CES Will be Green with Sustainability
Biggest trade show gets greener than ever with exhibits, sustainable practices.
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Attendees rush into the Central Hall from the Grand Lobby at the 2011 International CES.
December 19, 2011 by Steven Castle

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), that munga electronics extravaganza held each January in Las Vegas, is going greener than ever in 2012.

In addition to “green” exhibits areas like the Sustainable Planet and http://www.cesweb.org/showFloor/techzones.asp#GoElectricDrive” title=“GoElectricDrive”>GoElectricDrive (electric vehicles) TechZones, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which runs the trade show, will embark on several new sustainability practices at the 2012 CES Jan. 10 to 13.

New 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. CES general services contractor Global Experience Specialists (GES) will produce signs using a reusable, recyclable kraft paper honeycomb material. CEA will also seek to collect even more magnetic, vinyl and cardboard show signs for repurposing through a partnership with Repurpose America, a local nonprofit focusing on tradeshow recycling.

Last Year, Repurpose America collected roughly 18,000 pounds of magnetic signs from the 2011 CES, 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.

“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 than140,000 attendees,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO. “We’ve worked hard to ensure that we are using the latest and greatest sustainability practices in producing CES.”

The Sustainable Planet TechZone showcases the latest in eco-friendly products and energy efficiency technologies, while The GoElectricDrive TechZone showcases the full range of high- and low-speed electric vehicles, energy storage devices and charging solutions.

Along with the greening of the International CES, CEA also supports local green nonprofits. Last year, CEA gave $75,000 to Green Chips, a local Las Vegas charity supporting solar power installations. That money was used to install solar panels at a Las Vegas non-profit facility, resulting in substantial savings that allowed the organization to devote more money to serve those in need. CEA plans to make another donation benefiting Las Vegas and the environment at the 2012 International CES.

The CEA says CES also allows attendees to reduce their carbon footprints by gathering in one location. With each attendee reporting an average of 12 business meetings per CES, CES participants collectively avoid more than 960 million miles in business trips that they otherwise would have to take. As a result of attending CES and consolidating trips, the estimated net savings in travel is more than 549 million miles.

Other green and sustainable practices at this year’s CES:

• Continue expanding the use of recyclable carpet, now used for all aisle carpet and in all TechZones, Registration areas and turnkey booth packages. Turnkey packages now also include recyclable panels and graphics printed using soy ink.
• Aramark catering service uses bulk condiments instead of individual packages, offers attendee food containers and utensils made of biodegradable hemp, corn byproduct or other organic materials, donates surplus food products to local food banks and uses new energy efficient dishwasher that saves 798,034 gallons of water per year.
• Global Experience Specialists (GES) offers sustainable booth packages and offers a selection of eco-friendly recyclable carpets and biodegradable décor materials, all made from recycled content. Further, they use energy-efficient display lighting, recycle steel and aluminum exhibit structures and run 95 percent of all equipment on clean, natural gas.
• The Las Vegas Convention Center diverts recyclable materials from landfills (averaging a 70 percent recycle rate for all of its shows), uses a power monitoring system to track electrical power usage and identify areas for improved efficiency and has installed water conservation devices in urinals, toilets and faucets.
• The Venetian/Palazzo has reduced annual water consumption by more than 97 million, recycles over 55 percent of their solid waste stream, and received silver-certification for the Palazzo by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.

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