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Schneider Electric wins iF Design Award for carbon-neutral trade fair stand

-Schneider Electric triumphs in the "Interior Design" category, outperforming 11,000 rival entries
-The carbon-neutral stand debuted last fall at the Light & Building trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany


Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, set new standards last year by creating the world’s first completely carbon-neutral exhibition stand at the Light & Building 2022 trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany. In recognition of this achievement, the company received a prestigious iF Design Award at the 2023 iF Design Award Night, which took place on May 15 at Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin, Germany.

Presented annually since 1954 by the world’s oldest independent design institution, the iF International Forum Design, the iF Design Award recognizes outstanding product design. Schneider Electric’s concept emerged victorious among approximately 11,000 rival entries in the “Interior Design” category, impressing a distinguished 133-member jury of independent international experts.

At the Light & Building 2022 trade fair, Schneider Electric successfully reduced two-thirds of the emissions that would have been generated by a comparable 1700m2 exhibition stand in a conventional design, by utilizing renewable raw materials, recycled materials, and upcycling at the end of the object’s useful life. Instead of plastic, nameplates were made of grass paper, while euro pallets were used for walls and information desks to return to the company’s logistics cycle after the show. Most of the furniture was rented, the flooring was biodegradable, while fabric graphics consisted of 100 percent recycled polyester from old plastic bottles and were processed into bags after the event.

In addition to using one-third fewer exhibit panels, the deployment of digital solution worlds (represented on screens) instead of standard trade show displays of products also reduced the booth’s carbon emissions. Personnel travel and accommodation was also considered, as most employees arrived emission-free by electric car.

With these measures, Schneider Electric succeeded in reducing the ecological footprint of the exhibition area from around 300 tons of CO2 for previous trade fair appearances to about 80 tons. Furthermore, to offset this output, the company supported an environmental project in Madagascar through the organization, myclimate. This funding helped support the manufacture and deployment of climate-friendly solar stoves to counteract the rapid deforestation of the Madagascan jungle. Through this commitment, Schneider Electric offset a total of 100 tons of CO2. Crucially, the company has since adopted its carbon neutral approach to Light & Building 2022 as a template to be replicated at all locally organized trade fair stands in the DACH region.

“The award is an honor for us and reinforces our daily efforts to make a positive contribution to sustainability,” says Gerold Göldner, Head of Marketing Sustainability for Schneider Electric in the DACH region. “We are always looking for new ways and opportunities to further reduce our carbon footprint, because in the spirit of an Impact Company, we have committed ourselves to ESG criteria at all business levels, right down to our supplier network. Sustainability and climate protection are inscribed in the entire solution and product development and are also actively lived by our company itself. The use of a CO2-neutral trade fair stand was, therefore, the next logical step.”

To understand more about Schneider Electric’s sustainability commitments and journey as an Impact Company, read its latest sustainability reports.

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