Tue, Apr

Headed for Eco Future?

Viscom focuses on LFP sustainability at this year’s show, which runs 25 – 27 October in Frankfurt.

EcoPrint, the first show dedicated to sustainability in print, may now be over but the issue of sustainability in print is far from it. Expect the should-be priority topic therefore to get a good airing at Viscom in Frankfurt at the end of this month.

It’s a show that will place a degree of emphasis on sustainability - in large-format print in particular - via a special exhibition area called Eco Future, a co-operative venture between Viscom (the International Trade Fair for Visual Communication, Technology and Design), rgf and the Media Mundo Initiative.

This will sit alongside the six main themed Viscom worlds: Display POS; Signmaking; Digital Signage; Out of Home Media; Printing, Process and Materials; and Working Materials, Workplace Equipment and Services and run as one of seven ‘special areas’ (including Display POS Expo, Digital Signage World, World of Inspiration, Designmaker, Web-to-Print and the European Wrap Star competition).

The intention is to present the opportunities and perspectives for economically as well as ecologically and socially responsible large-format media production. As such Eco Future will take the form of a themed mini-exhibition in combination with presentations of exhibitors and live-talks in a special area. The organisers are also marketing it as an exchange – a place to network with plenty of space for conversations with manufacturer etc.

Eco Future, aims not only to provide presentations by exhibitors, best practice models and live talks but to be a source of inspiration for entirely new ideas. This event within an event will focus on burning environmental issues such as: Which materials and print media are particularly environmentally friendly? How can the production of print media use resources efficiently? What measures can minimise emissions generated by media production? How big is the CO2 footprint of products and production? How can materials be recycled? Information, presentations and project examples will be provided in answer to these questions.

Sustainability cannot be limited to ecological considerations, however. Two other aspects are also catered for at this special exhibition: economics and social responsibility. From an economics perspective the primary focus will be on defining sustainable products that offer added value to both producers and consumers. On the CSR front, little has been said, but the organisers promise it will not be ignored!

“Global trends such as ‘green printing technology’ are very promising but rarely meet with recognition in the form of customers’ willingness to pay a higher price. ‘Greenwashing’ practiced by some suppliers also results in a lack of clarity. In this respect, education is required.” So says Joachim Rees of Multiplot Europe, large-format print solution supplier and one of the exhibitors at Viscom. His singe voice represents the many.

The close involvement of Media Mundo with Eco Future should ensure it is spot on in terms of direction. Established as a forum dealing with trends and future prospects in the field of climate protection and sustainability in media production Media Mundo’s advisory council has the involvement of major environmental organisations as well as representatives from business and politics and the Media Mundo Congress has established itself over the past three years as an important industry event for sustainable media production.

With the motto of Viscom 2012 being ‘Experiencing new perspectives’ it is very much hoped that Eco Future will deliver exactly that.

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