A new pizza chain is making a point to be environmentally friendly. Delivery vehicles are hybrids, tables are crafted from reclaimed wood, and food is served in corn starch containers that look like plastic but decompose quickly in landfills. The company even offers discounts to customers who return their pizza boxes for recycling.
Such an effort to be so completely environmentally conscious might be attainable in a pizza joint, but its not so easy to achieve in a video production operation, particularly one thats housed in a government-funded facility. To paraphrase a famous felt-covered Muppet amphibian, its not easy going green.
Its doubtful that manufacturers will produce a corn starchbased camcorder any time soon, but many companies are making an effort to make more environmentally friendly products. And one area where your agency can make an impact of its own is recycling.
A veteran from the broadcast business, Frank Alioto now serves as president of Com-Cycle, a national company focused on the proper end-of-life management of technology assets. Recently hes been taking tours of production facilities and seeing old equipment (much of it still in working order) stacked up in basements. Broadcasters never throw away anything, laughed Alioto.
But with the move to digital, much of the older analog equipment collecting dust in government and private production facilities will be put out to pasture for good. Where is it going to wind up?
If you want to be green, Alioto said, if this stuff is really obsolete or no longer usable, make the effort to have it responsibly recycled. Technology, even today, contains a high array of toxic elements, such as lead, cadmium, and sometimes mercury, beryllium, and arsenic. Many organizations havent given any consideration to proper disposal of outdated equipment, he added.
Thats where businesses like Com-Cycle can help. The company is already working with major broadcasters and is pursuing other video facilities for equipment recycling projects.
Basically, Com-Cycle takes old equipment, separates the commodities like plastic and steel and extracts metals like gold, silver, and lead, then sells the clean reclaimed materials. It can also remove and process toxic materials like mercury. Alioto claimed his company gets a higher yield of gold per ton of technology boards and video equipment than any mining operation in the world.
For example, consider the breakdown of that outdated desktop PC you tossed into storage five years ago. A plastic case can be ground into small pieces and used for new cases, steel or aluminum cases can be smelted and reused, and even wires have metallic elements that can be recycled. Computer boards are melted down into a kind of technological soup, in which gold, lead, copper, and other elements can be isolated and resold.
Monitors are a different challenge, Alioto explained. Many CRTs and older televisions were manufactured with leaded glass. A process removes the lead from the glass; the lead is resold, while the glass is utilized for new screens or fiberglass.
This is a very heavy industrial operation, Alioto noted. Its all reused. And yes, Com-Cycle offers secure data and media destruction, an important consideration with regard to end-of-life technology.
Not only is business booming for Com-Cycle, but Alioto said recycling is good business for video production operations. They very much understand they need to be environmentally conscious, they just need to know how, he said.
While equipment end-of-life policies may vary within various agencies, Alioto said a video production facility can be more environmentally responsible by being aware of the small stuff. Fluorescent bulbs, for example, contain mercury that can be recycled instead of added to a landfill.
Be cognizant of what happens to your materials when youre through with them, he explained. Make sure the materials surrounding you are recycled properly.
PANASONIC P2 LEADS TO ENVIRONMENTAL GAINS
As part of its recently launched Eco Ideas initiative, Panasonic has pledged to create energyefficient products, reduce CO2 emissions across its manufacturing sites, and encourage environmental support around the world.
In the area of professional video, we are proud to have achieved some impressive environmental gains with our new P2 camera technologies, said David Thompson, director of Panasonics North America environmental department.
Implementing a proprietary digital storage technology based on our SD cards has eliminated the moving parts associated with tape and disc storage. This not only reduces power consumption, but has enabled us to reduce the cameras environmental footprint in other ways. Less power draw means smaller batteries and lighter cameras. These achievements have allowed us to reduce the product lifecycle mass by 90 percent.
ECOLOGICAL GLASS FOR FUJINON LENSES
Many conventional optical glasses contain harmful heavy metals such as lead, which have a harmful effect to the environment. Therefore, disposing of the shavings produced when grinding lenses has been a major issue for optical manufacturers.
Fujinon makes environmentally friendly products by using Ecological Glass, which does not contain any harmful heavy metals. Fujinon has achieved ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications.
NEW CERTIFICATION ADDS TO DA-LITE SCREEN GREEN PROGRAM
Da-Lite Screen Company has achieved GREENGUARD Environmental Institute certification for all its proprietary projection screen vinyl fabrics, including the recently introduced 3D Virtual Black rear screen projection material. The certification contributes to Da-Lites overall Screen Green program.
Other initiatives include a reduction in the levels of volatile organic compounds through the use of a low emission powder coating paint system, as well as a program for recycling old screens. The GREENGUARD certification helps architects, builders, and designers identify products and materials that undergo rigorous testing and meet stringent standards for low chemical emissions used in sensitive environments such as K-12 and healthcare facilities. The use of certified products can significantly reduce the levels of pollutants in the indoor air.
CRESTRON TAKES CONTROL OF ENERGY CONSERVATION
Not only can Crestrons touch panels and RoomView software monitor and manage AV systems, but they can help manage other resources as well. Crestron Green Light technology provides total environment control to conserve energy and lower costs by combining automated dimming and daylight harvesting with power switching and load shedding. You can automatically adjust lighting and thermostats so energy is not wasted to heat, cool, or light unoccupied areas. Crestrons AV distribution systems also feature sync-sensing to automatically turn off displays and projectors when not in use.
Crestron Electronics crestron.com
AURALEX INTRODUCES ECO-TECH ACOUSTICAL PANELS
Its available in a variety of colors, but the new Eco-Tech acoustic panel from Auralex Acoustics is green on the inside.
Eco-Tech brand acoustic panels are manufactured with a proprietary formulation of 100 percent recycled polyester fibers. Manufacturerd without CFCs, the Eco-Tech family of products are designed with the environment in mind, yet retain the longevity and acoustical properties for which Auralex is known. There is no increase in cost to either the dealer or consumer.
Earlier this year, Auralex also announced its Eco-Friendly StudioFoam, which includes soy components and reduces petroleum-based chemical usage by up to 60 percent. The greener formula also helps reduce global warming emissions.
Auralex Acoustics auralex.com
THOMSON GRASS VALLEY OFFERS TAKE BACK PROGRAM
The new Thomson Grass Valley End-of-Life Commercial Product Take-Back Program enables commercial customers to return and old professional broadcast and AV equipment from any manufacturer for proper disposal.
Thomson will be responsible for all costs associated with recycling and/or disposing of the product, including freight charges. The customer is responsible for the removal of the equipment from their facility and packaging it for pickup.
All equipment submitted for the Thomson Grass Valley Endof- Life Commercial Product Take-Back Program must be in its original condition, meaning that it must not have been salvaged or cannibalized. Full details and forms are available at the Thomson Grass Valley Web site.
Thomson Grass Valley thomsongrassvalley.com/environment