Sustainability: the new Salone del Mobile.Milano guidelines

Salone del Mobile 2022, Luca Privitera

Salone del Mobile 2022, ph. Luca Privitera

Reuse and recycling, regeneration and sustainability are at the heart of the trade fair, on from 18th to 23rd April 2023

The last edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano was held during an unprecedented climate situation, with temperatures rising above 35°C, tangible proof of ongoing change and against  complex political and economic backdrop. This is why  issues such as regeneration, reuse, circularity, planet-centricity and energy saving have been the focus of attention for the event and for the design industry as a whole. Together, the exhibitors and the Salone have shown their concrete commitment to finding solutions and enacting virtuous practices.

Testament to this, as regards the Salone in particular, are its membership of the United Nations Global Compact – the leading global business sustainability initiative - its circulation of Green Guidelines for planning and setting up trade fair installations and its work towards obtaining ISO 20121 certification for the sustainable management of events.


Environmental, financial and social responsibility will be a top priority at the 2023 edition of the Salone del Mobile too, which is being organised to make the most efficient use of resources, cutting waste and environmental impact, as well as protecting the human rights, health and safety  of those taking part in the event and of workers involved in its organisation.

With all this in mind, the Salone has launched procedures to identify suppliers of recycled and recyclable or reusable materials for building the common parts, and will regenerate the resources that have been consumed and absorb the waste produced, choosing institutional partners whose strategies are centred around genuine concern for people and the planet.

Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, had this to say: “We believe that the actions of the Salone del Mobile must be guided by a profound sense of ethical duty. It is our responsibility to share knowledge and skills with all design and event industry actors, in order to develop innovative solutions, conscious that what we do today will determine the future of the upcoming generations. We are all changemakers, protagonists of this transformation.”

The Salone is also conscious that this is not something that can be done alone, and that all  sustainability initiatives are much more effective and far-reaching when planned with the active participation of all their stakeholders, which is why it has expanded the green guidelines issued last year to the exhibiting companies, in a bid to provide them with the greatest possible support when it comes to designing, planning and carrying out their activities at the fair. 


The Salone has shared the following recommendations with its own community: as regards the installations, companies are recommended to come up with circular solutions for the structure and materials for the exhibition spaces, cutting waste and optimising energy, transport and storage; cutting down on packaging or employing reused or reusable packaging; selecting materials on the basis of source distance, with logistical sustainability in mind, including reused or reusable physical communication supports.

With regard to stand building materials, recycled wood and cardboard products are preferred, or ones from sustainably managed forests with FSC or PEFC certification;  as are curbing the use of non-reusable materials often destined for disposal; opting for plastic-free or recycled plastic materials; choosing reusable pallets that have been repaired or are sourced from exchange systems; opting for water-based paint, ecolabel products and ecological detergents free of toxic components.


With regard to social safety and sustainability, companies have been invited to adopt measures, products and equipment  that ensure safe installation procedures for the staff involved and that ensure accessibility, usability and fruition by vulnerable users and those with disabilities.

Lastly, the Salone has advised exhibitors to prioritise  suppliers having implemented sustainable management service systems, demonstrating their commitment to social responsibility and that are able to guarantee the characteristics and traceability of their products.

“These are not compulsory guidelines, rather a tool to help define a positive and inspirational mode of conduct, around which the business community will pull together and which can be utilised to accelerate change,” explained Maria Porro.
27 October 2022