When sustainable practices become best practices
We’ve long been committed to providing clients the most innovative solutions. Innovation in sustainability is no exception. Freeman was the first in the industry to achieve the prestigious ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System global certification. As increasingly more clients seek greener programs, our work has helped to set a new standard for eco-friendly products and services within the brand experience industry.
Carrie Freeman Parsons
How we’re making our industry greener.
We’re also a dedicated and proud Platinum partner of the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC), an association that establishes and shares best practices for our industry. Our Vice President of Sustainability sits on the GMIC global board.
Additional Freeman sustainability initiatives include:
- Responsible recyling of all equipment and materials through certified waste handlers
- Donation of older equipment to support local and community charities
- Rental exhibits that are reusable and recyclable
- Three-year program to reduce the use of foam based substrates
- Testing of soy-based padding made from renewable sources
After the Zero Waste goal was announced, the Grand Prairie Sustainability Committee wondered why almost all of their waste went to landfill. By choosing a new recycling company, they diverted 97% of their waste to recycling, a total of 618 tons as of January this year. Not only that, but the program is cost-neutral, funded with rebates for some of the recycled materials.
Reduce Our online ordering systems eliminate the need for paper orders. We estimate a savings of more than 40 million sheets of paper each year.
Reuse Our staging solutions are virtually 100% reusable. We reuse aisle carpet at least four times, for as long as it meets the Freeman quality standard.
Recycle Freeman diverted 55 million square feet of carpet and turned it into drainage pipe.
Grass-roots Environmental Efforts
- 70.6% of attendees at Freeman Green events said they “understand well” the Zero Waste goal
- 67.6% of employees said they “learned a lot” about Freeman’s effort to be more sustainable
- 54% of attendees at Green events have reported that due to Earth Week, they changed their habits to be more sustainable
There are 63 active Green Teams at Freeman, with more than 300 employees volunteering their time.
Some examples of changes made by our offices:
- San Diego: Installed an Electric Vehicle Charger on their property
- Chicago: Purchased smart power strips for employees to reduce energy when items are not-in-use
- New Orleans: Invested in individual recycling bins for each employee cubicle
- Dallas-Viceroy: Purchased whiteboards with wheels to decrease paper usage in meeting rooms
- Denver: Purchased two show site trikes to reduce the electric cart usage and air pollution, as well as the charging needs of electric carts
- Nashville: Invested in a filtered water bottle refilling station that will reduce the waste from one-time-use water bottles.
Since Freeman was founded as a family-owned company in 1927, one of its core values has centered on ethical business conduct and a strong commitment to the well-being of our employees, our communities, our industry, and our environment. Today, the Freeman family and Freeman employees continue that legacy every day through a variety of activities, programs, and, most of all, a spirit of caring.
In fiscal year 2018:
- More than $700,000 in goods and services donated to charities
- Employees volunteered 5,010 hours to organizations
- 229 individual programs or events held in 2017-2018
Organizations we have worked with include American Heart Association, local schools and school districts, local food banks, Veteran’s Stand Down, Boys & Girls Club, BL Duke, Goodwill, Salvation Army, and blood donation drives.
Freeman negotiates with all landlords to install LEED-certified upgrades, and our new buildings are LEED Certified and employee-friendly.
The Orlando office is a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facility that features:
- Total square footage is 451,000, which is equal to 10 acres under roof or the same size as four Home Depots. Upon entering, the front office features an open collaboration design with cubicle-style workstations and two centralized print stations equipped with access-code only print functionality to minimize paper waste.
- 119 dock doors and additional parking for 225 trailers.
- 525 car parking spaces, which feature electric-car charging stations.
- All lighting, both inside and outside, is LED and break rooms are motion-activated to conserve energy.
- 80% of the warehouse forklifts are electric with one central charging station. Branch Goal: to be propane free by 2020.
- Carpenter shop has a state-of-the-art dust collection system and two spray booths capable of painting full-size trucks
- 36 exhaust fans provide an entire air exchange every 20 minutes in warehouse
- Warehouse is equipped with 10 HVLS (high volume, low speed) 24' fans for circulation
- Recycle and trash receptacles are placed in centralized locations
By implementing changes 207-2018, Freeman Orlando has decreased utility bills by 15% and saved 11,912 gallons of fuel with a new consolidated location.
Working closely with our clients at Informa and USGBC, Greenbuild achieved a record-breaking 90.5% waste diversion rate and donated more than 25,000 lbs of construction materials to local non-profits, including Habitat for Humanity. They also donated more than 1,500 lbs of food to the Boston Rescue Mission.
Award-winning sustainability initiatives
Level 2 APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meetings Standards Certification
Freeman earned the Events Industry Council (EIC) Level 2 APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meetings Standards Certification pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Exhibits for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences (E2742) for Supplier (General Service Contractor/Venue) in July 2019. The APEX/ASTM Standard recognizes companies that are helping customers execute sustainable events that not only meet but exceed event industry standards.
ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System Global Certification
ISO 20121 provides a management blueprint to address the “triple bottom line” of sustainability — the economic, environmental and social impacts of events. Freeman was the first in the industry to achieve this prestigious certification, which shows our commitment to creating sustainable events.
Waste Diversion Champions
2014, 2015, and 2016
REfficient’s Waste Diversion Champions program recognizes companies that divert at least 1,000 pounds from landfills annually by reusing, reselling, or recycling their surplus assets. Freeman achieved the Master Level for diverting between 10,000 and 99,999 pounds from landfills.
Sustainable AV Award
2010 and 2014
Freeman was awarded the InfoComm International® Sustainable AV Technology Award for its contributions to sustainability efforts and for making an extraordinary contribution to the AV industry with these pursuits.
Sustainability Efforts, Best Overall Staging Category
At InfoComm/LSA Staged Event Awards, Freeman received an honorable mention for its creative and technical support of Gala Reconnaissance 2011, which earned its Level 1 Eco-Responsible certification.
Sustainability Efforts, Large Exhibit Category
Freeman was awarded the Zero Waste Challenge Award by the Exhibit Designers + Producers Association for our efforts in examining the life cycle of materials, and making recycled content and recyclability key criteria for the materials used in our custom rental systems.
Most Innovative Green Initiative by a Service Provider
Trade Show Executive magazine selected Freeman for this award in recognition of our dedication to a wide-ranging program to lessen the environmental impact of trade shows and events; for diverting 95% of all waste from its [Las Vegas] branch away from landfills; and for experimenting with plastics for exhibit shelving made from cigarette butts.
Carpet Recycling Efforts
Freeman was awarded Trade Show Executive magazine's Innovation Award for the significant impact in waste reduction at events that resulted from our carpet recycling efforts.
We believe in leaving the planet a better place than we found it. That means doing our part to come up with innovative solutions to protect the environment that sustains us.
Events can demand a lot from the environment: resources for building exhibits, energy for transportation and technology, landfill space for waste. With smart practices, eco-friendly material, community outreach, and education, we can minimize the environmental impact of events.
Sustainability isn’t just an “add-on” at Freeman. It’s woven into everything we do.
Sustainability by Default
You shouldn’t have to ask for environmental responsibility.
Our standard operating procedures include over 30 environmental best practices. We’re continuously improving the Freeman Sustainability Standards as we learn about new ways to reduce the impact of events.
Renewable, Reusable, Recyclable
Zero-Waste is our watchword – which is why rentals and re-usables are at the core of our sustainability efforts. We’re always testing and perfecting sustainable materials to incorporate into everything from exhibit structures, to carpeting, to signs.
Helping You Give Back
What’s good for the community is often good for the environment. Waste can accumulate after a show. But thanks to our extensive network of local charities, food banks, and non-profit organizations connections, we can help you find a new home for your unused materials — keeping them out of landfills.
Freeman Sustainable Products & Services
With over 10 years of experience and investment in making events more sustainable, we offer the most comprehensive selection of environmentally-friendly furnishings, graphics options, and services.