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Time To Consider Our Environmental Responsibilities

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Leading system integrator dB Broadcast shares some suggestions
There are few issues more topical than minimising our impact on the planet, and we hear many variants on the three (or is it five, six?) Rs – at least: reduce, re-use and recycle.

Of course, there are many things that companies of all types can do here. For example, we should consider taking steps to reduce impact of the movement of both people and goods by efficient timing of meetings to avoid multiple trips, and aim for employees to make at least, say, 80% of journeys to customer sites by public transport. dB staff make more journeys to customer sites by rail than they do by road.

dB has made a start on reducing its environmental footprint by minimising waste, avoiding the use of paper, plastics and other consumables through reusing materials, reducing the use of disposable beverage cups and adopting electronic documents in place of paper ones. It is planning the use of low energy and energy efficient office equipment and lighting.

But how do environmental issues impact specifically on our industry, and how should we consider modifying our practices to stay at the forefront of best practice? dB Broadcast shares its thoughts here, with a few examples of practical steps that can be taken.

First of all, it is important to have a documented Corporate Environmental Policy. This acknowledges and accepts the company’s responsibilities in wide-ranging environmental issues. In short, the company should operate a system of best practice and corporate guidance, and in particular the company should take all steps to promote waste minimisation through re-use.

For customer projects, where functionality and budget allow, dB Broadcast will endeavour to select the equipment with the lowest power consumption. Energy efficiency is considered during project design reviews, and dB encourages its clients to follow industry best practice, even when this has a capital cost impact on the project. This approach often has cost benefits throughout the lifetime of the systems supplied, by reducing reliance on cooling as well as electricity usage.

All packaging and waste materials generated during project work should be reused, recycled or disposed of appropriately. The company reduces its usage of cardboard boxes by delivering goods to site in large flight cases with rack strips to support multiple pieces of equipment. The boxes are retained at dB and re-used for other purposes.

Even broadcast technical furniture can be important, as many designs still feature timber or products like MDF derived from timber. Suppliers should aim for Group Chain of Custody and Controlled Wood certification, meaning that the wood used is traceable to a renewable and sustainable source.
Equipment re-use is always the preferred option, and sometimes it can be offered to companies selling second hand equipment. But this may not always be possible, so in the case of old cables, they will be re-cycled. dB removes old cabling from customer sites and disposes of it in a manner that causes minimal environmental impact, via a recycling operator. dB Broadcast aims to recycle 100% of cable offcuts and 90% of paper and cardboard used in its offices.

Recyclers claim that they save natural resources and many million tonnes of CO2 every year, compared with using virgin materials, a figure growing year on year. dB Broadcast considers landfill very much as a last resort for disposal. If old equipment must be scrapped, then the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations (WEEE) are applicable, and dB Broadcast is registered as a Producer compliant with the 2013 WEEE.
"This is very much a marathon not a sprint," said Tom Swan, Sales and Marketing Director of dB Broadcast. "Steps such as these ensure that our broadcast industry can be part of the solution to safeguarding our planet’s resources."

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