Why you won't find a printed programme for the Annual Forum in Nice

11th Dec 2021

Less prints, more alpine trees

You may come to Nice on 14 and 15 December to attend the Annual Forum 2021, and as you enter the place you may ask "but where can I see the programme?". If you look around, you will hardly find a stand with printouts of the day's agenda neither the programme. However, along the way, you will see those strange little graphic squares, which we are starting to know a little better, with the vaccine pass. Throughout the event, you will find information on the programme and registration, on this QR code, as it is called.

This new communication habit ensures that participants always have an up-to-date version of the programme, and reduces our use of paper for this type of event, which is known to be extremely paper and resource consuming. The French Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region is also promoting this reduction in paper use, with the distribution of a small object called EcoNoteBK, manufactured by a company in Peymeinade, in the Alpes-Maritimes department (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur). This Alpine start-up offers notebooks made of stone paper! This material, which has a silk-like feel, allows you to write and erase your notes, over and over again. You can imagine, write, erase and reuse endlessly on this notebook or an agenda. The ink can be erased with a wet wipe or a hair dryer, as the strong heat from the air will make the composite material react.
A further step towards digitalisation, with a simple photo from your smartphone and the recommended application, your handwritten notes become digital notes. Digitalising the Alps, also means promoting new technology initiatives produced in the Alps.

Less goodies, but better quality: for a more sustainable and resilient Alpine Region

This reflection on the sustainability of communication and promotional products, is part of the Manifesto for a more sustainable and resilient Alpine Region.
It is a real in-depth work on institutional communication, which was led by the French presidency 20-21 of EUSALP. This framework of reflection had a strong impact on our purchasing policy, since the primary criterion of sobriety was to turn to recycled objects, to choose recyclable materials, to work as much as possible with Alpine service providers and Alpine companies, in order to participate in the dynamism of our territory. It was also a question of committing to a theme of sobriety in the use of materials or in the number of orders.
Strongly affected by the development of the COVID-19 epidemic, the French presidency 20-21 will have undertaken this transition of its event communication policy during the year 2020, helped by a reduction in the number of face-to-face events in favour of online events. The focus will be on reducing the number of orders and the origin of the products: fewer promotional items for territorial events (including the 2020 Annual Forum) to concentrate on a single date: the 2021 Annual Forum in Nice.

Streamlined event and institutional communication that is close to the territories

What role can the communication of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region play in translating the Manifesto for a more sustainable and resilient Alpine Region?
This was the question that the French Presidency's communication team immediately asked itself. How to translate these political commitments for a climate and energy transition in the Alpine Region into reality and into the daily life of an administrative team? The first answer was to be sober communication and the second was to promote the region.

First of all, the French presidency opted to order generic annual roll-ups and banners to be reused at all events to dress up the rooms, in order to avoid material being thrown away after the event. For travel, the French Presidency teams opted for carpooling or train transport with the logistical material, in order to reduce the carbon impact of these events.

The catering services were provided by local suppliers who were able to highlight local and seasonal cuisine, according to a specific number of participants: to promote the culinary heritage of the Alps, to encourage agriculture that respects the seasons, to fight against food waste, and to avoid excessive travel time for the service provider.
Working with service providers who are close to the territory obviously means reducing travel time for meetings, but it also means supporting a local economy throughout the Alps. This is why the French presidency of EUSALP has called on talented service providers from its territory: Audrey Collomb (Infographics of cross-sectoral initiatives), Raphaël Baud (vintage posters of the annual Forum), Clara Chambon (What is EUSALP? and the French presidency report), the production company Dream Catcher Saint-Hilaire (film of the end of the French presidency).

The Annual Forum 2021: highlighting the diversity of the Alps and our quality approach

The French presidency of EUSALP, for the Annual Forum 2021, wanted to highlight the territorial products as well as the expertise mentioned above, from the regions Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Each region was able to defend its local heritage. Those lucky enough to be physically present at the 2021 Annual Forum will have noticed this in the contents of the bags, made of organic cotton and in France by the company Ta Belle Mer and adorned with the beautiful vintage illustrations of Raphaël Baud.
In this bag: a Génépi from Distillerie des Alpes (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), a fir syrup from Rième Boissons (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté), a mountain honey and lavender (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur).

The EcoNoteBK, presented earlier, meets these criteria with the possible infinite use of the object, which is not made of paper, which allows the digitisation of its notes and which highlights the know-how of an Alpine start-up. These notebooks, in limited quantities, will be distributed during the Annual Forum on 14 December to the members of the General Assembly.

The A4 paper-notebook proposed to the participants is made of recycled paper and manufactured in France by Version Ecologique: it will allow people on site to take notes during the event with a dedicated notepad.

The TrueBiotic personalised pens of the Annual Forum 2021, are proposed by the start-up OpeFive on an innovation developed by the Swiss company Prodir: a pen made of biopolymer and biodegradable material, which is produced in Switzerland, from the lead to the cartridge, including the body of the pen. This completely plastic-free pen is based on a technology developed by the MAIP Group in Turin: micro-organisms produce Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), a material that subsequently disintegrates in natural environments such as sea water, fresh water and soil. The process releases only CO2, water and biomass.

The old banners from the French Presidency's stocks were recycled and revalorised by the Fibr' ethik manufacturing workshop, based in Savoie (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes). In addition to an approach of inclusion towards people far from the labour market, this manufacturing workshop is fully invested in upcycling (transformation of a product to give it a second life). The manufacturing workshop recovered the promotional roll-ups of the French presidency of EUSALP that were to be incinerated. They transformed them into bags and accessories: each piece is a unique and high quality creation. The luggage tags include a nod to our ambassador Nicolas Plain, a scientist and paraglider pilot: the ropes used are those of recycled paragliding tarpaulins.

The French Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region, salutes the work of all those innovative companies and service providers, both Alpine and European, who wanted to move forward with this transition in event and institutional communication. Thank you to them for their commitment, and thank you, dear participants, for reading and highlighting this collective work.

The French Presidency 20-21 is coming to an end and it has provided 75% of the communication services on the Alpine territory, in a quality approach with a critical eye on the possibilities for improvement.
Everyone at his or her level (personal, administrative, professional) can ask himself or herself about this commitment to the prosperity of our territory: to make the Alpine region greener, more sustainable and more resilient!