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GSMA Mobile World Congress 2016 Certified as Carbon Neutral

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The GSMA today announced that the 2016 Mobile World Congress has officially been certified as carbon neutral by British Standards Institute (BSI) and was confirmed by Guinness World Records as the largest carbon neutral trade show in the world. Additionally, as part of its broader environmental initiatives for Mobile World Congress, the GSMA today named the Catalonia Pavilion, the European Commission and Mobile World Capital Barcelona winners of the 2016 Mobile World Congress Green Stand Awards.

“The GSMA is committed to ensuring the sustainability of Mobile World Congress, working alongside Fira Barcelona, our exhibitors and local partners to reduce electricity consumption and waste in printed materials, encourage the re-use and recycling of materials at the venue, utilise digital signage and electronic tools, among other activities,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. “I’m particularly proud of the Donation Room, a new programme that we launched with the Barcelona City Council this year, where exhibitors were able to donate unwanted materials and furniture to help Barcelona citizens in need. It’s not just about minimising our carbon footprint, but giving back to the community that supports Mobile World Congress.”

In order to become re-certified, the GSMA worked with consultancy Factor CO2 to calculate Mobile World Congress’ carbon footprint, develop a carbon management plan for reducing its impact and compensate the remaining emissions. The 2016 Mobile World Congress generated approximately 163,867 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). It is estimated that 89 per cent of carbon emissions related to Mobile World Congress resulted from attendees travelling to and from the event, as well as their stay at the event, while the remaining 11 per cent are associated with the venue and operation of the event.

As an independent third party, BSI confirmed that the sources of emissions identified and the greenhouse gas emissions are correct, in accordance with the international standard PAS 2050:2011. Further, BSI verified that Mobile World Congress is neutral in emissions, following the GSMA’s implementation of reduction measures and purchase of carbon credits to offset the remaining emissions generated during the event, in accordance with the international standard PAS 2060.

Carbon credits purchased by the GSMA help finance several emissions reduction projects registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These projects include a run-of-river hydropower project in the Hubei province of China and gas recovery and utilisation projects in Malaysia and Nigeria, among others.

Giving Back to the Community

New for 2016, the GSMA and Barcelona City Council developed a programme called the Donation Room, where Mobile World Congress exhibitors could donate materials such as furniture, IT equipment, office equipment and corporate gifts to local socially responsible entities at the end of the event. Exhibitors and the GSMA contributed approximately 6 tonnes of building materials and more than 150 pieces of quality furniture to the Donation Room following Mobile World Congress 2016. Fundació Formacío i Treball received furniture, which it is providing to families and individuals in need via Barcelona’s social services centers or selling in its network of stores to raise funds for employment and training programmes, while Ateneu de Fabricació de La Fàbrica del Sol received build materials for use in their centres for activities with young people.

2016 Green Stand Award Winners

The GSMA works with exhibitors to provide greater insight into and understanding of their individual carbon footprints and encourages companies to implement environmental best practices in their exhibits. To recognise and reward positive environmental performance amongst exhibitors of all sizes at Mobile World Congress, in 2015, the GSMA established the Green Stand Awards. The winners of the 2016 Green Stand Awards are:

  • The Catalonia Pavilion in the Large Stand (over 500 sqm) category
  • Mobile World Capital Barcelona in the Medium Stand (150-500 sqm) category
  • The European Commission in the Small Stand (less than 150 sqm) category

Lenovo was recognised as “Highly Commended” for the measures they undertook to reduce their stand’s carbon footprint.

“Congratulations to this year’s Green Stand Award winners for their commitment to the environment,” commented Hoffman. “We thank them for their contributions in making Mobile World Congress 2016 the world’s largest carbon neutral trade show.”

Mobile World Congress 2017

The 2017 Mobile World Congress will be held 27 February – 2 March 2017 at Fira Gran Via. Mobile World Congress is the cornerstone of the Mobile World Capital, which will be hosted in Barcelona through 2023. The Mobile World Capital encompasses programmes and activities that span the entire year and will benefit not only the citizens of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, but also the worldwide mobile industry. For more information on the Mobile World Capital, visit www.mobileworldcapital.com.

-ENDS-

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

Contact information

Media Contacts:
For the GSMA
Charlie Meredith-Hardy, +44 7917 298428
CMeredith-Hardy@webershandwick.com
or
Xavier Serra, +34 93 236 09 30
xserra@webershandwick.com
or
GSMA Press Office
pressoffice@gsma.com

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