Green Business and Sustainability All Grown Up

This month, I am going to throw some numbers, facts and brave-new-world-0810statistics at you. I’m not going to give you all the answers as to how this information can be of benefit, but I want to provide the inspiration for you to think about how it impacts your business and how crucial sustainability is to your business success.

Mostly, I’d like to emphasize this: Just because sustainability and “green” aren’t the mainstream media and marketing darlings they once were, there is no escaping that this is a business practice that cannot be ignored. Green business has matured, and yet it seems that only a handful of the AV industry has figured out where our best opportunities lie. So, take in some of these numbers, synthesize the information and take a good hard look at where you may need some improvement. Think of this as your Q1 checkup…

Green Buildings – Growing or Static?

Think the popularity of green buildings has faded? Think again. LEED certified properties topped the 2 billion mark in 2012, and another 2 million square feet are certified every day.

Just because we don’t hear about sustainable buildings on the daily news like we once did, there is no denying that it’s a major industry force. Of special note? In the Asia Pacific region, building stock is expected to grow at an average of over 2 billion square meters per year.

28 billion square feet – 40 percent of country’s commercial inventory – uses ENERGY STAR to monitor and report energy performance.

Several cities (and more to come) now require the use of Portfolio Manager, EPA’s online energy management tool. These include Austin, Tex., Minneapolis, Minn., New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC.

The major consensus is that transparency is the order of the day — there will not only be more mandatory reporting, but also as competition heats up for Class A property, landlords will use all tactics to be more appealing to potential tenants and provide voluntary reporting on energy management.

What are the opportunities here? Think about how AV systems can support there reporting needs. Are you familiar with the Portfolio Manager? Or what needs these landlords and builders have for this type of reporting? How can we contribute to their needs, and you have found an opportunity.

Sustainability for Corporations

Ernst & Young customers report a 66 percent increase of inquiries over the past 12 months from shareholders and investors about sustainability-related issues.

The world’s 3000 largest companies face over $2 trillion in liabilities created by their environmental impacts. The growing awareness of this accounting change has begun to influence equity investment analysis.

If this doesn’t smell like opportunity, I don’t know what does. If you service large corporations, you better believe they are going to be looking for continuing ways to improve their supply chains and reduce these environmental liabilities. If you have a prospect who generates environmental reports, now is the time to start the dialogue of how you can help (this applies to both the integrated and event side of the business).

Midori Connolly is the founder of AVGirl Productions in California. She wrote the first-ever set of Sustainable Staging best practices after discovering none existed. She was the co-chair of the AV committee for the ASTM Standard for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings and is a speaker, writer and consultant for green practices in live events and meeting planning. Reach her at