7 Ways To Green Your Air Show

Aerospace is full of talk about sustainability, new fuels, less omissions, new materials and of course less waste.  A lot is being invested in these initiatives, but here is a question for you...  What happens to all the building material after a Paris or Farnborough Air Show?

These events are much different than your typical trade show where the exhibits are packed, shipped and reused at another show. The miles of hospitality chalets are finished to very high standards that rival high-end hotels and business suites.  Imagine the refuse after this tear down is complete.

GES, working with contractors, exhibitors and organizers, goes to great lengths to reduce our carbon footprint. As the largest single contractor at these shows, GES is in a unique position to make a difference.

Here are seven ways to make your air show greener:

1) Wall Construction:

Reusable wall panels that can be stripped following the show are used and areas where custom construction is required are closely monitored.This is to make sure materials are being used that can be separated following the show and packed according to like materials. This makes the process more manageable and it’s easier to recycle.

2) Suspended Ceilings:

Until recently, all acoustic ceiling materials were disposed of following the shows. We now recycle 95% of tiled ceiling and 100% of metal grid. More than 59,000 square feet (5,500 square meters) of tile goes back into the tile manufacturing process and is used as 100% pure raw material for new tile. This equates to more than 20 tons of material.

3) Floor Coverings:

High-quality carpet is used in most chalets and it’s not suitable for recycling. Instead, the carpet is reused as much as possible for future projects or packing materials. We use 100% recycled carpeting for aisle carpet in the exhibit halls and it’s reused again following each event until it shows wear and then is recycled for other uses.

4) Air Conditioning and Electrical Materials:

We recently moved from traditional air conditioning copper pipe connections to reusable flexible PVC piping that can be saved for multiple reuse. Although the copper pipe was recycled as scrap, the reuse of the flexible lines is a much better alternative. Electrical materials are recycled or reused.

5) One-Off vs. Custom Fixtures:

Fixtures such as reception centers, bars, cabinetry and buffet counters once considered one-off are now being saved for reuse.This process not only aids clients in maintaining brand continuity, it also generates perpetual savings.

6) Direct-to-Substrate Printing:

The use of direct-to-substrate (DTS) printing is another means to remove waste and minimize materials. DTS printing eliminates the need for films, glues and added labor for mounting graphics to substrates.

7) Dumpsters:

By using dumpsters specific to material types, and insuring proper separation, we’re able to reduce recycle costs as a ‘mixed use’ dumpster is more expensive than those specific to like materials.

Our U.K. division, SDD Exhibitions, is actively involved with the Farnborough Air Show organizer to proactively reduce the environmental impact of their own and other contractors’ operations. Their job is to insure that recycling and sustainability is maximized across the show.

If your suppliers are not actively involved in these initiatives, ask them why. The more our industry is focused on sustainable practices the better it is for all of us.

Signing off for now, time to feed horses and lots of recycling to do here at the ranch.

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