Exhibitors take on sustainable events challenge

The 25th WCD Singapore 2023 launches the WCD Green Challenge for exhibitors.

Music to the ears: performers at The 25th World Congress of Dermatology (WCD) Singapore 2023.
Music to the ears: performers at The 25th World Congress of Dermatology (WCD) Singapore 2023. Photo Credit: TGI Singapore

The recent 25th World Congress of Dermatology Singapore 2023 prioritised sustainable event management and encouraged exhibitors to participate in the WCD Green Challenge.

This was part of the event’s WCD2023 Green Policy which offered clear guidelines and principles for all decision-making, event planning, production, and participation throughout the conference. Exhibitors who joined the WCD Green Challenge had to demonstrate waste and pollution reduction measures during product packaging.

Hosted by the Dermatological Society of Singapore (DSS) under the auspices of the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS), the Congress took place recently over six days at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. M&C Asia spoke to exhibitors who participated in the challenge and who shared their impressions of the event.

Pierre Fabre

Claire Terlier of Pierre Fabre, said that to help doctors make informed choices about the social and environmental impact of the products they use, the company created a transparent and convenient format for dermo-cosmetic products and family health care products, the Green Impact Index, three years ago. This index was used at the booth. “For the Congress, to decrease the quantity of paper to doctors, we created QR codes to download information. We also communicate a lot about the social and environmental impact of our products using a simple A, B, C or D scoring system, The Green Impact Index, at our booth,” said Terlier.

No fewer than 20 criteria are studied in detail in order to award an environmental score and a social score for a product where the weighted average of the product’s two scores are given an overall score in the form of a letter: A, B, C or D. Criteria include biodegradability and naturalness of the formula, carbon footprint, water consumption, organic farming, official certifications, and CSR commitments.

The Green Impact Index was designed as a way of assessing all the Group’s products, dermo-cosmetics and family health care products and assessed by an independent body, AFNOR Certification.

Terlier was pleased with the proximity of hotels and amenities to the Congress and spent a lot of time walking as it was the “the best thing to do”, she said.

A busy time at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.
A busy time at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. Photo Credit: TGI Singapore

Suu Balm

Jason Humphries, co-founder of Suu Balm, said that sustainability is one of the core values of the company which manufactures Singapore’s top-selling creams to relief itch. His team had a goal to lower the carbon footprint with the exhibition stand and designed lightweight materials which can be re-used for different formats and environments such as retail kiosks. “Because we are based here (Singapore), we can explore storage,” said Humphries. Suu Balm’s presence at this year’s congress has opened up new markets for the company in places such as Tanzania, Nigeria and Colombia.


Dario Di Fiore of Deka, a medical laser manufacturer from Florence, Italy, was attending this congress for the 6th time. Deka’s booth was designed with a vertical plant garden instead of using pre-fabricated material. Brochures were absent and all product information was sent electronically to doctors. Di Fiore said: “This is the ideal destination for the congress. Singapore is safe, secure, has hotels with great capability, and the food is fantastic. Last year in Milan, I had to take a taxi from my hotel to the Congress. This year, it feels very comfortable. The location is close to hotels, in terms of logistics and transportation, the organisation of this congress is the best.”


Bertrand Chuberre of L’OREAL said that the company has adopted a global and holistic sustainable approach to cosmetics by considering the full scope of a product's life cycle, and working towards more sustainable practices.

Among the many initiatives L’OREAL has launched, one of them involves helping consumers make informed, sustainable choices - with transparency as a key focus. “This is why we developed an environmental labelling system: the Product Environmental & Social Impact Labelling mechanism (PIL). The labelling includes a score on a scale from A to E, with an “A” product considered as “best in class” in terms of environmental impacts. The method was endorsed by independent scientific experts and data have been verified by Bureau Veritas Certification, an independent auditor.”

Regarding Singapore’s appeal as a congress destination, he said: “Singapore has a unique position in the global economy and a pivotal role as a business epicenter in the heart of Asia. The city-state has been consistently acknowledged as a global business hub. The combination of these two dimensions makes of Singapore a critical place for actors to gather around sustainability discussions and actions.”