Exhibition World Bahrain: Sustainable Management at its Best

2nd May 2024

Exhibition World Bahrain (EWB) stands as a pioneering venue in sustainability, setting a new standard for the meetings industry. Owned by Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) and managed by the globally renowned ASM Global, EWB has not only been recognised as the World’s Leading New Exhibition and Convention Centre for 2023 by the prestigious World Travel Awards, but also stands as a testament to the Kingdom’s commitment to sustainability.

Words Remi Deve

Situated strategically between the East and West, Bahrain stands at the pivotal junction of its history. Boasting a heritage that stretches back to the Dilmun Age, coupled with a focus on genuine hospitality, the Kingdom offers a holistic experience for its guests and conference delegates alike.

The legacy of Bahrain as a premier event destination began in 1991 with the inception of its first exhibition and convention centre. From that point, it has grown to become one of the leading venues for events in the Gulf and beyond. Throughout the last thirty years, Bahrain has hosted a diverse range of events, from trade shows and conferences to concerts and major sports events. With the launch of Exhibition World Bahrain (EWB) in November 2022, the Kingdom has marked its latest milestone as a key player on the global MICE scene.

At its core, EWB embodies a forward-thinking approach to event management, integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices into every facet of its operations. This dedication is evident in its extraordinary design, management practices, and the array of initiatives aimed at minimising environmental impact while promoting social responsibility. The drive towards becoming a sustainable organisation involves every department, working in concert to weave sustainability into the very fabric of EWB’s operations.

Reducing, Conserving, Recycling

EWB leads by example and exemplifies Bahrain’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality through the three tracks of its National Action Plan, “Blueprint Bahrain”: low-carbon economy, climate change adaptation, and creating sustainable opportunities in the new green economy.

EWB has taken significant strides in reducing its carbon footprint through the incorporation of energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy sources. From thermally insulated construction materials that combat natural elements to state-of-the-art HVAC ((Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems and building management systems designed to optimise energy use. The venue’s innovative use of LED lighting, natural daylighting, and motion sensor lights further underscores its commitment to energy efficiency.

Understanding the precious nature of water resources, EWB has implemented robust water conservation measures aligned with Bahrain’s water resource management strategy. The reuse of air conditioning condensation for irrigation, alongside the deployment of low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets, exemplifies the venue’s approach to sustainable water use. Additionally, the presence of an indoor vertical garden not only beautifies the space but plays a crucial role in air purification and temperature regulation.

In its quest to minimise event waste, EWB has established comprehensive waste management and recycling programs. Clearly labeled recycling bins encourage visitors to segregate waste, while partnerships with local recycling facilities ensure that materials are processed responsibly. These efforts are complemented by initiatives to use eco-friendly construction materials and promote the digitalisation of event materials, reducing the reliance on paper and enhancing overall sustainability.

Culinary Sustainability at Its Best

EWB’s commitment to sustainability extends to its culinary services. Boasting the largest commercial kitchen in the Kingdom, capable of catering to 10,000 guests, EWB prioritises sustainable practices in its food and beverage offerings. 

From farm-to-table experiences utilizing local organic produce to eco-friendly dining options that reduce waste, EWB’s culinary team is dedicated to providing sustainable – yet exceptional – experiences.

Customers will, for example, be provided with reusable dinnerware and cutlery, along with lids designed without the need for straws, while menus will feature customisable options that include local and organic products, accommodating a diverse range of preferences. For those instances where disposable utensils are necessary, choices made from biodegradable materials and designed for recyclability will be prioritised.

Similarly, the EWB team ensures access to on-site filtered and purified water, circumventing the reliance on plastic bottles that may be compromised by sunlight, dust, and pollution during transportation. This approach not only eliminates the requirement for storing bulky water bottles but also frees up valuable storage space for alternative uses.

Meanwhile, collaboration with the Bahrain Food Bank to donate excess food underscores EWB’s commitment to community welfare and waste reduction. The venue’s efforts to minimise waste during food preparation and the use of smart packaging technologies further demonstrate its commitment to environmental stewardship.

Embracing Renewable Energy & Technological Innovation

As part of Bahrain’s broader renewable energy goals, EWB is actively participating in the Sakhir area solar energy project. This initiative, aimed to increase the share of clean energy in Bahrain’s electricity mix, will see EWB play a significant role in the country’s sustainability objectives. Moreover, the deployment of an HR automation system exemplifies EWB’s approach to streamlining operations, reducing paper usage, and enhancing efficiency.

By embracing sustainability initiatives, Exhibition World Bahrain is not just contributing to environmental preservation; it is redefining what it means to be a leader in the meetings industry. The venue’s holistic approach to sustainability demonstrates that environmental responsibility and business success are not mutually exclusive but can be integrated to achieve remarkable outcomes.

As the world continues to grapple with environmental challenges, EWB’s leadership in sustainable event management serves as an inspiring model for others to follow, proving that with commitment and innovation, the meetings industry can indeed contribute to a greener, more sustainable planet.

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