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Forget Green AV...For Now

If figuring out how green AV applies to your company has you pulling your hair out, take a step back and work on the bigger picture. When sustainability in your AV systems evolve from a strategy of corporate responsibility, it's a lot easier to accomplish your goals. Columnist Midori Connolly explores.

In addition, by prioritizing profitability and innovation in conjunction with environmental needs, Merck's unique WEEE-compliant LCD recovery program (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, a European Community directive) utilizes existing processing facilities, results in a 99-percent recovery rate (i.e. recycling of raw materials), and yields millions of dollars in savings.

If you've been through any type of ISO or other management systems certification, this will all sound familiar. But for the rest of us, reconsidering what the term "green" means as it applies to business practices requires an internal volte-face. As a small business owner who has just begun the process of obtaining BS8901 certification for a sustainable event management system, I'm tearing down our values and procedures to their very foundation. It's like undergoing a remodeling of my business-and the rebuilding process is going to be grueling.

But I can already see that the end results will go far beyond just green AV. This systems development process will produce increased efficiency, a way of measuring returns on environmental and social initiatives, and a healthy, thriving workplace that will naturally generate green and innovative ideas. Readjusting the camera lens has revealed the view of a business that could survive many, many years based on its consideration for the society on which it depends.

Change Focus Temporarily

I leave you then with permission to drop the green AV focus for just a bit; to shelve the struggle over green AV systems, what they are, and how they perform. Instead, see the forest for the trees. Start thinking about loftier goals and develop an equation that balances the factors required for business success with the health of our planet and society.

The final product should be an organization that is not defined by being green, but rather that articulates a definition of green through a larger set of well-defined values and practices.

Midori Connolly is CEO of Pulse Staging and Events in San Diego, a member of the Green Meeting Industry Council, a corporate social responsibility trainer for Meeting Professionals International, and an InfoComm lecturer on green AV topics.

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