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A subsidiary of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and the Paris Île-de-France Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Viparis is the European leader in conventions and exhibitions. Operator of the nine largest event venues in the Greater Paris region, Viparis welcomes 11 million visitors each year.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Viparis share an ambitious CSR strategy built up around four pillars: a smaller ecological footprint, improved mobility, sustainable partnerships and collective engagement. This joint commitment to reducing our carbon footprint finds expression in a groundbreaking pilot project carried out in collaboration with ENGIE Entreprises & Collectivités and the startup Heliatek – global technology leader in the field of organic photovoltaics (OPV).

Since November, France’s largest exhibition and convention centre – Paris Nord Villepinte, is testing the world’s first organic solar advertising tarpaulin. Measuring 770 x 970 cm, the tarp was installed on the glass facade of the reception gallery. The renewable energy it generates is fed into the grid, allowing visitors to charge their mobile phones and run their laptops inside the hall.

Unprecedented in the field of convention and exhibition centres, this solution demonstrates the practical benefits of using solar tarpaulins for this type of buildings made of vast vertical surfaces, ideal for harnessing solar energy for on-site consumption. This light, flexible and high-performance technology – which can be installed on facades as well as roofs – shows great potential for greener, more sustainable buildings.

For this flagship project, Viparis chose Paris Nord Villepinte, an environmentally responsible venue at the heart of a green landscape: hall 7 certified High Environmental Quality (HQE) with a 18,000 sqm green roof, green spaces maintained through the use of auxiliary insects, recyclable tarpaulins and organic ink used in signage, etc. In time, Viparis plans todeploy solar tarpaulins all along the glass roof of the reception gallery, which links together the seven main halls and serves as a hub for professional meetings and events.

“With nearly two million visitors at Paris Nord Villepinte in 2018, we are convinced that this innovative solution will effectively contribute to the reduction of our carbon footprint. We are looking at a broader roll-out across Viparis venues." Catherine Phin, Head of Sustainable Development, Viparis