Focusing on sustainability is not only essential to the health of our planet. It directly benefits the health of our businesses and our industry by better positioning us to address new market opportunities.
Juan Carlos Medina*
The status quo cannot continue. From climate change and environmental degradation to poverty and inequality, the challenges we face are deep, diverse and getting worse. We must address them as nations, as individuals and as businesses.
Sustainability in AV (SAVe) is an independent non-profit organization, SAVe is the first US-based industry-wide organization to bring together stakeholders in the audiovisual (AV) field to take concerted action to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The sustainability crisis is real, so is our strategy to address it. Let's be honest: the AV industry has been part of the problem. But it is equally true that we can help drive the solution. SAVe exists to harness our ingenuity, imagination and commitment to ensure a sustainable future for all of us.
Altering an unsustainable trajectory
From climate change and environmental degradation to poverty and inequality, our businesses, our communities and our own planet face serious and accelerating threats to sustainability and survival. The rapid pace of technology development has caused products to be replaced in ever shorter cycles, leading to serious environmental consequences.
In 2019, global e-waste exceeded 59 million metric tons. According to a report prepared under UNIDO's e-waste project for Latin America and the Caribbean, only 2.7 per cent is collected through formal channels and treated in an environmentally responsible manner.
The other 97% of e-waste that includes more than $1.7 billion in recoverable materials a year is not well known where it will go. The report reveals that e-waste has increased in Latin America by 49% between 2010 and 2019. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking and we are late to act.
Achieving a sustainable future
Focusing on sustainability is not only essential to the health of our planet. It directly benefits the health of our businesses and our industry by better positioning us to address new market opportunities, reduce our exposure to a variety of business risks, and strengthen the very foundation of our economy. By its very nature, the AV industry is well positioned to make substantial progress in areas related to responsible waste management, reducing life-cycle carbon emissions and reducing energy use.
What is required is leadership to steer the industry in the right direction. SAVe provides a vehicle for our industry to achieve sustainable development and serves as a bridge for other industries, NGOs and partner organizations that share our conviction that we must take urgent action to preserve the health of our planet, communities and people.
The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
In September 2015, by unanimous vote, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all 193 UN member nations. At the heart of this Agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with 169 specific targets to achieve them collectively.
Goal 12 of the SDGs focuses on responsible manufacturing, reuse, recycling and reduction at every stage of the product life cycle. SAVe is the first industry-wide organization based in the U.S. to bring together AV leaders to take concerted action to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
SAVe is made up of AV industry leaders who are committed to advancing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and providing information, inspiration and leadership for our industry to take meaningful action.
Cristina De Bono, Founder and President of SAVe, has 27 years of experience in the AV industry and holds key leadership positions, including President and Founder of ClearTech, a leading commercial AV systems integration company based in Altadena, California. Christina is on the Board of Directors of NSCA (National Association of Systems Contractors) and serves as Treasurer as of July 2022. In addition, he is on the Executive Committee of CVSA (Voluntary Service and Action Commission).
Joe Perez, Founder and Secretary of SAVe, has more than 25 years of experience in the AV industry, is the CTO of ClearTech. Joe is very active with NSCA (National Association of Systems Contractors) serving on the DEI Action Council and the Emerging Technologies Committee. He is also an ambassador for the NSCA Foundation's IGNITE program, whose mission is to attract the next generation to our industry.
An integral part of our team, SAVe Ambassadors are accomplished AV industry leaders who help advance our mission around the world by representing SAVe in designated regions and countries.
Juan Carlos Medina, CTS. SAVe Ambassador in Mexico. With more than 27 years of experience Juan Carlos is CEO of Viewhaus Sistemas, an integrating company based in Guadalajara, CDMX and S.L.P. that has become a benchmark of excellence in the AV industry in Mexico, as well as communication technologies, is also part of the network of AV service providers most important in the world. As a SAVe Ambassador, he brings the same spirit and drive to our mission to advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Colombia also has its first SAVe ambassador, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, manager of the company Integración AV.
Let's make an immediate impact
There are several ways to get involved with SAVe initiatives, the first being to get certified, show the world that you are serious about sustainability.
Use the assessment tool to identify ways your organization can promote sustainability, develop a plan your people can follow, and submit your sustainability strategy for SAVe certification. We will provide a wide range of resources to help you implement your plan and promote your participation. A demonstrated commitment to sustainability is a powerful selling point among your customers, and SAVe Certification tells them you are part of the solution.
Volunteering: Help your community by joining our community. From assisting SAVe directly to partnering with a wide variety of community-based organizations that are advancing the Sustainable Development Goals at the grassroots level, opportunities abound to make a real difference. If you want to be a leader, we'll show you how. If you simply want to help as your time and resources allow, SAVe can provide practical guidance. And as a volunteer, SAVe will help promote their participation and extend the impact of their efforts.
Action against e-waste
Give your AV team a second life at the end of the first by donating it through a network SAVe has established with the Voluntary Service and Action Commission (CVSA). CVSA, an independent non-profit organization in special consultative status with the United Nations, represents more than 200 non-governmental organizations based around the world serving people and communities in need of systemic solutions to economic, social and environmental problems.
Juan Carlos Medina, CTS, is the director of the integrative company Viewhaus and SaVe's ambassador for Mexico.