Our journey to net zero by 2040

Net Zero by 2040

Discover our journey so far

At RX, we’re all in on sustainability and environmental responsibility and we’re showcasing our efforts to minimise environmental impact at events.

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Accelerating environmental action at events

To celebrate World Environment Day on June 5th, we check out six in-person RX events that are boosting innovation and growth in clean energy, waste reduction, and sustainable manufacturing – and reducing their own environmental impact too!

Driving clean energy innovation and investment

The World Future Energy Summit held its 16th edition in 2024 in Abu Dhabi, which coincided with unprecedented rainfall and flooding across the Emirates in April, as if to drive home the urgent need for action on climate change. The event saw record participation, making it the largest in the Summit’s 16-year history.

As one of the world’s leading business events for renewable energy, clean-tech, climate change and sustainability, the World Future Energy Summit brought together industry influencers, thought leaders, policymakers, investors, corporate partners, and world-class start-ups. It was the perfect platform to accelerate the innovative thinking and investment needed to meet the goals of COP28, held in Dubai in December 2023.

This year’s expanded knowledge-sharing programme introduced three new forums on Green Finance, eMobility, and Pathway to 1.5C. These complemented the five existing conferences focussed on, EcoWASTE, Water, Clean Energy, Smart Cities, and Climate & Environment, as well as a Masdar-hosted Green Hydrogen Summit. In total, 150 dynamic sessions featured more than 350 expert speakers.

On the expo floor, 450 exhibitors from 60 countries, showcased their ideas, projects and innovations to over 16,000 attendees from business, government, and the investor community. Dozens of startups presented game-changing sustainability-themed products and solutions, with this year’s Climate Innovations Exchange (CLIX) initiative highlighting 22 female-led startups and SMEs. Throughout the three days, the Sustainability Business Connect programme (SBC) facilitated meetings, VIP tours, private consultations and more to enhance the Summit experience.

Reflecting on the event, Abdul Rahman Bafaraj, Project Development Senior Manager at EWEC, said: “The World Future Energy Summit is a great opportunity for EWEC to collaborate with government entities and technology providers. It’s a platform to share knowledge, understand the future of energy, and work towards sustainability.”

Looking to its own environmental impact, the World Future Energy Summit is powered by 100% clean energy provided by the Emirates Water and Electricity Authority (EWEC) as part of their Clean Energy Certificate (CEC) scheme. The team recycled 59% of stand materials and other non-food waste in 2023, a target it aims to exceed for 2024. This year they also worked with UAE’s National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, Ne’ma, diverting 1.4Kkg of food waste from landfill, creating 231kg of compost, and donating 728 meals to the community. World Future Energy Summit hopes to transform the way events are hosted in the region by creating a more sustainable summit year on year and encouraging others to do the same.   

Making hydrogen happen

Produced with very low, or no carbon emissions, hydrogen energy is an alternative to fossil fuels that may offer a cleaner way to power our world – which is why RX is delighted to welcome Sustainable Energy Conferences (SEC) to our growing clean energy event line-up.

With the May acquisition of World Hydrogen Summit, Hydrogen Americas, Hydrogen Asia-Pacific and the Sustainable Energy Council brand, we’re excited to grow the global hydrogen market across the entire value change from production, transmission, distribution and storage, to the main end-user sectors such as heavy industry and transportation. 

The flagship World Hydrogen 2024 Summit & Exhibition (13-15 May) recently closed the doors on its biggest edition yet. Organised in partnership with the Government of the Netherlands, Province of Zuid-Holland, the Port of Rotterdam and the City of Rotterdam, it featured a C-Level Summit, and the largest hydrogen-focused exhibition in the world – not to mention the Africa Hydrogen Forum, the H2 Tech Series Stages, the World Hydrogen Awards, incredible site visits to the Port of Rotterdam hydrogen projects, and non-stop networking opportunities.

Next up is the Hydrogen Americas 2024 Summit & Exhibition which returns to Washington D.C. (US) on 11 – 12 June 2024. The US is at the forefront of hydrogen investments and the speaker line-up is packed with policy makers and key industry leaders from across the US, Americas and further afield, including Dr Sunita Satayapal, Director and Hydrogen Program co-ordinator, US Department of Energy; Shinichi Kihara, Director General for Energy and Environmental Policy, Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry Japan; and Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and CEO, Air Products. Click here for more information and to register.

Sourcing fabrics with a conscience

Sustainability is at the heart of Functional Fabric Fair powered by PERFORMANCE DAYS® — the top marketplace in the U.S. for sourcing high-performance fabrics and accessories. We carefully vet all exhibitors to ensure they meet standards like the HIGG Index, Bluesign, GOTS, and Textile Exchange, guaranteeing the traceability of organic materials and promoting positive industry change.

At the latest Spring edition in Portland, Oregon, over 260 sustainable textile suppliers from around the world came together to showcase the latest trends, fabrics and technologies shaping the 2025/2026 Spring season.

Designers and decision-makers from top outdoor, lifestyle, and activewear brands enjoyed two days of inspiration, education and networking at the Trends Forum, Innovation Zone, Expert Talks and Sustainability Lounge.

The fair also debuted the 'Day (0) Zero: Sustainability Workshop,' which opened one day before the fair opened, drawing over 140 attendees eager to learn about critical topics such as supply chain dynamics and transparency, facilitated by sustainability experts like Jill Dumain of Fractal CSOS.

Leading by example, our sustainability commitment extends to the very fabric of our events. Every Functional Fabric Fair booth is crafted from 100% recycled fabrics stretched over reusable metal frames, minimizing waste. We also use 100% recyclable carpets throughout the feature areas and booth spaces, ensuring that none ends up in landfill.

Mark your calendar for the Summer edition of Functional Fabric Fair, taking place July 16-17 at the Javits Center in New York City. And if your sourcing needs are more urgent, check out The Loop, our year-round digital marketplace for performance fabrics.

Engineering a net zero future

All-Energy is super proud to be the UK’s biggest event for low carbon energy and renewables. At the same time, the co-located Dcarbonise is all about helping both private and public sector energy users. The 2024 events, held at the end of May, broke all previous records with over 11,736 visitors from 80 countries.

“We knew we were on track for a new record before the show even opened, but we never imagined a 21% jump over last year’s numbers,” said Jonathan Heastie, Portfolio Director at RX Global. “It really shows how much the industry is growing and how valuable these events are to everyone involved.”

The huge turnout was clear with packed aisles, conference halls, and show floor theatres. Over 600 speakers took the stage over the two days, including Màiri McAllan MSP, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Energy.

There were 11 conference tracks covering everything from policy to innovative solutions in renewable power, low carbon heat, and low carbon transport, with a special focus on ‘The Great Grid Upgrade.’ Eight quick-fire show floor theatres tackled topics like hydrogen, energy storage, future talent, and decarbonising the built environment.

The vibe was electric, and business was booming. For the first time, attendees could easily get info about products and suppliers by scanning QR codes on exhibitor stands with their smartphones. Exhibitors could use RX’s Lead Manager tool to scan, qualify, and follow up with buyers. More connections were made at The Giant Networking Evening and Civic Reception, sponsored by Siemens Energy and Siemens Gamesa and hosted by the Rt Hon the Lord Provost of Glasgow.

Many of the 270 exhibiting companies have already signed up for the 2025 event, which will be held at Glasgow’s SEC on 14 and 15 May to celebrate All-Energy’s silver anniversary.

Advancing towards sustainable resource recovery

Waste Expo Australia is the ultimate showcase for waste management and resource recovery and the fantastic turnout at the last event in October 2023 points to the industry’s strong future.

It was the largest event in the show’s history, with international exhibitors from 10 countries keen to connect with the biggest gathering of waste management and resource recovery professionals in Australia.

Opening the expo in Melbourne, Victorian Environment Minister Steer Dimopoulos said “there is a lot of innovation, passion and ingenuity in this space and to be able to share it at a forum like this is impactful and moves the needle forward.”

Sustainability Victoria and Recycling Victoria joined an impressive roster of event partners including the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR), Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA), and the Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA), bringing new workshops, board meetings and industry breakfasts to the expanded content programme.

Attendees praised the quality and diversity of the free-to-attend conference which addressed key themes including the circular economy, waste innovation and waste-to-energy. Matt Genever, CEO of Sustainability Victoria, called it the best waste-focused event he has attended. 

Exhibitors also had great things to say. One noted, "The expo was very well organized. Being our first time attending this expo, the sheer volume of attendees and the diversity of businesses that engaged with us surpassed our expectations. It was a fantastic expo experience, and we look forward to returning next year.” 

“We love hearing from multiple exhibitors and speakers about the encouraging conversations they’ve had at Waste Expo Australia,” reflected Exhibition Manager, Sherri Pearson. “It’s exciting to see businesses take the opportunities presented to them and really drive their own growth.”

Waste Expo Australia 2024 returns from October 23-24 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Designing sustainability into visual communications

Held in Milan every October, Viscom Italia is Italy’s most important event dedicated to the entire visual communication supply chain.

In 2021, when the Italian government gave sustainability a key role in the country’s economic and social recovery plan, the Viscom Italia team was inspired to play its part. In the same year, they pursued and obtained the “ISO 20121:2013 certification for Sustainable Event Organization” – and their mission to reduce event waste whilst promoting a more sustainable Viscom industry continues.

“All RX built exhibition features at Viscom Italia now employ reusable materials, rented furniture, energy saving (LED) lighting and mostly PVC-free/recyclable graphics and signage,” explained Sara Mazzucchi, Operations. “Aisle carpets have been reduced in width and are all 100% recycled by the supplier, Montecolino, which uses the recovered material to make recycled products such as the waste bins in the aisles. Water refill stations are available throughout the halls, and free water bottles made from recycled materials are distributed to event participants. Printed signs are being phased out in favour of digital. And most other handouts, from fabric bags to lanyards are made from recycled and recyclable materials.” 

To reduce travel emissions at Viscom Italia 2023, the team partnered with Italy’s leading railway company, Trenitalia, to offer discounts of up to 80% on the tickets for participants. And building on a three-year partnership with Banco Alimentare della Lombardia and SITICIBO, they donated a percentage of sales on catering products and alongside surplus food, providing almost 23,000 free meals to local families in need.  

To encourage the adoption of more sustainable display design, Viscom Italia introduced two Green DIVA Awards and organised the exhibit Elementaria, featuring prototypes of display design made of raw and sustainable materials. Viscom Talks focused on sustainability applied to design, packaging and retail. Motivated by their achievements, the team are promising yet more sustainable innovations at Viscom Italia 2024, including a Lead Manager App to reduce the need for printed business cards. 

Viscom Italia 2024 is back in Milan from 16-18 October.

Getting the measure of event emissions 

Published 22/04/2024

In February 2024, RX published its Roadmap to Net Zero Events in 2040. We talk to Global Sustainability Director Helen Sheppard about RX’s sustainability commitments, the challenges of measuring event emissions, and the company’s progress to date.

Q1. Can you start by telling us about RX’s sustainability commitments?  ▼

A. RX is a founding signatory of the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge, a global collaboration which was launched by the events industry in November 2021 at COP 26 in Glasgow to address the urgent need to limit global warming beyond 1.5 degrees. This pledge commits all signatories to reach net zero by 2050 at the latest and to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In fact, RELX, our parent company, has made it a priority to reduce its environmental footprint and in 2021 signed up to The Climate Pledge which commits us to reach net zero no later than 2040.  In February  2024 we published our Roadmap to Achieving Net Zero, and we are committed to working with our partners, customers and suppliers around the world to achieve our net zero event goals. 

Q2. How do you define event emissions and which ones are you measuring?  ▼

A. As a signatory of Net Zero Carbon Events, RX has pledged to measure and track our Scope 1,2 and 3 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, and to report on our progress at least every two years.   As part of RELX we have been obliged to measure our Scope 1 and 2 emissions against a baseline since 2018. During this time, we have reduced RX’s emissions by 40% and we expect to achieve a 50% reduction by the end of next year, if not sooner. To help us visualise our scope 1 and 2 emissions reductions, RELX launched its CO² Hub in 2022, a cloud-based dashboard that connects data from multiple internal and external sources., much of it in real time.   Our Scope 3 emissions are much more difficult to measure and reduce as they come from sources that are not directly controlled by RX, such as our venue partners, suppliers and customers. The focus of our efforts so far has been on establishing a baseline against which our reductions can be measured, and significant interventions identified. 

Q. Which emissions have you prioritised for measurement and what challenges have you faced?  ▼

A. When Net Zero Carbon Events published its road map to Net Zero in 2022, it set out the different categories of emissions for all stakeholders in the industry. At RX we said, let's look at which categories we can most easily start to measure andquickly – hence our early focus on energy and waste emissions.   In the summer of 2022, we began asking our venue partners to report their energy and waste data. We accelerated this process in 2023, and by the end of the year had energy and/or waste data from more than 380 face to face events from 2019 to 2023, with almost 50% of our 2023 events reporting some data.  We are now prioritising 30 venues who represent the lion’s share of our revenues and have been really pleased with their response. 29 of those venues are  reporting to us, and we are working with the remaining venues to understand and remove any barriers to data collection.   One of the challenges with venue emissions is that they report to us in different ways – some provide estimates based on monthly energy usage, others use metre readings; some report for the whole building, others for the halls that we use; some provide energy or waste data, other provide both. Improving and expanding data collection from our top 30 venues is enabling us to develop a more accurate and consistent measurement and reporting system.   We have also conducted carbon footprints of 12 events to understand what data is available and to get a fuller picture of emissions categories such as production and logistics. Our goal is to establish clear Scope 3 reporting boundaries and baselines by the end of the year, and to publicly report our event-related carbon emissions in 2025, with a commitment to report bi-annually after 2025.  

Q. How are you measuring the emissions associated with event production, given that much of these are generated by your exhibitors and stand contractors?   ▼

A. As part of the event footprints we have conducted we are collecting data on the production emissions, including the items we purchase or rent for the event such as carpet, signage, furniture, badges, lanyards and marketing materials.  In 2023, we developed a stand calculator for exhibitor emissions, based on information provided by our exhibitors,  contractors and Reed SmartSpace our UK stand production company. Our UK business has led the charge on this, requiring materials information from exhibitors and contractors as part of the stand approval process. By aggregating data from individual stands, we have been able to estimate the emissions per square meter for different stand sizes, and then use these estimate to extrapolate emissions for each event.   RX also sits on the UFI working group which is looking at production emissions and we have played a key role in the development of a comprehensive Materials Library, identifying all the most common materials used in event production and their specific emission factors – currently the emissions factors haven’t been published but this is definitely a next step as soon as permission has been granted form the relevant emissions factors databases. .   We have footprinted some 160 exhibitor stands in Europe and the UK so far, to give us these square metre estimates. For 2024 we are focusing on footprinting events in the USA and hopefully China, enabling us to make more accurate square metre emissions estimates on a regional basis. 

Q. By all accounts, third-party event logistics and travel emissions are particularly hard for event organisers to measure. How are you approaching these? ▼

A. Logistics emissions, by which I mean the movement of stands and goods between venues and stand contractors, are tricky for organisers to get a handle on, because we are at least one step removed from the process. While some venues track the number of vehicles arriving and departing, they don’t all track what type of vehicle it is or where it has come from. But we are seeing some promising developments, for example Excel and Olympia in London have both started using logistics software which gives them, and us, more information on the types of vehicles and distances travelled to our events. This is helping us to develop more reliable estimates for our events.   When it comes to travel, we are measuring employee business travel and any travel we pay for such as  conference speakers, and those attending our events on a hosted buyer model, which is widely used by our travel events.   Separately, we are trying to gain a better understanding of our visitor and exhibitor travel by analysing the distance travelled and destination of each attendee through our registration data so we can also start to make some assumptions about travel emissions.   RX has also been working on a joint research project with fellow organisers, Informa, Clarion, Emerald and Tarsus, to understand the role events play in consolidating air travel by providing a single location for participants to undertake multiple meetings in one place, at one time. This is due to be published shortly and is also helping to inform our emissions estimates.  

Q. What steps are you taking to share your measurement methodologies with the wider events industry?   ▼

A. We feel it is important to align on a common methodology for measurement so we are hoping to convene a group of event organisers where we can share our measurement approaches and learn from each other.   Events are produced with the support and engagement of a complex and fragmented mix of stakeholders. Making our events more sustainable therefore relies on more than just the work individual organisers, venues or contractors do. As signatories to Net Zero Carbon Events we are all committed to achieving net zero, and it is in all our interests to align our actions to face the challenge and embrace sustainable change together. 

Q. How is the emissions data you have obtained so far informing the delivery of more sustainable RX events?   ▼

A. Over the last year we have placed a big emphasis on understanding the full life cycle of event emissions, using a footprinting tool which incorporates our venue and waste emissions but also takes into account emissions data and estimates resulting from stand production and waste, food and food waste, logistics and travel.   As I mentioned earlier, we generated 12 complete event footprints last year across Europe and the US so far, ranging from big events such as JCK Show (jckonline.com) and World Travel Market, to smaller events like the Functional Fabric Fair. Based on the data received we have put together an emissions report for each event team highlighting those things which the teams can directly influence, be it energy usage, the use of more sustainable production materials, waste reduction, including food waste, and recycling opportunities.   There are still gaps in our knowledge, particularly around production and logistics, and we are focused on growing our data bank in 2024 to give us a more complete and accurate picture, so that we can generate reliable estimates where we don’t have the data.  This will include obtaining some complete event footprints in the USA and hopefully China too.   Measurement is critical – you can’t manage what you can’t measure  ̶  but it takes time. Aware that every day, month, and year counts in the fight against climate change, we published the RX Sustainability Playbook in January 2023 to support all of our event and operations teams in making more sustainable choices now – be it through switching to digital catalogues, using sustainable badges and lanyards, recycling waste within the local community, or any number of other transformative opportunities. What is exciting about the footprinting we have been doing is that it enables you to define not only our baselines, but also to develop many more specific actions and goals which will be embedded into our event strategies for next year.  

RX Sustainability Series

Interactive Titles

Part 1: Talking Sustainability… with Helen Sheppard

In the first of a new series of articles focusing on sustainability at RX, we talk to Helen Sheppard who joined us as Sustainability Director in January 2022. She tells us about her background in corporate responsibility, what inspired her to take on this important new role at RX, and how the company is aiming to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050 (or earlier), as a founder signatory of UFI’s event industry pledge. Read more

Part 2: Exploring RX's Sustainable Events

RX is a founding partner of UFI’s pledge which commits the event industry to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. As we develop our own roadmap to achieve net zero by 2040, in parallel with our parent company RELX, we shine a light on four RX sustainable exhibitions which are taking an industry lead on event sustainability and informing our journey with their best practice. Read more

RX partner with venues and suppliers to drive net zero carbon events

On 6 November, the COP27 Climate Change Conference gets underway in Sharm El-Sheikh. As a founding signatory to the UFI Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge, RX is committed to helping the events industry achieve Net Zero by 2050. Collaboration between organisers, venues and contractors is key to making our Net Zero goals a reality. We reveal how RX is partnering with ExCel London, New York’s Javits Center, Messe Wien, Freeman, amongst many others, to drive the sustainable change we all need to see. Read more

The RX Sustainability Playbook

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Guiding our journey to net zero events

The journey to net zero carbon events starts right now. Check out how RX’s new Sustainability Playbook is informing and supporting our event and operations teams to make more sustainable event choices. Later this year, RX will publish our Pathway to Net Zero, setting out our carbon reduction strategy to achieve net zero by 2040, with key milestones for all our shows. As a first step, we have developed a new carbon reduction toolkit or ‘Playbook’ to support all of our event and operations teams in making more sustainable choices – be it through switching to digital catalogues, using sustainable badges and lanyards, recycling waste within the local community, or any number of other transformative opportunities. Read more

How RX supports the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

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We look back on an exciting year of diverse and sustainable growth. 2022 saw a strong return to face to face events for RX and good progress on our corporate responsibility priorities and Sustainable Development Goals, as highlighted in our Annual Report. Annual Report

Corporate responsibility at RX is not a programme or prescriptive set of activities; it is how we do what we do on a daily basis. Like every RELX business, we align all our objectives to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and make our own unique contributions to specific SDGs through our products, knowledge, resources and skills. SDGs

The very nature of our business at RX is to foster communities, and in doing so we are particularly mindful of SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). Here’s how we have made a difference over the past year.Learn more

What are our events up to?

50th anniversary of SPE Offshore Europe sets out path to a sustainable energy future

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How Arabian Travel Market supports sustainable action

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Powering Australia’s clean energy revolution

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London Book Fair and Elsevier – partners in sustainable action

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RX events drive clean energy transition

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Selling the Science of Sustainable Beauty

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Accelerating sustainable change, industry by industry

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Fenasucro & Agrocana: the trade show powered with 100% clean energy

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Head over to our website to discover more about RX and our journey to Net Zero.