Viparis and GL events, two leading events industry stakeholders, team up to curb carbon emissions

As part of a joint effort to curb carbon emissions, GL events will lease 8,000 m2 in Hall 8 at Viparis’s Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition complex to store equipment for building stands at the Première Vision Paris trade shows, a global event for fashion professionals. This environmental initiative will eliminate the need to dispatch more than 500 HGVs during the trade show’s two annual events! The partnership also enables Viparis to diversify the uses of its venues, and allows GL events to cut back on deliveries associated with one of its biggest professional events. Together, these two stakeholders have launched an initiative fully in line with their CSR commitments.

The equivalent of an average French household’s gas consumption over 32 years

The environmental impact of setting up an event involves two factors: the type of materials used and how those materials are transported to the venue. Since its founding in 1973, the Première Vision trade show’s exhibition stands have been fully modular and are reused from one show to the next. Nevertheless, transporting these stands within the Greater Paris region for each edition requires nearly 500 round trips by heavy goods vehicles. Storing the equipment at the Paris Nord Villepinte venue eliminates the carbon emissions from those vehicles, saving a total of 82 tons of CO2 per year. This is the equivalent of over 40 years of an average French citizen’s personal carbon allowance (PCA) as calculated under the Paris Agreement (and 8 years of his or her PCA in 2021). Put another way, it is equal to a average French household’s gas consumption over 32 years.[1]

Two leading events industry stakeholders join forces in a green initiative

Both Viparis, the European leader in conferences and trade events, and GL events, a top integrated event-services provider, are looking beyond the bottom line and paying increasing attention to the environmental impact of their strategic business lines.

“Seeing two of the largest stakeholders in the events industry come together for the good of the environment is a real source of pride. This is proof positive that companies can work together to improve event-related logistics and curtail their environmental impact.” Bruno Desloques, Director of the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition complex

“Storing certain materials required for upcoming editions of Première Vision Paris is great news for the environment! Keeping deliveries under control is a missing link for our industry when it comes to providing low-carbon services. This is a first step in a process that we hope to continue over the long term and extend to other areas.” Olivier Ferraton, Deputy Managing Director, GL events.

For more than a decade, GL events, which organises trade shows, provides services and manages venues, has been fully committed to corporate social responsibility. In particular, the company has developed an expertise in the circular economy, through refurbishing and reusing assets to provide its clients with low-carbon services. In 2021, GL events rolled out new offers that are fully modular and reusable, which have since been deployed at SIRHA and the International Wood Construction Forum. At venues managed by GL events, the group has made considerable efforts to repurpose non-reusable materials. During SIRHA Lyon in September 2021, 15 tons of food were donated to the local food bank, and 88 tons of waste furnishings were upcycled.

As part of its CSR strategy, entitled “Better Events 2030”, Viparis has rolled out initiatives to lower the environmental impact of each site, and offers venues and services for responsible events and creators of value. By 2030, as the European leader in conferences and trade events, Viparis intends to cut its carbon footprint by 50% for all of its assets, and by 33% in terms of its logistics (compared to 2016). Viparis’s responsible venue management involves optimised energy and resource use (green energy, using automated controls to eliminate unnecessary consumption, and investing in energy retrofits). The company also encourages the use of sustainable transport by both visitors and delivery providers, and has increased its efforts to separate rubbish and combat food waste. Finally, Viparis has forged green partnerships with its suppliers: for example, catering companies are evaluated using CSR criteria, such as their organic food offerings and the length of their supply chains.

The Paris Nord Villepinte complex is particularly committed to these green initiatives, and has set itself the goal of becoming the leading sustainable exhibition complex. The venue is aware of its environmental impact (Hall 7 is HQE-certified, and all electrical energy is from renewable sources), and is also an outstanding green oasis – an 18,000 m2 green roof for Hall 7, 10 beehives, nesting boxes, insect hotels, and 20 hectares of pesticide-free green spaces monitored by an environmental consultant.