AV Live Event Professionals: Sustainability Best Practices

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1 AV Live Event Professionals: Sustainability s The following best practices have been compiled to help AV live event professionals better understand how sustainability relates to operations at their company headquarters and onsite at live events, as well as areas of opportunity for incorporating sustainable practices. These best practices are derived from industry standards (e.g., ASTM Standards for Sustainable Meetings and Events, ISO Sustainable Event Management System Standard) and industry consultant input. Sustainability s Contents: Management Policies and Communications Offices and Facilities Equipment Purchases Scenic Design Equipment Selection Shipping Onsite Practices Client Services Management Implementing change into any organization requires a system of management in place to help leaders, staff and stakeholders effectively implement that change. Incorporating sustainability practices into your daily and onsite live event operations requires that same strategic approach. The Plan-Do-Check-Act management approach 1 can be used to implement sustainable best practices: Plan: Identifying stakeholders, forming a sustainability policy, creating goals and identifying ways to measure your progress. Do: Taking action, such as forming a green team, communicating your plan to stakeholders and implementing the items set out in your policy. Check: Monitoring and tracking your actions and their results to see if you ve achieved the goals identified in your policy. Act: Taking action and making improvements when goals laid out in your sustainability plan are not attained. The sections below, outline sustainable best practices and advanced practices, and incorporate elements of the Plan-Do-Check-Act management approach for various segments of your company s operations. Policies and Communications Creating a sustainability policy will create a foundation for your company s sustainability programs and operations. Communicating your policy and efforts to employees will increase buy-in and improve results. Communicating your efforts to your event organizer clients will send a message about your commitment, brand and the value you bring to their event. For more information consult InfoComm s AV 1 Environmental Management System (EMS) established in ISO Environmental Management and ISO Sustainable Event Management System standards. AV Live Events Sustainability s InfoComm International

2 Live Event Professionals Guidance on Sustainability Policy Creation and the InfoComm International Sustainability Policy Template. Create and publish a sustainability policy. o Share the policy internally with staff. o Make the policy available on company website. Form a green team within the company with representatives from different departments. Task green team with helping to implement the sustainability policy and goals. The sustainability policy and commitments have been clearly communicated with all stakeholders, including staff and event clients. o For example: Discuss your commitment to responsible e-waste recycling and certified recycling partner on your website. Make your sustainability commitments clearly available on the company website. Explore ways to creatively communicate your sustainability efforts onsite at live events. o For example: Incorporate messages about energy efficiency, lighting, etc. into video loops Advanced The sustainability policy includes objectives and goals for sustainability that address impact areas such as waste, energy, water, procurement, air quality etc. The policy incorporates operations in company buildings and offices. The policy incorporates operations onsite at live events. The policy has been signed by an executive officer or owner. Staff are provided with local transportation incentives to encourage carpool, public transportation use, walking or biking to work. Put a staff travel carbon offset policy in place (and purchase offsets accordingly). AV Live Events Sustainability s InfoComm International

3 Offices and Facilities The following practices apply to operations at company offices, buildings, warehouses and other facilities. Waste Implement a recycling program for commonly recycled materials such as paper, rigid plastics, cardboard, glass, and aluminum. Create a waste reduction plan, identifying significant materials and hauling partners that can repurpose, reuse or recycle them. Assign a staff member to establishing and overseeing those waste hauler/vendor relationships. Collect and dispose of all e-waste through certified e-waste recycler. Collect and responsibly dispose all hazardous materials (e.g., CFF or LED bulbs, batteries) o provides resources throughout the US on where to recycle materials such as batteries and bulbs. Energy Create an energy reduction plan (to be included in the sustainability policy) that identifies significant uses of energy and practices for how they might be reduced. Advanced Implement a recycling program for waste materials not accepted in the commercial recycling streams (such as scrap metal, wood pallets etc.). Track your e-waste generation and disposal monthly and/or annually. Track your waste diversion rate monthly and/or annually. Report your waste diversion progress or challenges (via an internal report available upon request or on your company website). Track your energy use monthly and/or annually. Report your energy reduction progress or challenges (via an internal report available upon request or on your company website). Purchase ENERGY STAR rated office equipment when possible (e.g., laptops, printers, appliances, etc.). Offset your energy use by: o Purchasing renewable energy through your power provider (e.g., wind, solar, biogas, etc.). o Purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). o Purchasing carbon offsets through a carbon offset provider (e.g., Carbonfund.org, Terraspass, Sterling Planet, Native Energy). AV Live Events Sustainability s InfoComm International

4 Supplies/ Misc Implement a power down policy for all equipment (at day end or when not in use). Use energy efficient lighting throughout offices and other company buildings (e.g., CFL or LED lighting). Have an energy audit performed in your facility or facilities. o These are often low or nocost and will identify the opportunities to reduce energy usage. They may even be incentivized within your city or state. The auditor can often come up with a plan that saves you money and derives his or her fee from the savings. Purchase paper products (copy paper, service ware, toilet tissue) from post-consumer recycled content. Reduce use of disposable service ware (cups, utensils, etc.) as much as possible. Purchase items in bulk when possible. Provide water coolers to encourage employees to use reusable water bottles. Give preference to products made of recycled, biodegradable, or compostable material whenever possible. Set the default on the office printer (or printing procedures) to double-sided printing. Other Use non-toxic or eco-certified label cleaning supplies. Use eco-labels as guide to purchasing decisions for the office ( Purchase Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified paper. Use soy or vegetable-based inks for printing AV Live Events Sustainability s InfoComm International

5 Equipment Purchases Equipment inventory is one of the most effective ways to reduce your company s impacts (i.e. energy use, carbon footprint). Incorporate sustainable purchasing into your company sustainability policy. Purchase ENERGY STAR-rated or energy efficient equipment, when possible. Use equipment manufacturers that are Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) compliant. Use equipment manufacturers that are ISO certified. Use equipment manufacturers that are Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) compliant. Use equipment manufacturers that sponsor or participate in formal product take-back/recycling programs. Use energy efficient lighting when possible (LED). Use solar or biodiesel powered generators. Use equipment that features energy-saving efficiencies such as lamp power switching and autostandby mode. Scenic Design Thoughtfully selecting design elements can significantly reduce waste and energy use. Select design elements based on what is available in inventory or can be rented locally, including items such as background sets, drape, truss and rigging, stage, floor, podiums, etc.). Replace hard set elements with transformit and LED surfaces, shapes, and screens, which offer variety of visual effects while reducing shipping needs and post-event waste. Use natural/ambient lighting when possible with minimal supplementation. AV Live Events Sustainability s InfoComm International

6 Equipment Selection Smartly selecting ( right sizing ) equipment to meet the needs of live event projects is a way to ensure efficient use of equipment and reduce unnecessary impacts (e.g., shipping, energy use). Use latest and most energy efficient technology whenever possible. Rent any required equipment from a local vendor (in the city where the client event takes place) to reduce transportation costs and emissions. Rent equipment from the same vendor(s) when possible to consolidate shipments. Use heavy-duty reusable rubber cable bridges wherever possible instead of Gaff tape (which is onetime use) to provide walkways over cable and to hold cable in place. Shipping Efficiently transporting equipment to and from events is another way to significantly reduce your company s carbon footprint (i.e. fuel use and resulting greenhouse gas emissions). Consolidate shipments to and from project sites as much as possible. Register with the EPA SmartWay Shipping Program (free, voluntary program) or partner with participating carriers. Use shipping padding materials that are reusable or recyclable. Reuse packaging for all equipment that is shipped as much as possible. AV Live Events Sustainability s InfoComm International

7 Onsite Practices Your onsite operations at live events can have tremendous effects on the overall environmental impact of the event. Collect all used batteries for testing and sorting. Use batteries with remaining service-life during testing & rehearsals at future events. Recycle or dispose of depleted batteries responsibly. Collect all used projector and lighting system bulbs/lamps and ballasts for recycling or responsible disposal. o etypes/universal/lamps/faqs.htm#15 Advanced Create and execute a power down plan for the client event (communicate plan to client, assign responsibility to a company staff member, and ensure execution to plan). Automatic timers are set on video walls to turn on and off at specific times to conserve power. Utilize non-toxic fog-producing chemicals according to ANSI E (R2014) o blished_docs.php Hire locally for labor required to execute onsite events. Client Services Offering event organizer clients sustainability-related services shows your company s commitment to sustainability, reflects positively on your brand, and can add value to your customers. Share the sustainability policy with the event planner client. Share one-pager on specific initiatives that will be in place events is shared with event planner client. Advanced Purchase carbon offsets to offset the electricity use of AV equipment (if venue is not powered by renewable or already offsetting carbon emissions. Purchase carbon offsets to offset the transportation-related emissions associated with rented AV equipment. Provide your client with a certificate from carbon offset provider. AV Live Events Sustainability s InfoComm International

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