A sustainability conference calls for a sustainable site
Expo 2015 was a universal exposition focused on sustainable development and supporting peoples’ right to healthy, safe food. In 2008, Milan was selected to host the 2015 Universal Exposition, whose theme was “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Expo participants included 145 countries, three international organizations, and several civil society organizations, corporations, and non-governmental bodies. In preparation for the event, Expo 2015 asked our team to contribute environmental monitoring and a health and safety audit.
The Exposition was located on a 1.7 million square-metre site approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) northwest of Milan. The site, which had previously been an industrial zone occupied by manufacturing industries, was redeveloped as an exhibition complex and recreational area.
Soil quality was important to the organizing committee. Our team assessed the soil and inert material being brought into the site, measuring its compliance with regulatory and contractual standards related to size, quality, and absence of contamination. Additionally, we verified the origin of the material through GPS records.
We also developed a set of specific environmental health and safety audit guidelines and performed 30 audits over a year and a half. Our focus was on compliance with occupational health and safety regulatory requirements as well as on environmental issues—like waste, wastewater discharges, and use of chemicals.
With these additional steps in place, Expo 2015 was confident that their conference would meet sustainable goals as well as speak about them.
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