Bets on sustainability at the Mobile World Congress 2023
How do the most innovative technologies and commitments to a more sustainable model of production, consumption and trade converge in this global event?
The event takes place for a whole week in Barcelona and brings together key players from the entire connectivity ecosystem to show and learn about innovations in mobile technologies.
This is the meeting of the year that brings together from device manufacturers to mobile network operators and content owners, along with governments and investors interested in the sector.
On the opening day of the event, which even included the visit of King Felipe VI, there were demonstrations in the form of artistic performances to demand a fairer and more sustainable technology.
Despite the fact that MWC Barcelona has obtained the carbon neutral certificate for eight consecutive years, each year it takes a further step in alliance with City Councils, exhibitors and other local partners to reduce the environmental footprint of the event.
The organizers of MWC23 have taken a series of measures so that this is a sustainable event, and even one that has the least impact on the environment or, whichever occurs, is compensated:
- Reuse of more than 70 thousand m² of recycled polypropylene carpets in accessories and furniture for other events;
- Donate surplus healthy food from the salon through the “Barcelona comparte” program;
- Sustainable options for visitors, including the use of public transport with a free pass even to get to the airport;
- Digital access pass to avoid printing credentials;
- Multiple waste separation points and patrols to promote the separation of materials during the assembly and disassembly of stands.
In alliance with Fira de Barcelona, venue for numerous local exhibitions, the event is held using 100% energy from renewable sources, of which up to 40% is produced in nearby wind farms.
With a participation of more than 80 thousand visitors, these measures are by no means insignificant. However, the complaints about sustainability are directed, above all, at broader aspects of the connectivity industry.
The working conditions of workers in the global south, the extraction of mineral resources under polluting systems and the lack of models to avoid or reduce technological waste are the three main demands on this sector.
Exhibitors and pavilions have made some efforts to incorporate aspects such as the contribution of mobile technologies and connectivity to energy efficiency, sustainable mobility and even the labeling of more environmentally friendly equipment.
Despite this, the fact that the congress is aimed at presenting “what will be possible in a few years” thanks to connectivity technologies also means demonstrating how these three outstanding sustainability debts will be addressed.