SXS Sustainability Policy

Explanatory Articles | News 13 MIN READ

We aim to be a leader and exemplar of sustainability in both the events sector and also wider economy. This policy isn’t just talk – we mean it, it is baked into our culture and we do what we say we are going to do. Moreover we have done it – and we love to talk about it so others might do the same! There are four aspects to our sustainability policy.

Reduce

 

Approach:

This is always our first approach.  Reducing our consumption or materials, and production of waste, carbon and other GHGs is the easiest and most effective way of making what we do more sustainable.   Fixing a problem is not as easy as not having one!

 

Philosophy: 

We aim to reduce all materials, fuels and activities which are not sustainable while ensuring we still drive maximum value for our clients and deliver on the objectives from their projects.

 

Actions:

  •  Print graphics reduction – We have invested in large stocks of high-resolution digital displays which mean we do not need to print as much.  We typically encourage clients to avoid print by offering digital signage solutions at a lower cost
  • Paper use – we have invested in a sophisticated project and asset management platform that allows almost all business functions to be paper free.  All staff have dual monitors to further reduce the need for print
  • Bespoke build approach – in all cases we look to use existing assets before manufacturing one-off set pieces.   This feeds into our creative and technical designs
  • Diesel – we completely avoid the use of diesel generators where possible through an intelligent approach to power management and development of our SolCell Products (read more in innovate section)
  •  Minimise vehicles – our one-stop shop solution ensures fewer vehicles are going to site, as we typically take the role of several companies in traditional examples.
  • Reduce transport – larger vehicles are used to transport everything, rather than multiple smaller ones
  • Grid energy – SXS HQ has a 50,000 watt solar array.  This means that even in moderate sun levels we are both producing all the electricity we need as well as feeding renewable energy back into the grid. (See our live energy generation here)
  • Client waste – wherever possible we lead clients to more sustainable conduct by ensuring that their merchandise presents a sustainable benefit to event visitors. We will not condone the use of single use plastic and advise that wherever possible clients opt for a more sustainable solution.
  • Supplier packing – as a major purchaser of equipment with substantial economies of scale and influence we put pressure on our suppliers to reduce packaging. 
  • Lighting energy – we are at the forefront of LED lighting technology.  This often presents up to an 80% reduction in electricity.  We invest heavily in these technologies
  • Audio energy – we are using Class D amplifiers and are almost entirely using the Dante digital interface.  These present substantial electrical energy savings.       
  • Video energy – we have invested heavily in the latest Laser light-source projectors which are hugely efficient
  • Most importantly of all our staff are culturally engaged with the actions of energy saving – this impacts our approach to energy at SXS HQ, as well as onsite.
  • Culture matters – everyone at SXS is interested and engaged with the above.

 

Reuse

 

Approach:

Make sure that the materials we use are beneficial to multiple clients and to other beneficiaries in our community/charity network.

 

Philosophy:   

Do things that we can keep doing for a better planet – even if it costs us more

 

Actions

  • Print – all essential print is done with the material second life in mind.   This results in using standard sheet sizes which allow for printing on the back, or over-printing where appropriate
  • Material donations – we design and buy materials with a clear view of second use.   Organisations we donate to include the Scout Association, Scrap Store Bristol, Bristol Wood Recycling Project, Warleigh Weir Project, and various schools, community groups, artists and individuals.
  • Construction – many of our ex-event materials are used for the ongoing development and improvement of our premises.
  • Supporting ‘side-hustles’ – we encourage our staff and collaborators to pursue other activities which can benefit from the re-use of materials.  Examples include artists, makers, shed-builders, street artists, electrical tinkerers, zip line builders, scout leaders, and tree-house builders.  This has the added benefit of adding vibrancy to our organisation and means there are always plenty of great stories!
  • Recycling as much waste as possible at SXS HQ and on site.

 

 

Mitigate

 

Approach:   

To think that just reducing and re-using is enough to create a sustainable future is deluded.   Our industry has fundamental issues that make it unsustainable.  With this in mind we must take action outside our work to make up for the harm we do.  We put our money where our mouth is!

 

Philosophy: 

Let’s make sure our actions are creating an overall benefit to our world and communities.

 

Actions:

  • Supporting sustainable activism – We offer free dry hire to any group, charity, or individual producing events which promote and affect sustainable action.
  • Use our influence – we often have a central position in the design, planning and management of many events.   We use this influence to reduce harm and create good beyond our actions (often promoting the “reduce” and “reuse” philosophy to clients, suppliers and partners)
  • We funded, founded and run the Warleigh Weir Project which uses a private island we purchased in the Cotswolds. This is a blueprint of the future of sustainable business and an exemplar of how businesses can do good in their community. We have planted over one thousand trees for community benefit and facilitated a shift in behaviour of thousands of people who use the island.   Learn more on the website, see a video about how WWP ties in with SXS and meet the amazing community group we have setup.
  • Mass tree planting – we do this both on our own land, and also support More Trees BANES with their planting elsewhere.

 

 

Innovate

 

Approach: 

We are fortunate to have the technical, creative, human, land and financial resources we have.  This privilege comes with an obligation to do good. The more our clients support us the more of this great work we can do.

 

Philosophy:   

Those who have privilege should use it for good.

 

Actions:

  • Investing in high-risk innovations in deployable renewable energy systems SolCell (www.solcell.net). This has the potential to transform the use of fossil-fuel energy production at events. It also has applications in disaster relief, exploration and emergency services.
  • Supporting and funding the Warleigh Weir Project – this required the investment of over 20% of our net profits in 2017-18.  This project has engaged with an untold number of people and made cultural change in our region.
  • Off-grid – the SXS set-build facility is experimenting with an off-grid electrical system that uses batteries and solar. This is ongoing and is getting some really exciting results.
  • Experiment with new digital content management to mitigate print materials
  • Aim to align our creative approach to driving education around nature.  In this example we did this for a major client’s event.
  • Be engaged, relevant and collaborative with developing new ideas with various partners

 

 

Educate

 

Approach:   

We want to drive leverage of our actions to make an impact that is far bigger than use.  We will do this by influencing our clients, staff, stakeholders, suppliers, online audience and the organisations we deal with.  

 

Philosophy: 

Fulfilling our policy in isolation is one small part of the change we can make – we want to make change that is bigger than us.

 

Actions:

  • Make sustainability and waste an agenda point to weekly company meetings – so as to drive awareness and embed sustainability within our culture at SXS
  • Include sustainability and our policy approach in EVERY company pitch  - this has the power of aligning our clients procurement policies with sustainability.  
  • Support and donate equipment to projects that promote sustainability – in summer 2019 we contributed to many events for schools, festivals and community events for free in order to support this
  • Make sustainability a key talking point when we are interacting with new staff, possible employees and at public speaking events, such as career day chats
  • Using our position of credibility to promote sustainability and contribute to school  groups
  • Put our money where our mouth is – and shout about it! – we are very vocal about our activities (just take a look online and you will see rich content about much of what is outlined in this document) so as to encourage others to do the same