaning service is going to be contractually obliged to use environmentally-friendly cleaning products, and waste management operations will be improved. The sustainable mobility concept is under discussion, which is intended to give EFM participants incentives for alternate travel options. Green alternatives for shuttle transportation are foreseen to be developed in collaboration with partners, so that the new solutions can be incentivized.


The EFM team is also going to reduce its carbon footprint. “We will cut down the number flights we take and we will rely on carbon offsets whenever we do need to fly”, the EFM Director emphasizes. Sustainability will also play a role in the selection of finance partners, sponsors, suppliers, and supporting enterprises. “The EFM will actively look for partners with whom the market can be shaped more sustainably.


Photos: Lia Darjes/EFM

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