Case studies

Find out more information about some of Fife’s greenest businesses.

The AV Department Ltd

Since November 2005 the AV Department has been providing audio visual services and equipment to companies and organisations across Scotland and the UK for conferences, fund-raising events and entertainments. 

                  

Left:  AV Department ready for the Green Business Fife Awards Dinner, Right:  Aberdour Festival, which the company sponsored for all its AV in the main Marquee and which the organisers kindly named the 'AVD Festival Hub'

The technology that allows delegates to vote on issues, submit bids to silent auctions, present their views and follow proceedings through simultaneous translations is all available from the company. And the AV Department website shows an impressive roster of blue chip organisations they have worked for directly or through event organisers.

A background in the AV sector led managing director, Mark Kisby, to set up his own company. He was keen to deliver excellent, professional service offering the best technology for the job and to look ahead to what clients might need – even before they realised themselves.  He also wanted to do this in the most sustainable way possible.

As technology moves rapidly, ever smaller and lighter equipment is coming on the market all the time.  This reduces space and weight in transporting devices to events and that means  travelling by public transport to events becomes a viable alternative for the company. It is a proposition they are keen to promote being not only good for the environment but ultimately cheaper for the client too.  Mark has not travelled by air for four years preferring the sleeper when working in London.  Much of the equipment utilises rechargeable batteries where possible and the company uses LED lighting which not only uses less power but also provides a wider colour pallet.

The pace of change in technology means a higher turnover in equipment but the AV Department has a core recycling policy which means that batteries are recycled, old equipment is sold on to other companies, sometimes on e-bay to Germany, Ireland or Poland, other parts are recycled within the company for other uses and some is “freecycled” for other good uses.

The company blog has attracted many avid followers to the introduction of the electric van in December 2012 which is used to travel from company HQ for journeys of up to about 80 miles. The van makes use of the new recharging facilities at Fife’s railway stations and in various car parks.  Mark has also installed a charging point at home.  Despite the many obvious environmental benefits of the electric vehicle, it is an expensive option to choose at initial purchase, notwithstanding Government incentives, and insurance is not discounted either.  This questions why a company would take this decision.

The AV Department electric van recharging

The answer lies in Mark’s personal commitment to more sustainable living. Where there are economic and environmental benefits the decisions come easily, but he is determined to introduce ideas that may cost more financially in the short term but bring longer term benefits of other kinds.  And he isn’t alone.  The team at AV Department agree and many now say they adopt some of the policies of work at home. Mark is long-term supporter of using low energy lighting, switching off computers and equipment at night, duplex printing, and he also plans to use shredded office paper for his new chickens to nest on, and then for it be composted for use on the family allotment.

His latest project in the office is the installation of a biomass boiler to provide heating and hot water. It will be run on locally sourced, Scottish wood pellets.  This is a major undertaking both financially and structurally but Mark sees it as another step towards making the office a more comfortable work place and minimising the environmental impact of the outdated heating system that comes in the wartime building. He has also installed a shower for the cyclists and walkers amongst the staff with some grant funding from Cycle Scotland.

So what do the clients think of this sustainable AV company? Providing an excellent service, offering innovative ideas for events and supporting a more sustainable way of doing business is a package that clients like.  While some question why Mark doesn’t just jump on an aeroplane, many are very positive about his business ethos – clearly seen by the amount of referrals and repeat business secured.

From its wartime office base this is a company that takes a very modern approach to business and shows that it is possible to compete successfully in a highly advanced market, look after staff well, support other local green businesses and charities and still respect our environment.

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