Leading the way in sustainable experiences

Facebook called on us to support them in creating a World Economic Forum 2020 experience that was humble in tone and rich in content, with a pioneering approach that delivered ambitious sustainability goals.

We developed a comprehensive event strategy that placed sustainability at its core. The resulting custom-built two-story Facebook Pavilion clearly illustrated that sustainable design doesn’t mean compromise; it can be as beautiful as it is responsible.

The Challenge

To support Facebook in creating their presence at the World Economic Forum; a presence that needed to be humble in tone, rich in content, and gentle on the planet. The impact of the project was to be benchmarked against the UN sustainability goals.

The Approach

In 2020, Facebook gave Smyle an amazing opportunity to be at the forefront of new and innovative ways to approach sustainable events. The overall aim was to significantly reduce environmental impacts with a particular emphasis on eliminating plastic waste. This would then create a sustainable benchmark from which future activations at Davos, and indeed other Facebook events around the world, could be measured.

Smyle worked closely with partners, architect Mike Lim, and David Stubbs, a renowned sustainability expert, to design and build an incredible two-story structure in Davos, using specially sourced recycled and repurposed materials – all delivered high in the Swiss mountains, in record time.

The design and project was completely driven by a sustainable strategy – a sensitive architectural design to reduce build time and transport, material choices to reduce environmental impact and reduce waste, space planning and technical designs to both maximise heat efficiency and minimise power and water consumption. Interior finishes were made from 90% wood, with additional panels of 100% recycled plastic, to be reused afterwards, in a fully circular model.

We provided a locally sourced menu with 100% vegetarian options and 35% vegan choices to help reduce our carbon footprint, as well as softer touches such as rugs made from recycled bottle tops. Smyle also delivered a comprehensive Sustainability Report to help our client take learnings from this event and apply these to future live experiences.

The Result

The Facebook Davos presence was hugely successful with a build commended by WEF themselves, for being so forward thinking around sustainability. It resulted in a humble and beautiful, content-driven Facebook brand experience. The entire experience was custom built in a little under two weeks, proving Smyle can work magic at high altitude working into tight turnarounds and tricky logistics – something we’re hugely proud about.

Winners of Best Sustainable Initiative at C&IT Awards 2021