This year’s ISSA Las Vegas Tradeshow may release nine million tons of global-warming CO2 emissions into the atmosphere


There are more than 2 million meetings, tradeshows, and conventions held annually in the United States, generating more than 600,000 tons of trash annually. On top of this, another 20 pounds of waste is produced by each attendee at these tradeshows.

“Further, it is estimated that the average three-day, 1,000-person convention generates about 580 tons of global-warming CO2 emissions,” says Stephen Ashkin, the leading advocate for sustainability in the professional cleaning industry.

Based on Ashkin’s figures, if approximately 16,000 people attend this year’s ISSA Las Vegas Tradeshow, that means more than nine million tons of global-warming CO2 emissions will be released into the atmosphere.

“This is a staggering amount,” says Ashkin. “However, we can take steps to reduce it.”

Among Ashkin’s suggestions are the following:

Invest in Carbon Offsets. Many wind energy companies sell carbon offsets. Purchasing these offsets makes wind energy projects more economically viable. “Plus, buyers can claim their purchase resulted in non-polluting energy, which they can use when they report their sustainability efforts to customers and stakeholders.”

USB drives. According to Ashkin, all the materials customarily provided in handouts, including entire product catalogs, “can now be loaded onto USB drives. These save paper, and guess what, are often more likely to be viewed than paper handouts.”

Mobile apps. Some exhibitors take the next step and create mobile apps for the tradeshows they attend. “These apps provide attendees with program schedules, speaker bios, show news, videos, social media integration, and, of course, exhibitors can market their products on these apps as well.”

Make it easy to recycle. “We need more recycle bins on the tradeshow floor,” says Ashkin. “We have to reduce all that trash that ends up in landfills. More recycle bins on the floor can help us do this.”

Finally, Ashkin says he views the jansan industry as a transformational leader.

“When it came to environmental preferable cleaning products, we showed other industries how important this is.  I believe we will do the same once again, helping other industries realize how important it is to reduce their carbon footprint.”


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