Are you going to Ecobuild next week?
If so, please do pop over to Stand S1102 to say hello. We're right next to the S4 entrance to the South Hall.
We often advise clients on their exhibition plans, but actually booking an exhibition space at Ecobuild ourselves is a very exciting project for us. It has involved a whole team of environmentally-friendly suppliers (many of whom are donating their materials, time and expertise free of charge) and our first working collaboration with the excellent team at commercial interior designers Grigoriou Interiors.
Grigoriou Interiors is one of London’s most forward-thinking consultancies on all aspects of sustainable interior design and architecture, predominantly in the commercial sector.
It is run by two sisters, Elina and Angeliki Grigoriou, who have worked with renowned global brands such as Virgin Atlantic, Marks and Spencer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Regus.
Elina Grigoriou is one of the UK’s leading experts on sustainable commercial interior design - you may also have seen her named this week as one of Building magazine's Top 50 Rising Stars of Sustainability.
Consequently, our exhibition stand at this year’s Ecobuild will become the first built in the UK to be formally assessed for its environmental impact under the RICS Ska Rating scheme.
Building on the success of the original office fit-out version launched in 2009, Ska Rating for Retail was launched by RICS in February, and can be applied to exhibition spaces.
It is an award-winning standard assessment method that allows businesses to measure the environmental impact of their fit-outs and to set benchmarks for improvements.
Our joint stand with Grigoriou Interiors will be designed and built according to Ska Rating good practice measures. Consideration has been given to the whole lifecycle of the stand and, once built, it will be formally assessed for its environmental impact, including where appropriate energy efficiency and the CO2 emissions from transport, waste and material use.
I can't wait to see the stand - Elina tells me that it will be a fun and friendly space. Nothing too corporate. And as she always reminds me, ‘fashionable’ and ‘green’ need not be mutually exclusive.
For me, this stand also demonstrates what can be done through creative collaborations between liked-minded businesses, where genuinely sustainable spaces can be well designed and built very economically.
This is a first, and our success with Ska will depend on how much can be verified once the stand has been built, but we are confidently aiming for a silver Ska Rating (we will know for sure by the end of the show and will get the certificate to show for it). And of course we also gain a robust benchmark to improve on next year.
This is no gimmick. Exhibitors at any show with ‘eco’ or ‘green’ in its title will inevitably come under scrutiny for the environmental sustainability of their stands, and we felt very conscious of that. Without any form of accredited assessment, we all run the risk of being accused of greenwash.
That’s why we chose to work with Grigoriou Interiors and use Ska Rating.
I think this exercise – as with all good PR and marketing in this field – is about a journey, a learning process, and a commitment to responsible promotion.
It is also providing us with a very special meeting space, a quiet place at Ecobuild for journalists to meet up with our clients who will be attending the show. That's its primary purpose. So I hope you will stop to say hello if you're passing by, and I can introduce you to some great people.
Our very grateful thanks go to the other collaborators on the stand, including:
Stand Manufacture & Construction: Mast Displays - http://www.mastdisplays.co.uk/
Paint: Earthborne - http://www.earthbornpaints.co.uk/
Furniture: Mark Product - http://www.markproduct.com/
Lighting: LSLCo – www.lslco.co.uk