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Cogo in action: Putting our values on show at Money20/20

Cogo in action





Kevin Kremer

Cogo in action
Cogo in action: Putting our values on show at Money20/20





Kevin Kremer

Our mission at Cogo is to empower hundreds of millions of individuals and businesses to measure, understand and reduce their impact on the environment. We’re attending Money20/20 Amsterdam to spread this message and inspire the banking industry to take climate action. Discover how we plan to tell our story through our sustainable stand design.

At Cogo, we walk the talk when it comes to climate action. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact in all areas of our business. 

We realised that industry events, while they provide an excellent platform for us to inspire positive change, can contribute significantly to our company’s carbon emissions. So, this year, we set out to reduce our carbon footprint and raise the bar in sustainable stand design. 

In this blog, Kevin Kremer, Senior Brand Designer, and the creative brains behind the stand, shares his process of creating a circular brand experience. 

Where did the inspiration for the design come from? 

We knew we wanted to avoid taking inspiration from typical exhibition stands from the start—after all, 'conventional' is not what Cogo is all about. 

That's why we began exploring urban garden architecture. Our initial research focused on intelligently designed projects promoting connection and calm in dynamic environments. Our aim was to create an experience that takes cues from nature itself.

We asked ourselves, what if we design an urban garden instead of a traditional exhibition stand? A garden can serve as a public square, a space of encounter, exchanging ideas and communication. It's designed around human movement through nature, allowing for free flow and the intersection of paths—the right to roam. 

By embracing this philosophy in our design approach, we want to offer visitors a moment to pause and reflect amidst this busy event. We strive to provide our visitors with a peaceful environment where they can reconnect with nature and gather the inspiration to work towards a brighter future together with Cogo.

What did the design process look like, and how did you reduce the environmental impact of the stand?

When designing for sustainability and circularity, there are functional limitations to consider. While creating aesthetically pleasing designs is easy, creating ones that meet sustainability criteria is more complex. 

Throughout the design process, we constantly balanced creativity with environmental impact, often iterating on our designs, changing course and starting from scratch. 

We carefully considered the lifecycle of each element and made sure only to use locally sourced, recycled, reclaimed, rented, or reused materials. Parts of the stand have previously been exhibited at Milan and Dutch Design Week as part of the No Space for Waste exhibition. After the event, all components will be reintegrated into the supply chain, leaving no waste behind. 

We were fortunate to have incredible collaborators, Space&Matter, an Amsterdam-based design studio specialising in sustainable architecture and circular area development. Their trusted partners at Fiction Factory also provided valuable guidance and insights into sustainable design practices and materials. Our project is a testament to the potential of collaboration and shows that sustainable solutions are already achievable today, not just in the distant future.

How did you incorporate storytelling into the stand?

It’s important to us that visitors can intuitively connect to the story of the Cogo stand. Each component, such as the wall panelling, chairs, etc., has wood-cut labels describing the object's material, source, and afterlife. This way, we want to educate our visitors and showcase the broad spectrum of available sustainable and circular materials. 

And, if they listen carefully, visitors can hear a soundscape of Aotearoa/New Zealand native birds at risk of extinction—an ode to the origins of Cogo, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems left on Earth.  

What production methods and sustainable materials did you use?

The walls are crafted from waste offcuts from the CNC production of modular wooden holiday cabins sourced from the Wikkelhouse factory in Amsterdam. The concept was developed by We Are Mast and Fiction Factory. After the event, the panels will become office furniture in a design studio in Amsterdam.

The lamps used on our stand feature concrete cylinders collected as construction waste during the renovation of the iconic brutalist Dutch Central Bank, designed and produced by S–44, Amsterdam. The lamps are rented from the designer and will be returned after the event.

The table tops are made from 100% recycled plastic from various waste sources like refrigerators, cutlery, and electronics. The Good Plastic Company, Amsterdam, manufactures these 'Polygood' panels. The pieces will be offered on Jutplaats, an Amsterdam-based marketplace for leftover materials. 

The recycled felts, produced by i-DID, are made from waste textiles, including old uniforms and consumer clothing, by people who are being coached to re-enter the workforce. The cushions are rented from the Wikkelhouse Store and will be returned for reuse.

The plants and trees, provided by Ten Kate Flowers & Decorations, have been nurtured and brought to the event location by our dedicated florist and event decorator, ensuring their wellbeing and sustainability. The plants are being rented and will be returned after Money20/20. 

How did you blend both nature and technology into the stand? 

Both domains are at the heart of what we do here at Cogo. To highlight this connection, we utilised the architecture of our stand and placed an island featuring a grand tree surrounded by product demos at its centre. 

As visitors explore the stand, they meander between interactive digital screens and lush biophilic areas, continuously being reminded how technology, nature and the human experience intersect at Cogo. 

How did you measure the impact of the stand?

We believe, ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’ at Cogo. We measure the carbon emissions in our operations, the carbon footprint of our website, and now we’re measuring the carbon impact of our stand. 

We’re using a tool from TRACE by isla to do this. It enables us to see not only what the impact of our stand will be, but also it allows us to compare with other production options if the impact is too high. Not only that, but it also measures the impact of our team attending the conference. Luckily, as we are sustainably-minded with regards to business travel, everyone is travelling to Amsterdam by train, and eating mainly meat-free meals, so our overall carbon footprint will be lower. 

Thanks, Kevin! 

If you’re attending Money20/20, make sure you come and see the stand. The team will be at C140. If you want to book a meeting ahead of time, follow this link: 

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