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Successful eco-responsible events

March 17, 2023

Written with by Perrine

Reconciling the sustainable with the ephemeral is the challenge facing event organizers today. Faced with the climate emergency, everyone has to adapt their practices for eco-responsible events. And to orchestrate an event that respects the planet without it becoming a real headache, the choice of venue is an essential step. The Parc des Expositions, which has been located in Epinal since 1974, has taken the environmental turn since 2006. This was the year in which the building underwent major renovation work and was renamed the "Convention Center". The site now offers the public significant thermal and energy comfort and continues its transformation in favor of theenvironmentand ecology.

Intelligent heating

Affiliation to the wood boiler room

Since 2006, the building has been connected to the wood boiler room installed in the Plateau de la Justice district. Indeed, the city of Epinal has a 32 km urban heating network. More than 85% of this network is supplied with renewable energy thanks to 3 interconnected boiler rooms that use wood as their main source of energy (more than 69,000 tons of wood per year). They provide heating and hot water for the equivalent of 9,000 homes. In terms of the fight against global warming, the massive use of biomass on this network reduces CO2 emissions by more than 21,000 tons per year.

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Diagram explaining the operation of wood-fired heating systems and the heating network in Epinal, thus demonstrating their interest for the events

Subscription to a green electricity contract

Since 2019, the building is associated with the contract concluded with Total Energies by the Sillon Lorrain. It thus has a subscription to green electricity. The latter is produced exclusively from renewable energy sources (wind turbines, hydraulic dams or solar panels). The use of these naturally occurring energies generates little polluting waste and greenhouse gases and thus contributes to the fight against global warming and environmental degradation, without neglecting comfort.

Provide reasonable lighting for events

Replacement of the lighting system

In 2022, the Convention Center began replacing its entire lighting system. Indeed, the latter is particularly energy consuming. Historically, the building was equipped with metal halide lamps, known to be particularly polluting and energy consuming. These are being replaced by LED lighting. This operation to switch 12,000m2 of lighting will take place over several years. In 2022, the Great Hall, the largest space in the establishment, i.e. 5200m2, has been equipped. This system has already resulted in considerable energy savings, with a 57.96% reduction in consumption. The process continues with the objective of equipping the entire building in 2023 and 2024.

Moreover, this device also benefits the public of the Congress Center. Organizers and visitors alike benefit from a better-lit space. The stands and products are more visible and more highlighted, in a warm and modern atmosphere.

Installation of presence detectors

At the same time, presence detectors have been installed. They replace the single light switches in the corridor leading to the 4 committee rooms and the staff offices. This has reduced electricity consumption by almost 80%.

Annual savings :

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22 337 € HT

Icon representing renewable energy and electricity kwh

137,729 Kwh

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394 trees saved

Encourage soft & eco-responsible travel

Driving to an event

The Convention Center is also taking action to promote environmentally friendly travel. In 2022, a "super fast" electric charging station was installed in the P3 parking lot. This installation was carried out in collaboration with the Communauté d'Agglomération d'Epinal and Engie Solutions. With a power ranging from 50 to 150 kW, this station allows two vehicles to be recharged simultaneously. Payment can be made by credit card or using the ENGIE application.

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Cycling to an event

In collaboration with the Epinal Urban Community, a "Vilvolt" station with self-service electric bicycles available 24/7 has also been installed in the P2 parking lot in front of the Palais des Sports. These electric bikes have a range of 40km. They can reach up to 25km/h to move quickly and easily throughout the city. Numerous other stations have been installed in the area, notably at Epinal train station or Place des 4 Nations. They allow you to easily reach the numerous events organized at the Congress Center. Without subscription, the rate is fixed at 1€/half hour. To use the service, simply download the Vilvolt application.

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Going to an event by bus

The "Imaginelebus" urban transport network also makes it easy to reach the Convention Center. Several lines serve the "Centre des Congrès - Epinal" stop located near the site:

Consult the schedules

Charging station for electric cars
Vilvolt self-service bicycles
City bus of the Imagine le bus urban transport network

Reduce, sort, recover and recycle waste

Implementation of selective sorting

Waste separation garbage cans for collecting and sorting waste are made available to each event organizer. These bi-flow supports allow to differentiate household waste from recyclable waste ("yellow" garbage can). They aim to make visitors aware of waste sorting and encourage them to implement it on a daily basis in order to reduce their environmental impact through simple gestures.

Wooden composter with organic waste inside

Composting of organic waste

In 2022, in order to multiply the sorting devices and to offer a second life to organic waste, the Congress Center had Sicovad install two wooden composters on the P4 parking lot, at the back of the building. The green waste is deposited there daily, the compost is then formed by the action of micro-organisms and by a fermentation process. The compost is made available to the employees of the Public Industrial and Commercial Establishment (EPIC) of which the Convention Center is a part, as well as to the Epinal Tourist Office and its agglomeration. They can thus have a natural fertilizer to feed their plants and their vegetable garden.

Revaluation of the carpet

The 22 000m2 of carpet used to cover the spaces during the different fairs that take place at the Congress Center have a second life thanks to the associations. Pl'asso Jeux uses exclusively second hand carpet to cover its spaces during the Festival Jeux & Cie or THD Events to protect the floors during the concerts organized in the Salle Chat Botté. These associations have the possibility to recover them later on free of charge.

Promote biodiversity and protect wildlife

Installation of urban beehives

In 2022, 5 beehives were installed on the roof of the Congress Center. They are the result of a collaboration with Damien Balland, a local beekeeper. He also markets his "Miel de la Vôge".

In the first year, only one hive with a swarm in it yielded honey. About 15 pots were filled. The 4 other hives were voluntarily unoccupied in order to offer the possibility to swarms to settle there naturally. The maintenance of the hives is assured every three months. It allows us to ensure the good health of the bees and to check the state of the hives which can be subjected to climatic hazards. In case of diseases or simply to reinforce the immunity of the bees, natural treatments based on essential oils can be made. The expected production over the next few years is around 30 kg of honey per year. The precious nectar collected constitutes gifts offered to the most faithful customers.

Interior of a hive with bees and honey

Planting of honey trees

In March 2023, on the occasion of the2nd edition of the Green Expo organized by the Centre des Congrès and the Cie DES'événements, 4 Pyrus trees, also called ornamental pear trees and particularly known for their melliferous properties, were planted at the back of the building. In the spring, they will be a refuge for bees. Their flowers will provide them with pollen and nectar. By moving around, the bees also promote pollination. This is directly linked to the reproduction of plants and therefore to the production of the fruits and vegetables we eat.

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