Frequently Asked Questions on Sustainability

How does Fira promote the use of renewable resources?

100% of the energy used by Fira is green energy, derived from renewable resources such as solar, wind, hydraulic, tidal and geothermal, together with biomass and biogas. This includes all the consumption generated at the venues (stands, exhibition areas, congress-related activity, etc.) and in the offices. This initiative leads to the emission of 12,500 fewer tonnes of CO2 per year, a figure equivalent to the planting of one million trees.

In addition to consuming 100% Green energy, the Gran Via venue has a rooftop photovoltaic plant with 25,947 panels over an area of 135,000 m2 that generate 5.86 GWh of electricity per year, avoiding the emission of more than 2,200 tons of CO2.We are connected to the municipal heating and cooling network, consuming energy from renewable sources.

What energy saving initiatives does Fira apply to venue installations?

Fira is continuously striving to improve our energy efficiency through the installation of the most advanced technologies and equipment. In this regard, Fira is a pioneer in Spain, furnishing the entire venue (Gran Via) with IoT technology to optimise energy consumption associated with HVAC. Fira has also installed low consumption lighting systems (LED).

Can energy consumption be measured on a per-event basis?

Fira's Gran Vía venue has an energy management system in place that provides detailed knowledge of the energy in demand. Energy consumption can be measured on a per event basis through the Fira Building Management System (BMS).

What measures does Fira have in place to assist reduced mobility participants and visitors?

Fira's Gran Via venue is fully accessible to ensure the full participation of all attendees. The venue has unobstructed accesses and all venue floors are accessible through lifts. Please contact our Fira team for more information or to assist with any special requirements.

Lift control panels are located at an accessible height between 850-1100 mm and have braille writing for visually-impaired attendees. An intercom facility is available through the alarm button. The venue can provide wheelchairs and rental scooters for wheelchair users.

Are Fira venues easily accessible by public transportation?

Yes, Barcelona has a wide and efficient public transportation network directly linked to both Gran Vía and Montjuïc venues. Sustainable transport is at the heat of the Fira's commitment to sustainable development. Public bycicle parking is available at both venues.

Gran Via venue can be easily reached by metro (L9 and L10) and by urban train (FFCC). Numerous buses also connect the venue to the city. The airport can also be reached on the L9 direct line. 

Montjuïc venue is located at the city centre and conveniently linked by the local public transport.

Detailed directions are available at How to Get There: Gran Via and Montjuïc.

Does Fira hold any certifications or awards for past sustainability efforts and achievements? 

Fira was awarded the Sustainable Development Award (2017) of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) which classifies the world's leading trade fair organisers. The award recognised Fira's commitment to helping Barcelona become a benchmark destination in terms of trade fair sustainability.

Fira is currently working on completing ISO 14001 and EMAS certifications and is expected to receive both in 2020. We have adhered to the Barcelona Biosphere Tourism Sustainability Commitment since 2019, which recognises companies committed to responsible management and respectful of the environment, culture, working conditions, gender equality and their social and economic contribution. You can find more information in the next link: https://www.biospheretourism.com/en

What organisational structures does Fira have in place to respond to sustainability policy objectives and initiatives? 

The executive direction of Fira has commited to the United Nation's Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and formed a Sustainability Work Committee in charge of the implementation, coordination and dissemination of these sustainability initiatives both for our events and internal activities.

Is Fira's sustainability plan publicly available?

Yes, Fira's Sustainability Policy is publicly available and can be downloaded at the following link.

Can Fira provide a carbon footprint report on a per-event basis?

Yes, Fira offers carbon footprint report services for events, both for organisers and exhibitors alike. Emissions can be offset via the Clean CO2 platform, investing in an environmental and social development projects. Please contact Fira team for further information on these services.

How can Fira help to make my event more sustainable?

Fira Barcelona has partnered with Anthesis Lavola consulting agency and offers a wide range of sustainability services and initiatives:

• Carbon footprint calculation and emission offsetting

• Delivery of a custom calculation tool to calculate and offset the attendees emissions receiving a Clean CO2 Certificate

• Green meetings Label Towards Zero Impact

• Consulting and communication services to make events more sustainable

In addition, we offer services such as recyclable carpet and we carry out selective waste management during events. We can also advise you on other actions and initiatives to make your events more sustainable.

Does Fira integrate sustainability requirements in its contracts with suppliers?

Yes, Fira's focus on sustainability is also reflected in contracting with suppliers and partners, further extending our commitment to sustainability along the production chain. New bids and contracts are updated with environmental provisions and sustainability 'best practices' are part of our selection criteria, incentivizing our suppliers to increasingly adopt certified sustainability practices and develop more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials.

In addition, Fira's purchasing department is currently working on implementing the ISO 20400 certificate for sustainable purchasing.

What are Fira's environmental objectives and waste reduction targets?

Fira has committed to the following actions presently and through 2021:

• Obtain ISO 14001 - 2015 and EMAS Certifications

• 75% reduction of carbon footprint

• 5% reduction of consumption of non-recyclable exhibition carpet

• 5% increase of previously un-recovered waste

• 5% reduction in Fira offices of per-person consumption of non-recyclable paper

• Promoting formulas of circular economy, eco-design and reuse of materials for the minimisation of the waste generated throughout our activity.

• Formulating and optimising selective waste collection at each event, ensuring the continuous improvement of recycling ratios.

• Promoting the transition towards more sustainable offices, minimising the consumption of resources, improving the recycling of waste and promoting daily actions that reduce environmental impact.

How many streams of waste collection does Fira have? Can an organizer request special recycling stream/requirements? Are recycling bins provided at highly visible and convenient locations for both exhibitors and attendees?

Fira has a 'green' collection point for waste management at both Montjuïc and Gran Via venues, and manages the following waste streams: Paper/cardboard/carton, Plastic /metal/cans, Glass, Organic waste, Wood, Iron waste and General waste. In addition, we have Paper and Plastic compacters onsite.

During events recycling bins are provided at highly visible in areas in multiple languages for General waste, Plastic and Paper waste. Other recycling solutions can be offered under request.

Can Fira provide post-event waste reports, including total waste produced and break down by the various waste streams? I.e. glass, plastic, paper etc.

Yes, Fira can provide a detailed reports with breakdown of the weight for the main waste streams per day and per event.

Can Fira provide services for recycling of exhibition carpet?

Yes, recycling of exhibition carpet can be provided. 

Does Fira use environmentally friendly cleaning products?

Highly aggressive disinfectant products are prohibited for environmental reasons and Fira adheres to local regulations. Green cleaning products can be made available for Events upon request. 

Can Fira provide skips for different waste streams for exhibitors?

Yes, skips for different waste streams can be contracted through Servifira. Fira is committed to providing the most efficient services to contractors and exhibitors and ensuring that waste management is performed correctly and in accordance with sustainability initiatives. 

Does Fira have electrical vehicle charging stations?

Yes, vehicle charging points available for visitors and organisers. There are 14 units at the Gran Via Venue Car Park A and 4 at the Montjuic Venue Lleida Car Park.

There are also 12 charging points within the venue for supplier use.

How does Gastrofira participate in the general  waste reduction and separation initiatives in their caterings, kitchen and outlets? How many streams of waste can I separate in the food and beverage activities?

Gastrofira carries out waste separation in several fractions in their restaurants, storage areas and central kitchen. During Events the initiatives utilized are mainly determined by the catering offer. A client may choose to increase streams and request to implement any of the waste collection streams available in Fira to Gastrofira services. 

Do you have community partnerships to enable donation of food and materials?

Gastrofira collaborates with the "BCN Shares Food" program from Nutrition Without Borders. Their main goal is to reduce food waste and protect the universal right of access to food for citizens living in poverty. Since 2012, this program has to collected 70 tons of food from 17 companies that have delivered food waste to 15 social organisations.

Gastrofira also collaborates with the "Hunger does not take holidays" a food collection campaign. It has also participated in the "Refresh" and ECOWASTE4FOOD projects to quantify food waste.

Do you have a no single use plastic policy in the premises for food and beverage related activities (front and back of house)?

Gastrofira has implemented the Towards Plastic Reduction program. The aim is to increase the use of compostable and recyclable material, by introducing bioplastic materials (PLA) and discarding disposable materials, replacing aluminium cans or PET bottles with glass bottles. The target is to reduce by 90% all disposable plastic in all F&B production and catering outlets by 2021. Some of these initiatives include the following actions:

▪ Wooden stirrers: replace the use of plastic coffee stirrers by paper wrapped wooden stirrers

▪ PLA: replace single-use plastic plates and cutlery by compostable material, introducing bioplastics (PLA)

▪ Tetra Brik packaging: the use of plastic bottles is eliminated

▪ Glass bottles: Reduce the use of aluminium cans or PET bottles in restaurants and at Gastrofira's offer for all beverages (except for water)

▪ Coffee capsules: All Nespresso coffee capsules are being recollected and recycled using biodegradable bag delivered to each client

We can also offer the use of reusable tableware (eg. china plates, glasses and serving utensils)

Is Gastrofira able to provide an offer using local, organic and/or sustainable products?

Approximately 50% of our ingredients come from Spain, for the most part from Catalonia. Gastrofira is committed to promote the use of local and seasonal products, and organic products are also included in the food and beverage offer. Gastrofira can advise the organiser on the most suitable products and create special offers tailored to the needs and requirements of the event.

Do you cater those with special dietary requirements (e.g. Allergens/halal/vegan)?

Gastrofira offers a wide range of culinary and dietary options to cater for special dietary requirements. Organisers and visitors are encouraged to inform Gastrofira of special requirements and we strive to provide an extensive list of options. Allergen information signs are also available on request. 

Our chefs work hand-in-hand with an in-house nutritionist to create recipes adapted to all dietary restrictions. We also offer special meals to address religious requirements.

How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect sustainability initiatives in terms of food and beverage activities?

Gastrofira ensures the strictest health and safety and prevention measures, determined by the corresponding institutions, are in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time Gastrofira maintains its strong commitment to sustainability initiatives. The policy of Towards Plastic Reduction will be maintained by encouraging the introduction of biodegradable materiales for all food served wrapped and in individual formats due to required health regulations. 

Can you provide drinking water in bulk dispensers or pitchers at all catered events, thereby eliminating individual single use plastic bottles?

Yes, Gastrofira offers bulk water dispensers as well as water purification systems connected to the city water network. Glasses for use with the dispensers can be provided in PLA or cardboard. Gastrofira has a wide range of wholesale and individual water formats (recycled cardboard, glass, etc ...). Please contact the Gastrofira team for more information on all available options.