TR Consumer Forum sharpens sustainability focus

By Faye Bartle |

Green Shoots Exchange at TR Consumer ForumOn World Environment Day (5 June 2023), TRBusiness is delighted to announce that the third annual edition of the TR Consumer Forum, taking place from 21-23 June at AirportCity Space in Vienna, will put sustainability initiatives in global travel retail in the spotlight in response to intense interest from industry stakeholders.

The increasing dominance of sustainability has led TR Consumer Forum organisers, TRBusiness and m1nd-set, to include a double measure of sustainability via two separate, dedicated sessions during the course of the programme.

The first, titled ‘Green Shoots Exchange’, sponsored by Cabeau and Travel Retail Bespoke, is a brand new element to this year’s TR Consumer Forum to be held on Wednesday 21 June from 14:15-17:15, ahead of the Opening Cocktail.

The second session, ‘The Regeneration Generation’, is taking place as part of the main conference programme on Friday 23 June from 14:15-15:30.

Green Shoots Exchange aims to provide a springboard for new companies and/or newly launched products to the industry to help develop and grow the environmental, equitable and ethical business in travel retail.

This session will offer a special focus on the global travel retail industry’s single-use plastic (SUP) footprint.

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Featuring thought leaders from within the industry and plastic pollution experts, the session will highlight some of the excellent initiatives underway to help reduce DF&TR’s SUP footprint, as well as showcase new ideas and initiatives.

The session will feature speakers from CleanHub, The Ocean Cleanup, Ocean Materials and Ocean Bottle (below), who will be joined by ARI Middle East, Enviro-Point and Travel Retail Bespoke.

During the first part of the exchange, Enviro-Point’s CEO Graeme Stewart will share some of the company’s latest developments as it strives to drive concerted, meaningful change within the industry.


Stewart will discuss Enviro-Point’s partnership with German non-recyclable waste collection organisation CleanHub, which collects and converts non-recyclable waste into building materials.

He will also share more about the company’s recently launched Closed Loop Initiative for airports, cruise lines and F&B operators, and will update on the latest developments on bringing biodegradable plastic into the industry as an alternative to virgin plastic for shopping bags and in particular STEBs (Security tamper-evident bags).

The first part of Green Shoots Exchange will also feature Travel Retail Bespoke and Brands of Style Founder & CEO Elena Bloothoofd and Cabeau CEO David Sternlight.

Bloothoofd will unveil some of the sustainable products the company has sourced for distribution in the global travel retail sector, in response to consumer and trade demand for a more sustainable product selection.

Graeme Stewart and Elena Boothoofd.

Left: Graeme Stewart, CEO, Enviro-Point. Right: Brands of Style Founder & CEO, Elena Bloothoofd.

Ewan Topping, Senior Partnership Manager at The Ocean Cleanup will talk about the challenges the Dutch NGO faces with the task it has set itself of addressing the significant amounts of ocean pollution, particularly in the Pacific.

The NGO has set itself the ambitious objective of cleaning up 90% of the plastic floating in the world’s oceans, since it was set up in 2013, namely the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which comprises 100 million kilograms of plastic, according to The Ocean Cleanup.

He will be joined by Toni Kienberger, Founder & CEO of Ocean Material and Will Pearson, Founder and CEO at Ocean Bottle, who will both share what their respective organisations do to help educate about the ocean plastic pollution problem, and how companies from all sectors can collaborate to contribute to preventing and eliminating ocean and ocean-bound plastic pollution.

Ewan Topping and Toni Kienberger.

Left: Ewan Topping, Senior Partnership Manager at The Ocean Cleanup. Right: Toni Kienberger, Founder & CEO of Ocean Material.

Ocean Bottle, which describes itself as “an impact company first and a reusable bottle brand second” partners with three social impact organisations to fund plastic waste collection primarily in developing countries. Pearson will share how the company is striving to eliminate ocean-bound plastic pollution, while supporting underprivileged communities in developing countries and providing an alternative to single-use plastics.

The Ocean Material Group, which has developed a recycling model for collecting, recycling and repurposing marine plastic waste into valuable products, aims to address the problem of mismanaged waste, not only by helping reduce ocean-bound plastic pollution, but also creating new economic and social opportunities for people living in ocean-adjacent communities.

CEO Kienberger will share how stakeholders from all sectors can join the global SUP pollution reduction movement through intelligent sourcing of raw materials from recycled waste and education programmes aimed at individuals, communities and companies alike.

Tracy Ross

Tracy Ross, Projects & Design Manager, Sustainability Champion & LEED Green Associate, ARIME.

Delegates will also hear a special address by Tracy Ross, Projects & Design Manager, Sustainability Champion & LEED Green Associate at Aer Rianta International Middle East (ARIME), who will be speaking alongside Michael Barrett, Head of Events and Corporate Social Responsibility, TRBusiness.

Attendees are encouraged to indicate if they would like to sit in on the session upon booking their ticket to the forum. However, all TR Consumer Forum delegates are welcome to join the exchange, which is taking place in the main conference venue. Hot drinks will be provided.

Stay tuned for news of an industry-wide initiative set to be announced during the Green Shoots Exchange session.

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Meanwhile, on Friday 23 June, conference delegates can listen to and engage with a fantastic lineup of top speakers taking to the stage for ‘The Regeneration Generation’ session.

In this session, speakers will discuss how, as consumers become increasingly conscientious and discerning, companies across all sectors are redoubling efforts to invest in corporate social and environmental responsibility, diversifying the workforce, solidifying the integrity of the supply chain, and strengthening their sustainability strategies.

The discussion will zoom in on how the DF&TR industry is tailoring its offer to the consumer.

As the busiest session of the event, it promises to provide plenty of thoughtful discussion and debate, with the following speakers set to feature: Rasmus Andersen, Global Retail Director & Partner, Joe and the Juice; Mirko Fechner, Retail and Property Director, Budapest Airport; Anna Marchesini, Head of Business Development, m1nd-set; ARIMEs Tracy Ross; Beatriz de Otto Méndez, Head of Customer Marketing World Travel Retail, Mondelēz International; Verity Lawson, Group Head of Sustainability, SSP Group; Andreas Reichert, Managing Director, Allresto Flughafen München Hotel und Gaststätten; and Karl Walter, Board member, NTRG and Partner, Blueprint.

TR Consumer Forum tickets are available until 12 June 2023. To find out about the TR Consumer Forum conference programme, please contact [email protected].


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