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Green AV Should Walk the Walk

As an industry, pro AV has gone through careful deliberation and education regarding green AV initiatives. But now it's time for the movement to walk the walk. February 2010 marks the end of the Oxen's year of planning and steady persistence and ushers in the Year of the Tiger. Time to spring into action.

Above all else, measure, measure, measure. Over the past year we've collectively lamented our industry's inability to track and measure the physical data we need to sell green AV. And we still don't have all the tools we need. But surely we can at least start making some estimates. After all, the governments of the world are relying on scientific estimates of greenhouse gasses to pass historic carbon reduction regulations. Is there any reason why we shouldn't do the same? We are the scientists of our trade. We can make the educated guesses necessary to generate reports for our clients on the estimated environmental footprint of AV equipment and practices.

For example, at the end of an event, I present the client with a summary report. Report information might include that we prevented 25 toxic batteries from entering the landfills (and making those batteries available for their reuse if desired), lowered their lighting system's energy consumption by over 100kWh, and saved them $1,200 by using 25 percent local labor.

Could a design consultant provide a report of estimated energy consumption over the life of a product, particularly in comparison with another product? Could a programmer then step in and estimate how that energy consumption can be managed with intelligent systems control? Could an integrator step in to assist the client with monetizing these estimated gains? I say yes. And that's how a measurable outcome will be the motivation for choosing green AV.

As we venture into 2010, we must lose some of our oxen-like plodding and deliberation. We've existed too long in this state of paralysis, waiting for an outside entity to recognize the green AV concept and justify our efforts. The time has come to accelerate our momentum so that we are the masters of our destiny, not the Green Building Council, ANSI 189.1P, or anyone else. We need to take action to establish our own industry standards, begin measuring and reporting on internal and external AV operations, and capitalize on the gains to be had.

Because if we don't, who will?

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