Taking place in Frankfurt April 22-24, IMEX, the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings, and events, will add to its environmental best practices with a series of new green initiatives.

A spokesperson says IMEX will be the first exhibition in its sector to use biodegradable and recyclable badges. Instead of printing over 21,000 plastic badges and plastic badge holders, IMEX will use new badges, sourced on request by badging services provider, RefTech, that are printed on 100 percent recycled paper. IMEX will save on plastic and, due to their lighter weight and ability to be printed as part of a direct-mail letter, will also cut down on the amount of paper being used.

The trade show is billed as the first-ever exhibition at Messe Frankfurt to take advantage of green energy. A local hydroelectric power company is providing all of the organizers’ lighting and electricity requirements for the week. Starting in 2009, IMEX will also offer this green energy option to exhibitors for use at their booths.

IMEX will introduce this year the IMEX Green Supplier Award, which complements the existing Green Exhibitor Award. IMEX also gives out a series of Green Meetings Awards in conjunction with the Green Meetings Industry Council.

IMEX is also encouraging hosted buyers and visitors from selected European destinations to travel to Frankfurt by train by offering special discounts from Deutsche Bahn, the German rail operator. Visitors traveling by air are invited to offset their air miles through IMEX’s online carbon offset program.

To further reduce emissions, IMEX will introduce an anti-idling policy on all its courtesy buses during the week of the show, and the majority of hosted-buyer buses will use bio-diesel fuel for the first time. IMEX organizers also plan to have walking maps available since most of the show hotels are within a 20-minute walk of the Messe.

Other green initiatives include a switch to delegate bags made of environmentally friendly jute and food, flowers, and other perishable supplies sourced from local, seasonal growers. Trade show booth construction teams will also be given stricter waste and disposal policies. Paper use is targeted to be lower than ever before because of enhancements to the interactive messaging and information services on the IMEX Mobile Exhibition Assistant.