Orbus Exhibit & Display Group Demonstrates Commitment to Environment with Intensive Recycling Efforts
While some exhibit manufacturing companies might occasionally tout their fair share of sustainable practices, others are going the extra mile to help alleviate their impact on the environment.
One such company is Orbus Exhibit & Display Group, which has been carrying out intensive recycling efforts for almost a decade in an ongoing effort to divert as much waste as possible from landfill.
Specializing in the manufacture of portable modular and custom modular exhibit and display products, graphics and solutions, Orbus is a privately owned group of companies comprising companies and brands including Orbus 365, SignPro Systems, Origin and Nimlok.
In order to minimize the environmental impact generated by the design and manufacture of its tradeshow displays, Orbus follows strict recycling guidelines in its daily operations that continue to expand year over year.
Besides placing recycling bins in employee lunch rooms, cubicles and offices, large recycling bins for cardboard, paper, wood, fabric, plastic and metal are spread throughout its manufacturing and production facilities. Meanwhile, employees are encouraged to reduce waste as well as sort and recycle as part of their daily practice.
As a result, Orbus’ annual recycling efforts have seen consistent reductions in the amount of waste sent to landfills.
In 2016 alone, the group recycled 555,000 lbs. of cardboard; 80,000 lbs. of aluminum; 397,500 lbs. of fabric and 132,800 lbs. of plastic, preventing 582 tons of materials from ending up in landfills and increasing its waste diversion rates by 9 percent compared to its 2015 numbers.
“The commitment of Orbus’ senior management team and employees to implementing the recycling programs is essential for a continuous focus on environmental management,” explained Jim Concannon, Orbus operations manager and ISO representative, charged with overseeing and enhancing Orbus’ recycling program and initiatives.
He continued, “One of Orbus’ core values is a commitment to protecting the environment and we are proud to continuously improve our recycling and repurposing values each year. Seeing an increase in the amount of materials diverted from landfills and partnering in environmentally responsible programs is consistent with Orbus’ commercial business priorities.”
Orbus also combines its recycling practices with CSR by donating scrap wood to local fire departments for training efforts, to craftsmen to create furniture, and to humanitarian aid and disaster relief organizations such as Matthew 25: Ministries.
Scrap fabric is donated to vocational schools, organizations that encourage women to create clothing to sell for income, and to community groups to create items including blankets and curtains.
To help mitigate the CO2 impact of shipping its displays, Orbus has been participating in UPS’s Carbon Neutral Shipping program for the past two years, a program that offers businesses the option of shipping their packages as carbon neutral. After the CO2 emissions for a company’s shipped packages are calculated, the mitigated CO2 is turned into carbon credits, which UPS then donates to environmentally responsible programs.
The carbon credits purchased on behalf of Orbus have been invested in the maintenance and development of the Garcia River Forest and the Big River and Salmon Creek Forests projects, which are operated by the Conservation Fund.
Orbus also partners with ComEd to reduce its energy use and has taken steps including installing efficient lighting and water heating, as well as other energy management devices.
As if all of these green practices weren’t enough already, both of Orbus’ manufacturing and distribution facilities in Las Vegas and Woodridge, IL are certified under the ISO 14001:2004 standard, which provides guidelines to establish and maintain an environmental management system through minimizing harmful effects on the environment caused by business activities, and achieving continual improvement of environmental performance.
“Orbus’ recycling efforts stem from the core values of our top management,” Concannon said. “Our owners and top management had the vision of implementing recycling efforts in our Niles facility in 1999 and it continued to grow from there with our first ISO 14001:2004 certification in 2010.”
He continued, “In 2011, after Orbus Exhibit & Display Group and Nimlok came under the same ownership, the efforts truly began in earnest. (I was brought in) with the goal of certifying all facilities to the ISO 14001:2004 standard, and enhancing our recycling program and initiatives. Since then, we have been constantly striving to maintain the standards laid out by ISO 14001:2004, and to increase the amount of waste diverted from landfills each year.”
Besides working to increase awareness about its green program and expand its local CSR efforts, Orbus recently introduced its new Waste Champions team to help reduce electrical and natural gas usage and create more efficient processes for reducing waste.
To learn more about Orbus' environmental commitment, go here.