IFBSO members are joining a fast-growing movement to remove single-use plastics packaging from their events as well as becoming champions of spreading environmental awareness in an effort to tackle the global pollution crisis.
During the last ICOMIA/IFBSO Congress in Berlin in June 2018, IFBSO delegates agreed that boat show organisers are in a unique position to act as trail blazers for the industry and encourage initiatives to curb the pollution of the world’s oceans, lakes and waterways. Accordingly, one of the most important outcomes of the annual gathering was the commitment by IFBSO members to use their boat shows as conduits to push measures in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals and run a campaign to communicate information on issues related to plastic pollution and increase the ecological awareness of participants and visitors at IFBSO member boat shows. This commitment will be included in the IFBSO Code of Excellence and the specially developed #ReThinkPlastic logo will signal the member shows’ commitment and highlight specific activities during the shows to the public.
The relevant wording in the Code of Excellence is as follows:
- IFBSO member boat shows will endeavour to participate in our #ReThinkPlastic initiative to the best of their ability and are encouraged to run a campaign to communicate diverse information on issues related to plastic pollution in order to create or increase ecological awareness amongst exhibitors and visitors. The campaign will be dedicated to showcasing policy developments on water quality, noise, nature and biodiversity, waste and water management, promoting participatory approaches to sustainable urban development, networking schemes, and will be providing tools for sharing best practices, engaging local authorities and citizens, and encouraging them to share their vision of a sustainable future.
- IFBSO member boat shows should also aim to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics at their shows wherever possible (eg food packaging, grocery bags, bottles, straws, containers, cups, cutlery, plastic bags, promotional items, etc) and embrace the principles of corporate social responsibility.
For now, the new initiative is a voluntary code and we are encouraging our members to comply with it to the best of their ability. Some of our members are already very active and, in addition to making their shows plastic free zones, hold seminars and workshops on sustainability in the marine industry and generally strive to increase the integration of this principle into their own business models and company management.
It requires a lot of effort and, accordingly, resources to fully embrace the campaign and given the diverse size, history and structure of our member boat shows IFBSO will provide as much help and advice as is possible to help members become drivers of the global sustainability agenda.
Not only are we asking our members to make a commitment to environmental causes concerning all aspects of their individual shows but also to encourage their customers to do the same. Accordingly, our intention is to widen the ongoing discussion of sustainability and advance the cleanliness and biodiversity of our oceans, lakes and waterways wherever and however possible and share our vision, mission and values.