Reusable. Upgradeable. Sustainable. The watchwords of one British manufacturer

"Traditionally, exhibition stands got knocked together out of MDF and ended up in a skip at the end of the event,” says MD Tim Perutz. “Our equipment has been designed so that it’s a bit like Lego. You buy components and build the stands, then after the event you’ve got a box of parts that can be reconfigured for any number of events later on.”

Nimlok was founded in 1970 by Perutz’s father, Gerald, and Neil Nimmo, photographer and inventor. Nimmo, whom the company is named after, came up with the unique system for locking together the panels for reusable stands.

It proved a winning concept. “We are now the largest supplier of modular and reusable equipment in Europe,” says Perutz. “We have over 7,000 clients on our books in the UK alone.”

Nimlok will turn over $100m this year, but the move from small to medium-sized business has not dented its environmental strategy. The Nimlok website still features an entirely black background to save energy. Products are still manufactured using 80 per cent recyclable materials. And Nimlok is the first manufacturer in its industry to receive ISO 14001 accreditation.

“We wanted to embrace the environmental movement and see what we could do to make a difference, because traditionally our industry is fairly wasteful,” says Perutz.

“My brother, who’s the MD of the US arm of the business, has five children. I have three. We both feel we have a responsibility to protect their future.”

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