Jaarbeurs has been the leading venue of the Utrecht Region for many years. The unique location next to Utrecht central station and the size makes it a perfect place for national and international trade fairs, conferences and events. Sustainability and innovation play a significant role at Jaarbeurs. Marloes van den Berg, strategic advisor sustainability: "We have the ambition to become the most sustainable and innovative venue in Europe by 2026, both inside and out."
Marloes van den Berg - © Jaarbeurs
Making a green difference
Although Jaarbeurs is already actively working on green energy and recycling waste, they want more. Van den Berg: "We are aware of our role in society and the number of people we welcome every year (2,3 mln). Due to the large numbers we can really make an impact. Based on our new sustainability strategy, we will gradually increase our sustainable measurements over the next six years. This includes promoting sustainable mobility and vitality among employees, implementing green, commercial propositions for our clients at self-organized events and reducing food waste in our catering establishments. In the field of CSR, we are entering into a sustainable partnership with the Princess Maxima Children's Hospital in Utrecht."
The master plan
The construction of a completely new venue is also an essential part of this sustainability strategy. "In 2023, we will start developing the green Jaarbeurs district, which in terms of design is fully based on the 17 SDGs of the UN. This so-called master plan not only covers a new design for Jaarbeurs but also for the development of the surrounding area." The construction of this district is done in agreement with the municipality. The green Jaarbeurs district offers educational organisations and companies the space to work together on smart, green and healthy solutions for the future that fits in with our sustainable city and region. “The district, which is due to be completed by 2026, will be a completely new and attractive area to visit, live and work."
Step by step implementation
Van den Berg is aware that sustainable change takes time. That is why responsibility for implementation is placed mainly with the managers of the different departments. An internal team of experts has also been put together. This autumn, Jaarbeurs will already be taking several significant steps. "As of 1 October, the entire venue will be plastic-free, if possible otherwise there will be a sustainable alternative, and we will be offering much less meat and fish in our catering establishments. Furthermore, from then on we will actively encourage our employees to come to the office by bicycle or public transport." These steps are only the beginning. "We have the ambition to become the most sustainable and innovative venue in Europe by 2026, both inside and out."