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UNIC Circular Economy Retail Group meeting #1

The first meeting of the UNIC Circular Economy Retail Group took place on 13 November in London. The objective of this one-day event was to bring together a working group from across the industry to shape the tangible next steps needed in order to create a sustainability roadmap for cinema exhibition in Europe. It represented a direct follow up to the Sustainability Seminar presented by our partners from Coca-Cola during CineEurope 2019.

Around 30 European cinema operators, representing companies of various sizes and locations, took part in this ground-breaking meeting to learn more about sustainability - from both a legal and best practice standpoint - and develop strategies to reduce the impact of our industry on the environment. 

The event included presentations from Pathé Netherlands  and the Depot, an independent cinema located in Lewes, UK. Both cinemas presented their philosophy and different sustainability campaigns, from a communications strategy focusing on efficient plastic bottle collection at Pathé cinemas to the Depot's decision to become a "green" cinema by, among other things, having an energy-efficient design and working with local food and beverage providers to reduce carbon emissions. 

We also learned from outside of the industry, as experts from Veolia, a main European waste and water management and energy service company, Huhtamaki and Reelbrands, both major providers of sustainable-packaging solutions, and McDonald's shared their insights on trends and developments in sustainability and provided participants with an overview of best practice and innovative ideas from across the globe. 

UNIC also contributed to the conversation with a presentation on the legal background in Europe and internationally. We highlighted how the UN Sustainable Development Goals had contributed to shaping the EU's Circular Economy Package and how the recently adopted Single-use Plastics Directive and its various deadlines and key objectives would impact the future of cinema retail in the region, as Member States implement it into national law. 

This first meeting was hugely successful and we are happy to announce that a second event is scheduled to take place in early 2020. Moreover, UNIC, in partnership with Coca-Cola, will launch a project in collaboration with the University of the Arts London in the coming months. We will soon be able to share more about this initiative as well as a more detailed summary of the event - stay tuned! 

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