WINDPOWER 2014 unveils green opportunity

29 April 2014 by Elesha Peterson Carr Elesha Peterson Carr

Trade shows are a pretty energy intensive undertaking. Not only for the show organizers, who have to contend with lighting and heating or cooling a show floor and the labor involved in setting up and tearing down booths, but also for the companies exhibiting, who have to purchase or build the booth elements, transport those materials to and from the show, and who need electricity to power displays and computers.

AWEA staff have worked hard to make WINDPOWER 2014 100 percent wind powered by offsetting our energy usage with wind RECs, and we want to help our exhibitors find their own ways to make their exhibition experience more sustainable. At WINDPOWER 2013 we rolled out the WINDPOWER Green Exhibitor Challenge, a new initiative designed to recognize exhibitors who have taken steps to increase the sustainability or “greenness” of their booth.

Now, at WINDPOWER 2014, sixteen exhibitors have joined AWEA in looking for ways to make their exhibition more environmentally friendly. Qualifications in the first year of the program are broad, to encourage participation and interest. In subsequent years AWEA will introduce stricter qualifications to the program as we help our exhibitors move towards sustainable exhibition practices and increased support of wind energy offsets.

So what exactly makes a booth “green”? To list just a few:

  • Purchasing RECs for electrical usage or carbon offsets for staff travel
  • Energy efficient lighting technology (CFL, LED)
  • Electronic displays that meet criteria for EnergyStar qualification or equivalent energy efficiency program
  • Flooring composed of: post-consumer recycled material, recyclable material or rapidly renewable material(s)
  • Recyclable graphics and signage
  • Graphics and signage that contain recycled material and utilize water- or vegetable-based inks
  • Printed collateral that uses recyclable paper, post-consumer recycled content or is certified as sustainably sourced
  • Promotional giveaways that are made of post-consumer recycled content or are biodegradable
  • Use of low- or zero VOC products such as paints, varnishes or glues will be used for new materials or to maintain the booth
  • Using a third-party logistics partner that participates in the U.S. EPA’s SmartWay Partnership Program or an equivalent program
  • Exhibit crate(s) made from a third-party-certified sustainable material
  • Purchase of carbon offsets to cover all emissions resulting from shipping booth materials to and from event

AWEA is proud to recognize the exhibitors who have already stepped up to make their WINDPOWER experience greener, and we hope to welcome many more to the WINDPOWER Green Exhibitor Challenge in years to come.

For more information on the Green Exhibitor Challenge or the participating companies, visit http://www.windpowerexpo.org/Exhibitors/content.aspx?ItemNumber=5967.

For more information on all the ways that WINDPOWER has worked to make our show sustainable, visit http://www.windpowerexpo.org/contentfull.aspx?ItemNumber=6384&RDtoken=31660&userID=.