World's leading trade fair for environmental technologies : IFAT 2024 sets new record

2024, Eingang West, Eröffnung, IFAT, IFAT Munich, Übersicht
© Messe München GmbH

IFAT Munich 2024, held from 13th to 17th May at the Munich Trade Fairgrounds, drew to an end on the back of record visitor numbers: Some 142,000 visitors from almost 170 countries and regions attended the world's leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management. The share of international visitors was over 50 percent and thus higher than ever. The number of international exhibitors also reached a new record: 55 percent of the 3,211 exhibitors came from abroad. Companies from a total of 61 countries and regions took part in the trade fair. With 300,000 square meters of space, IFAT Munich 2024 was also the largest ever.

Related article: “Sustainability and environmental protection are a cross-industry task”

Industry underlines leading role in innovation

“IFAT Munich provides encouragement and gives us strength for the future,” says Stefan Rummel, CEO of Messe München. “The challenges of our time, such as the climate crisis or the shortage of raw materials, can only be solved with technology. Whether it's the transformation of municipalities towards more climate resilience or industry towards a more circular economy: IFAT Munich is the event which presents solutions for our future. I am delighted that IFAT Munich has received more attention than ever this year, from politics and business, to associations and companies.”

For the Chairman of the IFAT Munich Advisory Board, Dr. Johannes F. Kirchhoff, this year's event was “an absolute highlight. Where else can you meet the most important representatives from the industry from all over the world in just five days? I am very impressed by the variety of technologies and innovations that were presented here. The environmental technology sector is undoubtedly one of the most innovative industries at the moment—this was clearly demonstrated here at IFAT Munich.”

Live demonstrations, crushing zone, trucks in action and innovation from exhibitors—that was the outdoor area at IFAT Munich 2024.

- © Messe München GmbH

“Immense challenges for the circular economy

This year's IFAT Munich focused on how the world can adapt to climate change and actively protect the environment, for example by achieving international climate protection targets. The circular economy has a key role to play, as it can help to effectively reduce the use of (primary) raw materials. “In an increasingly technological world with ever more complex products, the circular economy is facing immense challenges. At IFAT, we can discuss these issues with customers, partners and new contacts and work on solutions together,” says Thomas Conzendorf, member of the Remondis Management Board. “IFAT is an important forum for us as a group because it combines the relevant topics and issues of the water and recycling industries in the most efficient way.”

Adapting to climate change is of vital importance

Communities have a special role to play in building climate resilience. They need effective technological solutions to deal with heavy rainfall and flooding, extreme heat and water shortages. “IFAT Munich 2024 was once again a very good platform for mutual exchange and for advancing developments in various industries. Water and wastewater management, waste and recycling industries are very important for promoting the circular economy and climate resilience. Water, energy, the environment and climate are among the most important issues of our time,” says Rainer Köhler, CEO of Huber SE. “My personal impression of this year's IFAT is very positive: At our Huber booth we had many interested visitors from our relevant areas: Wastewater treatment plant operators, sewage treatment plant operators, planners, engineering offices, representatives from local authorities and industry and many more from Germany and abroad.”

Environmental technologies - a global topic

The importance of the topics and environmental technologies presented at IFAT Munich is also reflected in the increased internationality, especially from overseas. “China ranked third among the exhibitors this year with strong participation. The country is also in the top ten in visitor numbers,” explains Philipp Eisenmann, Exhibition Director of IFAT Munich: “We have also seen strong growth in visitors from the USA, Australia, India, Japan and South Korea. Environmental technologies and solutions are the growth market worldwide and IFAT Munich is THE platform.”

The next IFAT Munich will be held at the exhibition center in Munich from May 4 to 8, 2026.

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