Since Project Green AV launched in 2008 Green AV has grown from idea to practice. We are here to bring AV professionals together to build partnerships, access information and education, and move from conversation to action for bring business success and sustainability.
It's safe to say that the Green AV Revolution is over. The audio visual industry is now facing the practical reality of developing and applying consistent, repeatable, cost-effective and recognizable environmentally responsible business practices, processes and products.
Last November, when Project Green AV held a Green AV standards and certifications webinar there were over 400 Green certifications floating around the business and consumer markets. Recently, environmentalLeader reported that "95% consumer products mislead with 'Green' claims."
In the fervor of 2008-2009, Green became gold in most industries. Claims of environmental responsibility provided a new way to sell products to consumers who were otherwise reticent to spend money in an unstable economy. Consumers are now becoming wise to "greenwashing" and they are changing their behavior accordingly- seeking out products with a recognizable, trusted standard like the new UL Environment and Energy Star on the consumer side and USGBC LEED on the professional Green Building side.
This puts the pro-AV businesses and end users in a unique position. Having been boxed out of LEED, AV has had a harder time pitching its advances in environmentally responsible products and practices. For many end users on a tight budget or with a narrow commitment to that LEED stamp of approval, they couldn't understand Green AV enough to justify the expense of Green AV (not that it is always more expensive, and, as we know, end users see cost saving over time with Green AV equipment and practices).
This also means that the AV industry has not been involved in greenwashing the way many other industries have, nor is AV associated with recent lawsuits against the USGBC LEED program.
The InfoComm STEP Program marks a change in the tide for Green AV. Across the industry we see practical steps toward the sustainable future of the industry. But there is still caution following the disappointment with LEED; worries about end user demand for Green AV equipment and practices; and fear about building solid business partnerships for the future around Green AV.
Green AV needs to become a motivator for business development, creative solutions and simple, relevant, standardized measures that support Green claims (about products, practices and processes) and maintain a commitment to environmental responsibility and the bottom line.
You don't have to be a (we shudder to use this word) treehugger to take serious, practical steps toward improving the environmental responsibility of your business's practices, processes and products. Nor do you have to be ashamed of making money for your business in the process. Green business is good business because it provides value beyond the scope of an individual product or service to the greater good and to the bottom line for your business and your customer's business.