Pollutec 2021 – a resounding success – 2,000 exhibitors, 83 countries represented

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Foto: RX France / Pollutec

The unmissable event for everyone involved in the Ecological Transition, Pollutec, the international show organised by RX France and held from 12 to 15 October at Lyon Eurexpo, reopened its doors to the public and ushered in a new era of success.

Despite ongoing challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic, over the four days of the show Pollutec 2021 recorded visits by over 46,000 professionals (of which 12% international), keen to meet the 2,000 show exhibitors (of which 28% international).

In addition to on-site participation, the digital format also delivered on its promises, allowing anyone, anywhere to take part in the event. The “Green Days” business meetings held on-site and remotely brought together 950 participants across 57 countries, with 1,090 one-to-one business meetings taking place. In addition, 415 conferences were organised in the themed forums and villages (water, waste, energy, circular economy etc.). No fewer than 31 international conferences were broadcast live. This included the entire programme from the Plenary stage, with simultaneous interpretation into English available, the Africa Forum and the Sea and Coastline Forum. These conferences were enjoyed by 2,900 participants. 99 per cent of this audience came from an influx of people who had not attended previous Pollutec editions. Replays are available on the new Pollutec Learn & Connect information platform.

New activity and experience areas were among the major new features at this 2021 edition. One was the Water Hub, an immersive area covering 215 square-meters bringing together 22 innovative solutions addressing the small water cycle. Then there was the “Plasticised seas and oceans” exhibition from Expédition Med. This thought-provoking exhibition aimed to show how each and every day, our waste is gradually transformed into a gigantic ocean soup of plastic. A third was the Gaïatica Escape Game designed to raise everyone’s awareness of how their own decisions impact on climate disruption. Through these activities, exhibitors and professionals were able to discover, share and discuss good practices and innovative solutions to address the current global environmental challenges.

Another highlight from this 2021 edition: the official opening of the Pollutec Sea & Coastline show in the presence of sponsor Raphaëla le Gouvello, the world-famous windsurfer and founder of the RespectOcean association, along with other high-profile figures including Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, Ambassador for the Poles and Maritime issues at the French Ministry for Europe & Foreign Affairs, Denis Lacroix, senior prospectivist at Ifremer and Arnaud Leroy, President of ADEME (French Agency for Ecological Transition).

Showcasing Tunisia as the country of honour, with its many institutional and business pavilions proved a major attraction. The Tunisian Minister of Communication Technologies Nizar Ben Néji was in attendance, bringing a delegation of over 80 representatives from a number of organisations. The Tunisian delegation greatly appreciated France’s technological expertise when they visited the exemplary La Feyssine water treatment plant, which recovers energy via biogas production. The Tunisian companies in attendance (13 private companies, and 6 start-ups) seized the opportunity to highlight their own ability to innovate and adapt to environmental challenges alongside Pollutec professionals and in the Africa Forum, presenting their projects on Tuesday 12 October.

A strong innovation dynamic throughout every sector

Innovation is unquestionably the beating heart of every industry represented at Pollutec. This year, no fewer than 180 innovative solutions were put forward by exhibitors to the show’s innovation team. While half of these addressed water and waste (including instrumentation), the air and energy sectors saw an upsurge in solutions, such as air disinfection, hydrogen production & storage, and collective self-consumption. In the same way, the risks sector and sustainable cities and construction presented many innovative solutions such as health and fire risk management, mobile lighting and materials. It should also be noted that of the 180 innovations confirmed this year, almost half were from new exhibitors at the show.

A good year for the Pollutec Innovation Awards

Co-organised by Pollutec and Pexe – the French Cleantech Network – the Pollutec Innovation Awards recognise exhibitor innovations with strong market potential. Of the twenty shortlisted by the pre-selection jury ahead of the show, the three winners (*) were all start-ups working in material recycling: WeeeCycling (copper), Cycl-Add (plastics) and Circular Materials Srl (heavy or precious metals). The new venture Sakowin Green Energy which produces both hydrogen and recyclable carbon, also received a special jury award.

Pollutec also welcomed the 10th edition of the Trophées Auto Recyclage, which recognises the best-performing approved vehicle dismantlers. Reflecting the enthusiasm apparent throughout the four days, the results of a Pollutec satisfaction survey demonstrate total support for the show’s return in its new hybrid phygital format.

  • 92% of visitors were satisfied with their visit.
  • 95% of visitors were delighted with the conferences programme.
  • 86% of visitors were satisfied with the qualified business meetings.
  • 86% of exhibitors and 92% of visitors have already said they will be back in 2023.

Alexis de Gérard – Director of Pollutec: “Pollutec 2021 was an audacious gamble, as it was the largest environmental show to be held this year – right when environmental and ecological concerns have never been so topical. So expectations were particularly high. I was delighted to see the enthusiasm and business dynamic witnessed over the four days of the show. Pollutec has been able to demonstrate remarkable resilience, with a quarter of exhibitors being newcomers, international participation at the same level as 2018, editorial content that’s impressed our community and a growing number of innovations presented. Bringing together over these four days 46,000 professionals from 83 countries and from every environmental and energy background presented a unique opportunity to accelerate the ecological transition this year, with numerous real-world solutions that can be used today by industries, towns and cities, and regions.

This really positive outcome, achieved in a unique context, augurs well for an exceptional next edition, one that will benefit everyone involved in the environmental sector. So make a date for 10-13 October 2023 right now!”

Pollutec 2023 scheduled for 10-13 October 2023.

Source: RX Franceevent highlights