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Sustainability of big events: the expo 2015 case study

A green legacy of the Universal Exhibition. This is the aim of the agreement between the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Expo 2015 Spa, signed on February 21, 2013. The agreement, among other initiatives, developed guidelines on Carbon footprint methodologies, mitigation and neutralization for the Expo 2015 event. This activity is being performed in collaboration with the University Politecnico of Milan, as foreseen by the convention undersigned on April 24, 2013.

Sustainability strategy

The aim of the collaboration is the promotion of a “strategy for sustainability of big events" that, starting from the Expo Milano 2015 case study, would develop a model for future big events internationally planned.  With the support of the Politecnico of Milan, the Ministry for the Environment has accompanied Expo 2015 in the definition of criteria and initiatives for the whole strategy of sustainability.

As part of this activity, it has been implemented the verification and validation of the methodology of the carbon footprint assessment, with the focus on temporary buildings, transport and legacy, as well as the identification of mitigation measures in some representative areas.

The communication tools

To disclose the contents of the project, it has been developed a series of initiatives and communication tools, such as the website "Partake", which shows the data of Towards a Sustainable Expo, the initiative promoted by the Ministry for the Environment and Expo2015 to reward good sustainability practices adopted by the pavilions of the Universal Exhibition of Milan.

The legacy

In order to promote and disseminate the Expo environmental legacy , the Italian Ministry for the Environment, in collaboration with Expo 2015 Spa, Politecnico di Milano, and IEFE Bocconi, published a scientific and technical book: “The EXPO we learned. The legacy of a mega-event in a circular economy perspective”. The text is meant to be an assessment of what has been achieved in terms of CO2 savings but also in terms of actual best practices and lessons learned for EXPO2015, with focus on temporary buildings; green procurement of products; waste management.

Useful Documents

A selection of the deliverables produced by the Plitecnico of Milan as part of the "Convention for the development of methodologies for the carbon footprint and the neutralization of the event Expo Milano 2015", are available above:

The document set the rules for assessing the environmental performance of the temporary buildings, mainly used during major events, through the support of the LCA analysis. The methodology has been validated by an independent organization.

The purpose of this document is to provide the rules for assessing the environmental performance of the temporary buildings of major events for the definition of strategies and decisions to mitigate the environmental impact.

This report focuses on the management of end of life of the temporary structures with the aim of analyzing the potential and possible way of recycling and reuse with particular reference to the temporary structures used in Expo 2015 (such as clusters, pavilions and service buildings) .

This document is an extended abstract on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the main steps of the food chain, and the benefits that can result from a global food transition to foods that are associated with lower emissions.

The document provides a guidance on assessing the carbon footprint of the travels (persons and goods) during major events. The methodology has been validated by an independent organisation.