Salone del Gusto/Terra Madre, a new event model
03 Sep 08
Salone del Gusto/Terra Madre 2008 will be the starting point for a long journey: an ambitious attempt to reduce the environmental impact of the most important showcase of quality foods and the largest meeting of food communities from around the world.
Slow Food, the Piedmont Regional Authority and the City of Torino, the organizers of both events, together with Industrial Design (Torino Polytechnic), in collaboration with the Zeri Foundation and other partners, confirm their commitment to move towards the application of a holistic vision of event organization, continuing a trend launched experimentally in 2006.
The aim of the Low environmental impact events project, which also features in the Torino 2008 World Design Capital program, is to progressively reduce the environmental impact of the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre through new sustainable models of consumption and waste management.
This year, the new event model will apply to:
- waste production
- food preparation materials
- Terra Madre dining hall and Dream Canteen
- logistics for the transportation of goods, Terra Madre delegates & visitors
- energy resources
- CO2 emissions
What follows is a list of developments in the planned areas of application as proposed by Slow Food and Industrial Design (Torino Polytechnic), in collaboration with several other partners.
Staging and components
In collaboration with Set Up, the decision has been made to substitute 50 percent of the standard prefabrication materials with Celenit – a material that is not chemically treated in order to meet fireproof regulations and is defined as environmentally friendly according to UNI EN 131168 (biodegradable). The real novelty is that when it can no longer be put to use for trade shows and exhibitions, it will be used by the Autostrade (the motorway company that owns the materials and leased them to Set Up for event staging) to make moulds for road foundations, thus avoiding any waste.
Communication materials will instead be specifically designed for reuse in the other areas of the application as the end of the event.
From an architectural point of view, another strategic choice for the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre has been the elimination of carpeting, which has always been one of the most costly and short-lived event components. This is why Slow Food has decided to abolish its use and to leave the floor of Lingotto Fiere bare and certain areas will be decorated with washable, natural paints that will also indicate specific zones inside the fair
In collaboration with AMIAT, analysis of waste production flows has been carried out to design a new waste disposal system to achieve 50% refuse differentiation. This is an unprecedented initiative, the very first time a fair has been designed according to waste disposal requirements. All collected materials will follow strict limits of disposal and assessment, allowing for their safe generation and new objects resulting from correct recycling. The control of the various production chains will be further monitored by the other partners in Low environmental impact events project, such as Comieco and Consorzio Nazionale Acciaio (National Steel Consortium).
Developed in collaboration with strategic partners, such as Comieco, Consorzio Nazionale Acciaio (National Steel Consortium), Saint Gobain Vetri and ReAcademy, this project seeks to spread new models of consumption and food packaging production at the event.
There will be five food packaging design projects:
- a new glass packaging for Presidia products developed by Saint Gobain Vetri;
- an innovative packaging to take home uncorked wine bottles developed by Comieco for the enoteca;
- Le Sedie del Torchio (‘winepress chairs’) made from recycled wine barrels, a project developed by ReAcademy for the enoteca;
- Mr Pet, a collection and waste disposal system for PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles that will be transformed into supermarket baskets and trolleys, a project developed by ReAcademy;
- the optimization and planning of steel packaging, a project developed by Consorzio Nazionale Acciaio (National Steel Consortium) in collaboration with the Slow Food San Marzano Tomato Presidium.
The design theme applied to packaging will also be developed at Terra Madre in the seminar entitled STRATEGIES – When the product speaks. Promotion and communication through sustainable packaging, where packaging manufacturers will have an opportunity to meet Presidium producers and food communities to discuss new sustainable solutions for food packaging.
Furthermore, as the law banning the use of plastic shopping bags is due to come into force in Italy at the start of 2010, Slow Food will be providing a selection of alternative carrier bags made from biodegradable materials, recycled paper and natural fabrics.
Materials for food consumption
As part of a project currently being developed with Novamont, the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre will promote the use of completely biodegradable materials for food consumption; at present this is the only applicable alternative to substitute the use of plastic in fairs. Slow Food, in collaboration with Novamont, EcoZema and Eco Tecnologie, will provide each exhibitor with a kit including tableware, cutlery, bags, and napkins of cellulose paste and Mater Bi (a vegetable based, biodegradable material). The same components will also be on sale at a competitive price at a stand inside the Salone. By applying systemic design, the waste produced by the use of these components will become part of the organic waste disposal chain for recycling into compost.
Terra Madre canteen and Dream Canteen
In collaboration with Risteco and other strategic partners based in the catering sector, the Terra Madre canteen has been designed to promote local food products, paying careful attention to CO2 emissions (this project also envisages the need to serve 5,000 food community members from all corners of the world). A particular focus will be placed on canteen design and promoting local food products in public dining halls in the Dream Canteen, the space in which the reality of today’s public catering will be presented alongside the ideas for tomorrow of Slow Food and other partners.
In partnership with Azzero CO2, there will also be a presentation the Italian recipe book La cucina quotidiana a ridotte emissioni di CO2 (Daily Cooking with Low CO2 Emissions).
Transport logistics: goods, Terra Madre delegates & visitors
With the collaboration of Sotral, a new low environmental impact transportation system has been proposed for International Presidia products. At present, a transportation system to bring products from Caselle Airport to the Lingotto Fiere exhibition center is being planned, using vehicles with a low environmental impact and following time schedules and transport routes that will not impact on the urban fabric of Torino. In collaboration with CTT, Irisbus-Iveco and Metano, a project is being developed to monitor and encourage the use of public transport by visitors attending the events: a shuttle system from Lingotto station to the exhibition center running on low polluting energy resources (methane, electric and experimental).
In collaboration with Seag the possibility of using a number of coaches to transport Terra Madre delegates, at a low environmental impact, is currently being studied. Seag has also guaranteed that around 70% of means of transport will be Euro 3 and Euro 4 emission standards (the two least polluting categories).
A strategy has been elaborated to use energy supplies from local renewable sources.
In Industrial Design’s analysis of Piedmont, a particularly efficient company specializing in alternative energy production came to the fore: the Marcopolo Environmental Group. A partner in the Low environmental impact events project, this group will supply the necessary energy to the exhibition center, inputting to the market an equal quantity of energy from their biomass plants, which are fertilized with waste from Piedmont breeding farms.
The main advantages of this energy production system are:
- disposal of what is currently waste,
- abundance of seasonably available and regenerable resources,
- ease of energy extraction,
- very low costs,
- fertilizing potential,
- zero environmental impact: the CO2 released at the moment of energy production is equal to that stored during the cultivation of the biomass.
The use of renewable sources to supply the electricity and gas necessary to meet event requirements will allow a first step towards the low environmental impact promotion of energy for fairs.
In this respect, Slow Food will promote energy from the local area itself, generated by optimizing outputs from different areas of work.
In collaboration with Azzero CO2 a land design project has been developed. An essential parameter to assess the effective reduction of the event’s impact, CO2 emissions have prompted solutions to limit their release into the atmosphere.
It has been estimated that during the 2006 edition approximately 1,6000 tons of CO2 were emitted, of which 6.2 tons were produced from energy consumption inside the exhibition center.
It has therefore been necessary to propose cleaner alternatives to reduce these emissions and their impact, encouraging the public to adopt a more sustainable approach to energy consumption, promote the use of local produce in catering, and utilize a low-impact transport system for exhibition goods. We speak in terms of land design insofar as, once all good practices have been adopted to reduce emissions, the place chosen to zero them contributes to modify the land in question. To compensate for the CO2 emissions produced, a local tree-planting scheme in the Po River Park in Torino has been introduced along with initiatives to safeguard of the biodiversity of the river itself.