International CES Launches Several Sustainable Programs

January 2, 2012

Trade shows aren’t the greenest of environments in the world, but the Consumer Electronic Association’s International CES, Jan. 10-13 at several venues around Las Vegas, is making an effort to be as sustainable as possible.

“Our green and recycling efforts at the 2012 International CES are unprecedented for the largest annual event in the western hemisphere, covering more than 1.8 million square feet and welcoming more than 140,000 attendees,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA’s president and CEO.

He added, “We’ve worked hard to ensure that we are using the latest and greatest sustainability practices in producing CES.”

For the first time this year, attendee badge holders are made from repurposed vinyl show banners from last year’s show, and CEA will collect those badge holders at the end of the 2012 CES to recycle them again.

In addition, Global Experience Specialists, the show’s general service contractor, will produce signs using a reusable, recyclable kraft paper honeycomb material.

Through a partnership with Repurpose America, a local nonprofit focusing on tradeshow recycling, CEA also has set a goal to collect even more magnetic, vinyl and cardboard show signs for repurposing.

For the 2011 show, Repurpose America collected roughly 18,000 pounds of magnetic signs from, nearly 15,000 square feet of vinyl banners and more than 150 foam boards.

In addition, CEA worked with contractors to recycle 289.6 tons of the solid waste generated at CES and increased the event’s recycle rate from 68 percent to 77 percent, several points higher than the average recycle rate of trade shows held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Besides sustainable efforts on the show, CEA also supports greening efforts in the Las Vegas community.

In 2011, CEA gave $75,000 to Green Chips, a local charity supporting solar power installations.

The money was used to install solar panels at a Las Vegas nonprofit facility, resulting in substantial savings that allowed the organization to devote more money to serve those in need, according to CEA officials.

Just the mere fact that business travelers who choose to come to CES typically report to going to at least 12 business meetings at the event, show participants collectively avoid more than 960 million miles in business trips that they otherwise would have had to take.

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