Van Os-Sonnevelt rents out furniture and carpet tiles for fairs, congresses and events. Its offer consists of over 1,200 product references that have been carefully selected on the following sustainability criteria: use of materials and production process, longevity and reparability, ease of transport and after-use. As the first furniture rental company to obtain the ISO 9001 quality certificate and integrate sustainability ambitions in the core company processes, Van Os-Sonnevelt plays a leading role in reducing the ecological impact of the live communication industry. Working closely together upstream with our suppliers and downstream with our direct customers and intermediaries, we strive to continuously improve our performance on the triple bottom line people, planet & profit.


The Shift helps members to make use of the global framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to map their societal ambitions.

11. Sustainable cities and communities

In the coming years, Van Os-Sonnevelt will continue to reduce the ecological impact of transport to and from venues and the warehouse. A variable transport fee has been created to discourage tailored deliveries and returns of small volumes and to encourage group deliveries and returns. We aim at improving a number of ratios that relate to the transport efficiency with 1.5 percent per year over the next 5 years. These ratios include, but are not limited to kilometers/turnover, kilometers/EBITDA, total road tolls/turnover and total road tolls/EBITDA. Furthermore, we commit to shift our transport fleet from Euro 2 and Euro 3 engines to Euro 6 or higher within a four year time frame.

8. Decent work and economic growth

Notwithstanding its dependency on biennial event cycles and large fluctuations in the event industry, Van Os-Sonnevelt remains true to the principle of full-time permanent contracts for its employees and collaborators. Although we recognize the objective value of temporary labor and outsourcing in some industries and some business model, we aim at keeping all employees aboard, in spite of a decline in the number and size of exhibitions, by developing new, attractive service concepts for our target markets. Van Os-Sonnevelt commits to maintaining a good and accessible work floor with plenty of opportunities for individuals who are difficult to employ. It will continue its support to initiatives that aim at making jobs accessible to people with little job experience.

12. Responsible consumption and production

After having joined the United Nations Global Compact in July 2010, Van Os-Sonnevelt started scrutinizing its suppliers in search of sustainable alternatives. The criteria used include, amongst others, the exclusion of child labor and forced labor in the entire value chain, a written and publicly accessible commitment of supplier regarding the reduction of non-renewable resources and materials, certification and/or generally accepted labels, proximity of the supplier. Van Os-Sonnevelt commits to a further reduction of non-biodegradable detergents, used for cleaning the furniture and masking light damages, with five percent per year and replace them by biodegradable, ecofriendly alternatives.

13. Climate action

Over the last years, Van Os-Sonnevelt has done considerable efforts to reduce its use of non-renewable energy sources and decrease its carbon footprint. An ongoing optimization of processes and activities will further reduce the energy consumption in day-to-day operations. Most of the electrical power now comes from our own photovoltaic equipment and we strive at reaching a positive balance soon. In our sourcing policy, we have a double focus on sustainability and proximity. We opt for the more sustainable alternatives and try to source them close to our own premises, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of transports between our suppliers and the buyer’s location. We commit to upgrade our transportation fleet over a five year period, replacing it by more efficient and eco-friendly engines, to update the lighting system in our warehouses with the most energy-efficient lighting system available and optimize the heating systems of our warehouses.

4. Quality education

Over the last decade, Van Os-Sonnevelt has considerably contributed to the quality of education, both locally and in the southern hemisphere, sharing its competences and knowledge in the fields of exhibitions, marketing & communication, international trade and business management. On a local level, Van Os-Sonnevelt is involved in curriculum development at university colleges, receives students for a guided tour and a presentation on marketing and live communication and provides guest lectures at a number of university colleges and schools. Through its branch Expo-id, educational products are developed for (young) adults in Southern Asia and made available pro bono to the benefit of educational programs at schools and universities. In the next two years, Van Os-Sonnevelt commits to double the number the number of pro bono sharing projects and to develop new educational products.