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Sustainability in AV (SAVe) is still a young organization, but as the first industrywide, U.S.-based entity to bring industry stakeholders together to achieve the SDGs, we have strong momentum fueled by the urgency of our mission.

We’ve barely turned two years old, and already SAVe is an official sustainability partner of Integrated Systems Europe, the largest AV trade show in the world, held annually in Barcelona, Spain. In addition, SAVe has been invited by AVIXA, the trade association for the professional AV industry worldwide, to participate in InfoComm, the largest pro AV trade show in North America. Moreover, we have a growing number of SAVe Ambassadors representing our organization in countries including Canada, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil – with more on the way!

And here’s something else to add to an amazing roster of achievement: SAVe has just concluded its first global conference, held in March at the UCLA Luskin Conference Center in Los Angeles. SAVe 2024 was an unprecedented, history-making event in the AV industry – one that’s all the more impressive considering that it was an entirely volunteer effort.

The theme of the conference, “A Call for Leaders,” reflected our need for people who are ready to step up to help advance our initiatives, foster our partnerships, and do the work to move the AV industry from being a sustainability laggard to becoming a sustainability leader. To that end, SAVe 2024 was a milestone in generating awareness, engagement, and action among those who will drive us forward.

Highlights from our day-and-half-long gathering:

Of the 130 registrants for SAVe 2024, we had attendees from across the United States and as far away as Egypt.

SAVe 2024 was made possible by the support of 18 sponsors, including Crestron, our Sustaining Sponsor. and Microsoft, our Preservation Sponsor. Exertis | Almo, Legrand AV, Liberty AV, QSC, Shure, Sony, and Visionary Network Audio Video signed on as Impact Sponsors. And our General Sponsors included AV Design Labs, Digital Labor Solutions, ARUP, BugID, ClearTech, Lightwerks, Meyer Sound, Pittwater, and Tempest Technologies.

  • SAVe 2021 featured 7 education sessions and workshops, with a total of 20 speakers, including:

We signed up three new committee chairs and established two new committees: the SAVe Events Committee, which organizes our presence at industry gatherings; and the SAVe Sustainable AV Design Committee, formed to advance sustainable AV solution design and integration.

SAVe 2024 received strong support from UCLA, including executive director of digital spaces Joe Way, chief sustainability officer Nurit Katz, and deputy chief sustainability officer Bonny Bentzin.

SAVe 2024 featured a broad array of keynote presentations, general session addresses, and breakout sessions, including:

  • Bringing Sustainability to AV. This presentation by SAVe co-founders Christina De Bono and Joe Perez provided an overview of the sustainability crisis, the AV industry’s role in exacerbating it, and how the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can inform and guide efforts to advance sustainability in the pro AV industry.
  • Controlling AV Electronic Waste: There Is No “Away” When You Throw It Away. Each year the electronics industry, of which pro AV is a significant part, generates a vast – and growing – amount of electronic waste in the form of discarded devices and peripherals containing hazardous chemicals. Carlos Hernandez outlined the scope of the problem and identified pathways to reducing electronic waste.
  • The Invisible Footprint of Audiovisual Systems: Measuring the True Carbon Footprint. Presenters Heather Galvin, Prem Sundharam and Ray Kent engaged attendees in a highly interactive presentation designed to educate participants about the environmental impact of the pro AV industry across the solution lifecycle.
  • SAVe Certification Workshop. This session introduced the process by which SAVe helps organizations develop sustainability plans that they can adopt immediately and sustain over time. SAVe leadership team members engaged participants in interactive, small-group sessions designed to identify which of the 2030 SDGs their organizations were best positioned to advance.
  • Sustainability is the Future – Our role in Achieving the SDGs. This panel discussion, moderated by Christina De Bono, with Carlos Hernandez, Althea Ricketts, Kathryn Gaskell, and Keiko Yokoyama, focused on what our industry can do to secure a better, more sustainable future by controlling electronic waste, reducing lifecycle carbon emissions, scaling back energy use, and adopting measures for reuse, repurposing, recycling, and proper disposal of AV equipment.
  • Partnerships for the Goals. This breakout session, moderated by Christina De Bono, with Susan Angus, Joe Way, and Debbie Williamson, highlighted the importance of forming partnerships among organizations to achieve results greater than they can accomplish on their own.
  • Global Change Makers – SAVe Ambassador Panel Discussion. In this breakout session moderated by Joe Perez, SAVe Ambassadors Julie Legault, Juan Carlos Medina, Caro Sosa, and Juan Carlos Gutierrez discussed the global nature of the sustainability challenge and how they are working to advance the 2030 SDGs in their regions while partnering with likeminded allies worldwide.

SAVe 2024 also included a fundraising dinner and auction, led by Joe Way and made possible by donations from an array of individuals and organizations. Joe Way also helped to close out the conference by taking attendees on a UCLA campus tour.

“It’s hard to overstate just how momentous a gathering SAVe 2024 was,” says SAVe president and co-founder Christina De Bono. “We themed our conference ‘A Call for Leaders’ and I am certain that many of our attendees will respond by donating their time, talents and, most important, LEADERSHIP to achieving the SDGs. We are poised to have an enormous impact on our industry and – through our partnerships – on the world around us as we create a true movement for change.”

All the SAVe 2024 PowerPoint presentations are available for you to access.

Take note also of our photo gallery, where you can download images from SAVe 2024. Feel free to use them in any post-event posts or blogs you may wish to publish.

View all of our sessions on our YouTube channel here.