35 Ways to Practice Green AV

Whether it's in your system designs or in your offices, there are a slew of steps you can take to help foster a more sustainable AV business. Print this out and tack it to your wall. 3/24/2009 4:55 AM Eastern

35 Ways to Practice Green AV

Whether it's in your system designs or in your offices, there are a slew of steps you can take to help foster a more sustainable AV business. Print this out and tack it to your wall.

1. Sign On
Get involved with InfoComm's new Green AV Special Interest Group. Go to the Community section at

2. Set Goals
Include power consumption/savings goals sections in needs analysis and AV program reports.

3. Plan Ahead
Stay on top of product developments and specify the latest technology in order to future-proof systems so clients can avoid replacing equipment too often.

4. Control Systems
Employ control system-activated, automatic power-down cycles to minimize energy consumption when AV products aren't in use for a certain amount of time.

5. Control Lights
Add, expand, or brush up on your lighting control skills. Not only would clients appreciate a lighting solution that saves energy and integrates with their AV, but lighting control could reduce your firm's own carbon footprint.

6. Save Paper
Give clients their systems documentation in electronic form, including drawings, to reduce or eliminate paper waste.

7. Check Vendors
Ask manufacturers if they're ISO 14000 certified, meaning they use environmental management standards in production.

8. Go LCD
Consider lower-power LCD displays, instead of plasma, for all flat-panel system designs.

9. Measure Savings
When pitching a green project, show clients estimated power savings in dollars and greenhouse gas reduction in tons of CO2 saved per year.

10. Show Results
Try to show clients typical use and maximum power consumption estimates for all equipment you specify. During commissioning, provide actual-use reports.

11. Use the Network
Encourage clients to use network-enabled AV gear that can attach to a LAN and be centrally controlled by software from companies like AMX, Crestron, and Extron.

12. Research Amps
Think in terms of Class I amplifier technology, which can use less than half the amount of electricity as traditional powered amps.

13. Love LEDs
Switch to LED lighting for events, instrumentation, and other AV applications. LEDs consume less energy than incandescent, for example, last longer, and give off less heat.

14. Reuse
Reuse things like racks and owner-furnished equipment whenever possible.

15. E-Cycle
When old systems are being discarded, encourage owners to recycle in an environmentally responsible manner in compliance with their state's e-cycling rules.

16. Manage Projectors
Use projectors with eco-modes and make it the default setting. Where possible, or in conjunction with a control system, require a password to override the eco-mode.

17. Know Yourself
Calculate your own firm's carbon footprint and strive to become a carbon neutral company. Start at CarbonNetural Co.'s Web site,

18. Carbon Offsets
Consider purchasing carbon offsets for events, presentations, or project installations. Explore options at sites like and

19. Join USGBC
Consider membership or at least involvement in local and national chapters of the U.S. Green Building Council ( Only members can get changes made to LEED standards.

20. Encourage LEED
Establish a company-wide LEED-AP accreditation program for interested employees and explore reimbursing individual expenses for LEED training.

21. Self-Analyze
If you have a rental and staging practice, conduct a periodic (annual or biannual) review of equipment to compare existing inventory with any newer, more energy-efficient systems.

22. Get the Word Out
Market your efforts. Issue press releases and set up an area on your Web site detailing your sustainability practices. A grassroots effort needs word of mouth.

23. Recycle
Reuse and/or recycle batteries from AV events. Let the crew take home batteries that might be partially used and recycle the rest in compliance with local regulations.

24. Save Power
Learn about and specify when possible systems with 80 Plus power supplies ( The utility-funded program focuses on computer makers, including Dell and HP.

25. Be Cable-Friendly
Favor system designs that transport signal over Ethernet or fiber to reduce copper and PVC use.

26. Buy Remanufactured
Think about adopting remanufactured lamps for replacements and spare stock.

27. Communicate Electronically
Send correspondences and invoices to clients electronically to save time, money, and resources.

28. Learn Your EPAs
Look to vendors that take part in the EPA's Energy Star and Plug-In to eCycling programs.

29. Clean Up
Recycle packing materials and AV-related site refuse. (Reportedly, the average new construction project generates four times its own mass in related debris.)

30. Hire Locally
When it comes to sub-rentals or subcontracted labor, try to identify local sources to minimize shipping and travel.

31. Ship Smart
When it's necessary to ship equipment, use service providers with sustainability policies (low emissions, alternative fuels).

32. Recycle in Place
Even in your office, recycle batteries, printer cartridges, lamps, computers, plastic, paper, etc., etc.–this is low-hanging fruit.

33. Compute Smart
User energy-efficient servers and PCs in the office; discourage use of PC screen savers; and implement a network-enabled power monitoring and reduction program.

34. Drive Responsibly
Use low-emission, high-efficiency vehicles for transporting people and systems to jobsites.

35. Follow LEED
Rent, lease, or build office space in LEED-certified buildings.


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