Universal Live – Spotlight for sustainable event technology

Pooja Sharma
5 Min Read

The Universal Live team has been providing full technical support to the live events industry for over 30 years.

We provide great people, great ideas, great support and great equipment for our customers. Our services include sound, light, image, stage, power and media. Everything delivered on time and within budget, with full support from inception through to delivery and beyond.

As a rental company, item reuse is at the heart of our business, and our technical kit will be used many times over its lifespan. However, there is no denying that live events can cause a lot of waste. From the largest single-use items, such as stage carpets and custom-made sets, to batteries in radio microphones and miles of gaffa tape, every event has the potential to send a lot to landfill.

Finding solutions that are both sustainable and affordable, that maintain or improve the quality of the events we produce, is not always easy. That’s why we have a member of the team who is committed to that: our innovation and sustainability leader, Neil Clappison. Neil’s role is to explore new and innovative technologies, keep us informed of what’s happening in the world of AV, and ensure that the events we produce are as sustainable as possible.

Reducing waste from landfill is top of Neil’s priority list and we have introduced a range of measures to tackle this problem. One of the most important is our stage carpet – we go through almost 5000 meters2 of it every year. We are proud members of Carpet Recycling UK, which means we supply our events with 100% recycled carpet, which is recycled again after use.

Investing in the right kit is another opportunity to increase the sustainability of our services. For example, our lighting stock consists entirely of LEDs, which significantly reduces the power required to bring our events to life, with the added benefit of diverting lamps from landfill. A recent investment in Shure’s Axient digital wireless microphone system not only provides our customers with the best new technology on the market, but also eliminates thousands of AA batteries from our events every year.

Items we can’t eliminate, such as large format printing and protective packaging for solid panels, have been switched from plastic to PVC-free and biodegradable options, diverting a huge amount of single-use plastic from landfill.

However, it’s not just about waste; transportation also plays a role in our impact. To minimize this, we have chosen a logistics partner that has won environmental awards, and our Operations team coordinates freight transport and deliveries to and from the site to minimize the carbon footprint of moving our equipment. Staff share a car or use public transport to get to and from the venue, whichever is most efficient.

However, our commitment to sustainability does not stop at the events we produce. We consider the impact on the environment in every business decision we make. This year alone we have invested heavily in solar energy production, powering our headquarters and exporting our excess energy to the grid. We’ve installed electric vehicle charging points, created pollinator-friendly wildflower areas in our car park and composted and recycled everything we can.

We believe it is important to do the right thing in every aspect of our business. Our future plans include formalizing our efforts and achievements with ISO 14001 accreditation, and continuing to implement any changes to make each event as sustainable as possible.

Visit www.universal-live.com or contact [email protected] for more information about us and how we can bring your events to life more sustainably. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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