Final Press Release A + A 2001

A breath of fresh air for occupational safety and environmental protection: trade fair duo A+A und ENVITEC 2001

Trade fairs and congress events drew 69,000 visitors

The topics of occupational safety and environmental protection are of importance not just from an ethical, but increasingly also a commercial viewpoint. After all, employee and environmental safety are a worthwhile investment, helping reduce the duration of absences, improving quality and making corporate procedures more efficient — which all adds up to a sharper competitive edge. This was the unmistakable message of the debut "twin pack" A+A and ENVITEC after its four-day run in Düsseldorf. 69,000 trade visitors from all points on the compass came to A+A, 23rd International Trade Fair for Occupational Health and Safety at Work with Congress, and ENVITEC, 10th International Trade Fair for Environmental Technology with Conference, for the latest products and innovative services concerning personal safety equipment, technical safety facilities and security organisation, occupational health plus preventive and end-of-pipe environmental technologies.

This dynamic trade fair duo attracted over 1,900 exhibitors (A+A: 1,300) from 47 nations to Düsseldorf. A+A and ENVITEC's high international status is further illustrated by the fact that around one-fifth of the visitors were from outside Germany, 25 percent of which even travelled from overseas. Their trip to Düsseldorf certainly paid off: Over 90% of visitors were satisfied with the fair. All attendees certainly appreciated being able to tour both fairs with just one admission ticket. Incidentally: one-third of visitors came from the industrial sector.

A+A 2001: Fashion flair with a functional edge

A significant trend for prevention and corporate health promotion was on show at A+A 2001: When it comes to functionality and quality, career wear and protective work clothing can meet even the highest standards, offering increased comfort and dashing looks to boot. This, in turn, helps ensure wearer acceptance. Visitors to the Düsseldorf Trade Fair Center admired, for instance, protective business shoes made of leather in both classic and modern colours for men and women. Architects or engineers, for instance, can attend meetings in proper business style before dashing off to the construction site without foregoing safety, thanks to invisible, reinforced toecaps.

"Our business picked up a tailwind particularly from the numerous international visitors. A large number of professionals with purchasing authority came to Düsseldorf from southern and eastern Europe", Heinz A. Mestermann, president of A+A 2001 and managing director of UVEX Arbeitsschutz GmbH, is pleased to report. Indeed, as A+A visitors witnessed for themselves: the market is moving toward systems providers with a comprehensive range of services on offer. Mr. Mestermann highlights the advantages: "Nowadays, business transactions can be handled online—it's easy, paperless and can be done regardless of national borders. Suppliers even take over cost center accounting and establish tailor-made, individual shops for their customers on the Internet".

The 27th International A+A Congress with some 5,000 participants and 500 speakers demonstrated how consistent implementation of the latest occupational safety and workplace design measures can help prevent employee absence and increase quality. "Innovation and Prevention – Success Factors for Corporate Practice" showed how to make the benefits of prevention investments visible while incorporating occupational safety and corporate health promotion as a significant part of corporate strategies. "An interesting dialogue has begun pertaining to occupational safety concepts from different parts of Europe", is how Christian Molsen, A+A congress president, summarises the congress's success. In his opening speech, Walter Riester, German Federal Minister of Labour, called upon German management and labour to launch an "initiative for enhanced work quality" similar to the British model. In the United Kingdom, the government and occupational safety commission have jointly designed an occupational safety programme based on specific, result-oriented objectives.

The visitors also greatly appreciated Meeting Point Safety, during which the HVBG (Federation of Industrial Professional Associations) and others offered special highlights, as well as the A+A-Forum. Bruno Zwingmann, managing director of Basi (Federal Association for Occupational Safety and Health) comments: "The food retail industry’s presentation, using the example of a supermarket, drew a very good response. This is the future of the A+A-Forum: using real-life examples to show how prevention and corporate environmental protection can function in specific sectors".

ENVITEC 2001 – expanded topic range adds a new touch

As the industry's No. 1 fair this year, ENVITEC made its premiere as a trade fair featuring the entire spectrum of both preventive and end-of-pipe environmental technologies. "The new topics of environmentally-friendly energy and drinking water recovery plus wastewater treatment received very good response from our visitors. The tandem staging with A+A also gave exhibitors and visitors the opportunity to make additional business contacts and expand their professional knowledge", observes Friedrich U. Arnold, president of ENVITEC 2001 and member of the executive board for Leistritz AG, commenting on the successful expansion in the event's topic range and the parallel staging of ENVITEC and A+A.

For instance, an ENVITEC presentation of an innovative procedure that uses an "extended biogas process" for application in fuel cell technology inspired plenty of discussion among industry professionals. This procedure could make biomass a source of energy useful for more than just agriculture. The new procedure allows for the gas processing systems to be designed flexibly enough to produce various quality levels from biogas.

Further, ENVITEC's exhibitors demonstrated the philosophy of integrated environmental protection alongside the power of classic end-of-pipe technologies using innovative systems, plant and services. Among the concepts introduced were a new procedure for PET bottles and a process that avoids sewage sludge. While empties once had to undergo an energy-intensive transport process from the return station to a processing plant, the move can now be made in a simple and ecologically sound manner: using streams of air inside a tube. The technique to avoid sewage sludge is just as innovative. Biological materials help break down organic waste and influence the metabolic process to the extent that sludge volumes are greatly reduced. At both ENVITEC and A+A – an example of thematic synergies – devices and systems were also presented that provide for pollutant-free air in the office and can almost entirely rid heavy cigarette smoke of its toxins.

ENVITEC 2001 was rounded out by the 2nd international conference "From eco-efficiency to sustainable corporate development", organised by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy GmbH. Speakers from renowned companies such as BASF, Fuji Xerox and Nike held presentations and exchanged views with 350 participants on sustainable business activities, management's responsibility for the environment, and the cost advantages of higher eco-efficiency in corporate operations. "We were pleased with the large international response. Participants came from 28 nations to Düsseldorf. One group of visitors came from Nigeria — originally just for A+A. The parallel stagings allowed them to take advantage of the interesting presentations at our conference", notes Professor Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, conference director.

In early July, Messe Düsseldorf and its partners will determine the date of A+A and ENVITEC's next staging.