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Sustainable procurement at NürnbergMesse

Many people pay attention to sustainability when making their daily purchases. But what does it look like on a large corporate scale? At NürnbergMesse, procurement is sustainable - from pens to electricity. 

They procure products and services on a daily basis, with their repertoire ranging from electricity, vehicle fleets and office equipment to catering and cleaning. The 15 colleagues in Purchasing at NürnbergMesse procure services and products without which exhibitions would not be possible. When selecting service providers, the colleagues pay attention to defined criteria. "In addition to quality and price, we pay attention to the sustainability of the products and service providers," explains Manuela Röschlau, an employee in Purchasing.

NürnbergMesse bases its actions on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations in order to make the company and its events more sustainable. The Purchasing team makes an important contribution to achieving the "Sustainable Development Goals" with its ecological and economical purchasing. This is because the decisions they make have an impact on the entire company.

Printing ink is one of the most expensive liquids in the world

Manuela Röschlau, Employees in purchasing

The specific measure to reduce the consumption of printer paper and ink is seemingly simple, but has a huge impact. "We decided to replace printers in the individual offices with centralised printer stations," explains Thomas Weber, Head of Purchasing & Controlling, "this made it possible for the first time to record how much paper and ink we actually use."

NürnbergMesse Photovoltaik

By installing photovoltaic modules on the exhibition halls, NürnbergMesse is laying the foundations for its own energy supply. The exhibition centre is already using green electricity. The necessary contracts are concluded by the Purchasing department. 

In addition to small changes in everyday office life, NürnbergMesse is also making major adjustments. "NürnbergMesse has an electricity requirement of 24 gigawatts in an event-rich year," says Thomas Weber. Despite this amount, NürnbergMesse only uses electricity from renewable energies. By installing its own photovoltaic system on the hall roofs, NürnbergMesse will be able to cover part of its electricity requirements itself in future.

The conscious use of resources is also one of the major factors that NürnbergMesse has been working on in its energy campaign since 2014. For example, in stand construction, where the ServicePartners use reusable materials wherever possible and exhibitors can rent exhibition stands and furniture.

We combine quality, regionality and sustainability in our purchasing in order to take better care of the environment

Thomas Weber, Head of Purchasing Department

When switching to sustainable purchasing, there are different scopes for adaptation and hurdles in each product category. As a next step, Manuela Röschlau and her colleagues are turning their attention to the local player quota. The aim is to source even more services and products from the region in future. Before that, the colleagues need to make regionality measurable, for example by means of a supplier self-disclosure. Certificates, sustainability targets and CO2 footprints or the legally compliant behaviour of the respective companies should also play a role as criteria in the selection process.

Because the topic of sustainability and social responsibility is evolving rapidly, colleagues in Purchasing are undergoing further training via the Jaro Institute for Sustainability and Digitalisation. After all, sustainability is the defining topic of the coming years.

Markus Erhardt
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