From left to right: Mr James Yu, General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd and Ms Fiona Chiew, General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd at Messe Frankfurt’s afforestation site in Chengdu, China.Sustainable thinking has emerged as a key pillar of Messe Frankfurt’s corporate philosophy.

The company takes a holistic approach to implementing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices in various operations as a leading trade fair organiser. In recognition, the German-based headquarters was awarded a Bronze Medal in 2022 after successfully completing its first-ever ESG rating from EcoVadis. Following this direction, subsidiaries around the world are also planting roots with long-term impact. Today, representatives from Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd are visiting their afforestation site in Southwest China, an example in a series of voluntary commitments to promote sustainability.

Leaning into ESG across Messe Frankfurt’s Greater China subsidiaries, Mr James Yu, General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, said: “As trade fair organisers, we see the importance of promoting sustainability, and it is only by engaging with various stakeholders that we can truly understand their needs and concerns. Our responsibility here lies in engaging and promoting various initiatives, whether utilising recycled or recyclable materials for booth construction, informing our customers about policy updates, or encouraging transformation for a better tomorrow in business and society.”

Mr Yu added: “Today’s tree-planting activity is one of several social campaigns organised by Greater China offices to raise local public awareness on a number of important issues. The project started in 2017 with the backing of government agencies, automotive associations and media in China’s Southwest Sichuan province. Over the years, we have watched these trees flourish, symbolic of the region’s development too and returning to this site is always a strong reminder of our pledge of promoting net zero goals in the automotive industry, not just in the region but across China and around the world.”

Sichuan plays host to the company’s regional automotive trade fair CAPAS Chengdu, a show widely recognised by industry locals for its approach and commitment to the green development and advancement of the sector. With the region’s increased focus on new energy vehicle adoption and connected mobility, the exhibition will fulfil its role of highlighting the new energy vehicle supply chain, with leading brands across parts and components, accessories, customising, repair and diagnostics, as well as battery suppliers participating. Conferences are also set to touch up on next-generation changes in the aftermarket in light of the rising electric vehicle era.

CAPAS Chengdu sits under the Mobility & Logistics division, overseeing around 40 global events in the automotive, transportation and logistics sectors. In total, Greater China offices organise seven related events stretching across China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, including Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City, Automechanika Kuala Lumpur, Automechanika Shanghai and the debuting Asiabike Jakarta, to name a few. Each focuses on the ongoing energy transition in their respective markets.

The group has also extended its coverage of environmental technologies under the segments of Technology and Textiles & Textile Technology. Green solutions were covered in several themed exhibitions like Eco Expo Asia, as well as other industry sectors, such as air and water purification systems in buildings, sustainable technologies for textiles and accessories, food processing, automation and remanufacturing.

In addition to the tree planting, there have been many other significant community outreaches from trade fair project teams over the years.

In 2020, Paperworld China participated in a charity event in Hululdao (Liaoning province) called ‘Little paintbrush, big dreams’, where they donated stationery items to a local school and centre for autistic children. The team also held a similar trip in 2017 to Yunnan where they gave supplies to children who remain in rural parts of China while their parents leave to work in urban areas. Elsewhere, Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China, and Licensing China partnered with Nam Kwong Culture and Creativity Industry in 2019 to present laptops, tricycles, towels and bags to the Macau Tung Sin Tong Charitable Society, benefiting children in daycare centres and well as the elderly at activity centres. Music China has also hosted a special performance for an autism charity project on several occasions between 2020 and 2014. Ticketing proceeds from ‘Music Warms Our Hearts’ were donated to the Shanghai Education Development Foundation.

Messe Frankfurt also actively supports social causes through direct donations. Since 2007, the company has donated over HKD 2 million to prominent charitable organisations across Hong Kong. Additionally, through the China Red Cross, RMB 300,000 assisted survivors of the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. Participation in Strive for a Cure also raised funds for the prevention and treatment of cancer and a home visitation programme for the elderly in 2012 and 2016, respectively.

At the same time, Messe Frankfurt was named an official sponsor of Projekt Berlin in Hong Kong’s arts scene, a two-week showcase in 2019 of Berlin’s cultural landscapes through classical and contemporary art. The involvement was a nod to the group’s German background and footprint outside the country while acknowledging the value of collaboration and cultural appreciation in everyday life and business. 

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