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Sustainability to be a top theme at Paperworld 2021

23 Jul 2020

For the first time, Paperworld will take place from 30 January to 2 February 2021 with an overriding central theme: sustainability. The three topics of environmentally conscious shopping, ecological practices and sustainability have been key issues in the paper, office supplies and stationery sector for a long time. They have also been part of Paperworld for many years and will be brought directly into focus in 2021 with the focus on sustainability.

Exhibitors present their sustainable products - for example pens, pencil cases and notebook covers made of recycled plastic. / Photo: Messe Frankfurt
Exhibitors present their sustainable products - for example pens, pencil cases and notebook covers made of recycled plastic. / Photo: Messe Frankfurt

This is not just about exhibitors' products, but a holistic concept based on three pillars:
The first and largest pillar is made up of the exhibitors, who are represented with sustainable products at the trade fair for stationery, office supplies and writing instruments in Frankfurt am Main. Nowadays, manufacturers from all office and stationery segments are increasingly focusing on sustainable and environmentally friendly goods and their production. To make these even more visible to visitors, Paperworld is introducing sustainability as a “Special Interest”. This is a labelling system that clearly identifies manufacturers with sustainable products, both in the exhibitor search on the website and in the app and catalogue.

"Under the search term 'Sustainability' on the website, it will be possible to display all exhibitors in this area. This will make it even easier for visitors to find the respective manufacturers in the halls. Moreover, they will be able to gather information about the products and the company in advance in the exhibitor search", says Michael Reichhold, Director of Paperworld.

Complementary programme highlights sustainability on several levels

The second pillar is the complementary programme of events, where sustainability issues are integrated in a wide variety of ways.

The special "Future Office" exhibition will also be devoted to the central theme of sustainability in 2021. Sustainable products, eco-fair purchasing and environmentally friendly solutions for the office will be presented both within the area and in the speaker programme.

The focus of the lecture days will vary on each occasion: On Saturday, the office trend forum focuses on "Green Office: The Sustainable Solution". The question asked is: What will, what can and what must be done to produce, procure and consume sustainably? The theme day is geared towards facility managers, planners and specialist retailers with an office focus. The cooperation partner is publisher Prima Vier Nehring Verlag.

Sunday and Monday are aimed at architects, planners and interior designers, and highlight relevant developments in office concepts and the design of sustainable buildings. The motto for this day is: Sustainability: for office buildings, office planning and office furnishings. The cooperation partner is PSA Publishers / world-architects.

On Tuesday, the Sustainable Office Day moves into the "Future Office" for the first time. The diverse specialist presentations on environmentally conscious purchasing will be accompanied by best practice examples from the winners of the "Office & Environment" competition, which will provide practical solutions for sustainable and environmentally friendly office equipment. The kick-off for next year's "Office & Environment" competition will also take place under the patronage of Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister of the Environment. The theme day is directed at specialist stationery, office supplies and writing instrument retailers, buyers of commercial office supplies, and the specialist trade in the office furnishings sector.

The Paperworld team is being supported by their cooperation partner B.A.U.M. - the German Environmental Management Association.

The "Paperworld Trends" are also all about sustainability. Here, the focus is on both environmentally conscious products and gentle processing methods. Whether it involves near-natural materials, such as felt and wood in the office landscape, or recycled products, such as the processing of plastic into writing utensils - the trends highlight a whole range of different aspects. What they all have in common is that they combine future-oriented developments in office equipment and valuable tips for an attractive store design. For specialist dealers, Paperworld Trends is the first port of call to experience the trends and innovations for the coming season live. They are developed by the bora.herke.palmisano style agency on behalf of Messe Frankfurt.

Cooperation partners support the topic of sustainability

The third pillar is the cooperation with associations and clubs, which inform both visitors and exhibitors about their activities and the latest developments in sustainability.

The Agency for Renewable Resources (Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe - FNR) will be presenting itself with the "Renewable Office". As lead partner of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the FNR promotes greater consideration of sustainable (office) products in public and private procurement. The staff at their booth will explain the connection between product selection and climate, because with 18 million office workplaces in Germany and numerous home offices, there is great potential for plant-based innovative product alternatives.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which has already been represented with an info-stand in previous years, is also registered for Paperworld 2021. FSC is a reliable organisation for safeguarding important environmental and social standards in the forest. The non-profit organisation is committed to positive change in markets, people and forests, both today and for future generations. "We would be delighted to welcome FSC back at the 2021 Paperworld. FSC employees provided information at their stand on the requirements for FSC certification of paper products. They also answered questions about sustainable packaging and listed all Paperworld exhibitors with FSC certification in the Green Pages information booklet. This is what makes the FSC's presence at Paperworld a valuable addition to the fair", says Michael Reichhold.

Ecology in the workplace is an issue for the future because it not only serves to protect and preserve the environment, but also goes hand in hand with economic considerations. Conserving resources and increasing work efficiency are closely linked to ecological aspects. A "green orientation" also supports the environmentally conscious purchasing behaviour of consumers, which is increasingly coming to the fore. Making sustainability the top theme of Paperworld in 2021 is an important and pioneering step into the future. I am delighted that we are taking this step together with our exhibitors and partners", says Michael Reichhold. By autumn, additional programme items will be developed to integrate sustainability into other areas of Paperworld.

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Paperworld - The visionary office. The stationery trends.

Next fair: 30 January – 2 February 2021 in Frankfurt am Main

The leading international trade fair presents the latest products and trends in the paper, office supplies, and stationery sector every year in Frankfurt am Main. Paperworld offers the world's widest range of products in commercial office supplies (visionary office) and the private stationery sector (stationery trends). This makes Paperworld the highlight of the year for the industry, and a source of innovative business ideas for wholesalers and retailers, booksellers, the Internet and mail order sector, and commercial consumers. In addition, the wide-ranging event and congress programme provides inspiration and knowledge transfer for retailers, architects, planners, facility managers, as well as heads of educational and seminar.

In 2020, Paperworld welcomed 1,591 exhibitors from 69 countries and 30,723 trade visitors from 141 countries.

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt

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