Interzoo organizer WZF (Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH) offered exhibitors and visitors at Interzoo 2018 a wide-ranging supporting programme including the Interzoo Sustainability Session within the framework of the newly launched “Interzoo Sustainability Initiative”.
Growing need for Information
Industry trailblazers are already certifying the sustainable origin of their products or are now aiming to achieve climate-neutral production by 2020, while others are looking for initial ideas about how to approach the subject of sustainability. There is a substantial need for information in the sector about sustainable activities, products and services. “We observe that exhibitors at Interzoo 2018 are talking more about sustainability, and that industry representatives are seeking information in this regard”, explains Dr Rowena Arzt, Director Exhibitions at WZF.
Launch of research project for pet supplies industry
According to WZF, practical examples of how companies in the pet sector can approach sustainability are not very well known and not sufficiently accessible for many industry players. This is why the Interzoo organizer WZF is investing in an “Interzoo Sustainability Initiative”: In a first step, WZF has engaged the Sustainable Transformation Lab at the Antwerp School of Management (AMS) to prepare a status quo report for the sector. A few weeks ahead of the event, exhibitors at Interzoo received a questionnaire to document their experiences and activities relating to sustainability. As part of the visitor survey visitors were asked to provide their assessment on the question of sustainability. On the basis of these surveys the sustainability experts at AMS will highlight particular aspects of the topic in the pet industry, and identify and work up the best practices in the field.
The long-term goal of the “Interzoo Sustainability Initiative” is to work with AMS to create a handbook on sustainable development for the pet industry based on the research results. It will provide answers to questions such as “What opportunities are available for companies in the sector to more actively approach the subject of sustainability?”, and “What best practices are already established for the pet industry in terms of sustainability, and how can industry players learn from each other?”
First interim results published
The first interim results of the research project conducted by WZF and AMS were already presented at Interzoo 2018. According to these results, 80 percent of companies believe that sustainability aspects will be very important or extremely important for the pet sector and for their company in the next three years, while 64 percent of respondents think that they themselves have made important progress towards sustainability. Conversely, only 35 percent of companies believe that significant progress has been made within the pet sector. For 87 percent of companies, customer needs are the strongest driver for sustainability activities, while 73 percent consider that possible costs are the greatest obstacle to activities to increase sustainability.
After Interzoo, exhibitors and visitors were given the opportunity to complete the questionnaire by the beginning of June on their activities towards sustainability. In addition, the organizer of the trade fair has set up an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) which Interzoo attendees can use to submit information and questions on all aspects of sustainability. This feedback will also be incorporated into the research project.
Note: The detailed analysis of the survey and other useful research results and information on sustainability in the pet supplies industry will be published in the next Interzoo newsletter! If you do not already subscribe to the newsletter why not register here free of charge now!
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