D amage to the environment can come in many forms - from events harming outdoor sites by negatively impacting the flora and fauna, to contributing to excess wastage via overuse of plastic and non-biodegradable materials, and of course excessive fuel consumption. For those in the AV, events and production industries, it can seem difficult and expensive to adopt a green approach - but it doesn’t have to be. A small step at a time can make a big difference.
Huge festivals like Glastonbury have made bold statements about the environmental impact of their events. At their last festival, just a few of the eco-friendly efforts they made included the use of compost loos, reusable stainless steel pint cups and introducing a ‘Worthy Warrior’ awareness scheme. An eco-friendly approach has also been adopted by many leading lighting manufacturers, including Robe, who have a strong green policy in place for many years and frequently introduce initiatives at shows to highlight this. Most notably, back in 2012 they introduced a green ‘traffic light’ sticker system on their products at PLASA London to highlight which were the most carbon-neutral.
Here at Current, we also aim to be as green as we possibly can be! We rely on online systems for our communications and data storage; we’re mindful of our paper usage; we use Current branded reusable water bottles and coffee cups (and give these out to our customers at shows, too!). Amazon Web Services, who host the servers Current is stored on, are also focused on a greener future; one of their long-term goals is to be 100% reliant on renewable energy. Plus, it’s definitely greener in the cloud - studies show that using cloud-based software saves up to 84% of energy compared to hosting and maintaining your own servers.
So, how are others like you doing their bit?
Take a read below of how some of our own customers are taking a greener approach by holding sustainability at the heart of their USP.
Outkast Hire a furniture hire company, located in Perth, Australia. Their business model is centered around being environmentally conscious and a greener choice for their customers. The team hires out wooden furniture constructed from recycled timber, with the stylish, rustic designs ideal for events like weddings and parties and their furniture suitable for outdoor use. They believe that businesses should have a priority to show care to both the environment and their customers. We couldn’t agree more!
ZooLoos are UK based portable loo supplier, offering a luxury alternative to your bog-standard (excuse the pun!) festival toilets. Supplying to a range of festivals and events throughout the year, including Boomtown and Glastonbury, their loos reduce water wastage by a massive 90%, thanks to their cutting-edge vacuum technology. Only a teensy 0.4 litres of water is used for each flush! When you consider how much wastage there is at the end of a weekend long festival, their essential amenities go a long way to reducing an events footprint. Nice work, folks.
Based in the north of England, Ingram AV are an AV solutions company. The team are trailblazers with their eco-friendly approach, reducing their fleet of diesel vehicles by 50% and running electric cars and vans for site visits and local delivery, with all energy the team use from 100% renewable sources, including wind, solar and hydro sources. This green approach is shared on their jobs, too. The image above shows an event at Durham Cathedral, with the team supplying battery powered lights, delivered in a battery powered van, all powered by renewable energy. We’re seriously impressed!
Inspired to make a change?
Here are our tips on how to get started with going green…
1. Think efficiency at the office…
Cut back on paper usage (and wastage) by embracing digital technology during every process back at base. This includes finding robust software to manage your assets and kit during the warehouse process, to send your proposals and invoices to your clients out online, or digital ticketing applications so your guests can go paper-free too. By moving away from paper, you’ll find the whole operation runs a lot quicker. Plus, it leaves a clearer audit trail for when you need to refer back to something.
2. …and efficiency on your jobs
Be mindful of the gear you’re supplying on a job. Inefficient electrical equipment is one of the largest offenders for excess energy usage and something that’s important to keep an eye on. Check the efficiency of your electrical equipment with a ‘power factor’ survey. It’s also easy to adopt simple green practises while you’re on a job too - like keeping the lighting rig off when it’s not in use. Another way to reduce wastage is to consider investing in reusable digital signage, instead of having signs printed and manufactured just to be thrown away at the end of an event.
3. Recycle and reuse
Take the time at the end of a job to pack your kit up appropriately and make sure you’re reusing smaller items where you can, rather than chucking them away at the end of the job. Any waste that’s leftover, make sure you dispose of it correctly, recycling what can be and making a note of what couldn’t so you can cut this out next time around. If your site or venue doesn’t have the correct recycling bins, take your rubbish with you until you can bin it responsibly.
4. Consider your fuel usage
To keep down the impact harmful fumes from transportation have on the environment, sub-rent your gear locally where possible and be mindful of the miles you’re putting in to do it. It’s also a good idea to work out the most fuel efficient route and, if you can, combine deliveries. By spending a little time planning, you’ll probably spot a little difference in how much you’re spending on fuel, too.
5. Get everyone on board
One of the simplest things to do is to make going green a team effort. There are lots of small things you can all incorporate into your daily lives that needn’t be huge commitments or changes to your workflow. Encourage each other to use reusable water bottles or coffee mugs; invest in recycled stationary for the office; have clear recycling areas and make sure everyone sorts their rubbish well; keep the lights off when there’s no one in the room. Easy!
By working together and making a number of small changes here and there, it’s easy to make a big impact. Whatever your role - whether you’re out on the road, in the office or in the thick of each and every job, making conscientious green choices really does go a long way.