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Kinly – Breaking the mould for CSR and sustainability

The AV industry is at risk of being behind the curve when it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, but we’re about to change that.


A while ago my colleague Simon Watson made a prediction. He stated that the AV industry would not survive if it didn’t start taking sustainability more seriously… and he was right.

It’s no secret that businesses worldwide are realising that having the right technology and working with the right suppliers is an essential step to becoming more sustainable, and companies in the AV industry are no exception.

In fact, nearly half (47%) of AV professionals report that sustainability is a high priority for the year, with a further three quarters (74%) stating that sustainability is a critical success factor in AV transformation projects (Trusted Connections 2024). But, despite this sentiment, more than half of enterprises (53%) are still struggling to find an AV supplier that meets their needs.

At Kinly, we’ve been doing our part to address this issue for years but we recognised that we could do more. We’re pleased to be announcing our first comprehensive, global corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy to highlight the difference our industry can have in creating a more sustainable world.

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Making a difference

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to sustainability, and earlier this year we undertook a materiality assessment to fully understand where our resources are best allocated for the betterment of the environment and society. It’s from this insight that we have determined our new approach to CSR, focusing on: sustainability by design, reducing our carbon footprint, creating inclusive careers, and helping people connect.

The strategy was designed to intertwine sustainability, ethical practices, and community engagement to ensure we are offering enterprises a service that aligns with their ESG goals. And, as the world of sustainability is constantly evolving, we’ve committed to undergoing this materiality assessment annually to ensure we’re still focused on the right areas.

As AV integrators, one of the biggest impacts we can have is in enabling our clients to become more sustainable. Our expertise plays a core role here, allowing us to offer specialist advice to best address each business’ sustainability needs — whether they are material use, energy efficiency, e-waste, social value, or all of the above.

We’ve been strengthening our ‘sustainability by design’ model to help our customers see how we can support them. From the selection of products, right through to the installation, optimisation and eventual disposal, sustainability is integrated into every aspect of our consultation process and the life cycle of the solutions we provide to customers.

But, in order to be a credible advisor to our clients, we’ve also had to examine our internal processes to ensure we are operating our own business responsibly.

A focus on sustainability

We strive to be as efficient as possible when it comes to our offices, our vehicles, and business travel – both in the energy we use and the waste we create. It’s also critical that our suppliers share this same dedication to sustainability.

As global integrators, we work with hundreds of manufacturers around the world, and one of our biggest areas of sustainability risk is in our supply chain. If our suppliers are not sustainable, then neither are we.

By refusing to work with businesses who are not meeting our sustainability standards, we are pushing the industry towards an expectation of environmentally friendly practice. And putting our money where our mouth is doesn’t just apply to external providers — as part of the new strategy, we have also pledged to being fully net-zero by 2050.

Inclusion for all

CSR isn’t only about environmental sustainability for us. As part of our new strategy, Kinly is also looking to increase representation in our business, create career opportunities, and drive workforce development. In short, we want everyone to feel included in the tech sector.

In our recruitment process, our onboarding, and day-to-day administration, everyone deserves to be treated fairly and be offered the same opportunities for development and growth; the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce cannot be understated. We also appreciate the role we have to play in making change in the wider sector and are committed to supporting anyone who wants to get started in a career in technology.

Much like our approach to managing our environmental impact, we know that just saying we’re committed isn’t enough. That’s why we have made a number of pledges to keep us honest. For example, by 2026 we will be delivering 1,000 hours of employability training and careers support to underrepresented groups and people with barriers into the job market. By 2035 we are committed to having 35% female representation and 10% disabled representation in our business. And finally, by 2050 we aim to have supported 10,000 people into a career in the tech sector.

Connecting people

As our pledges suggest, Kinly is dedicated to making the world a better place, and we know that has to extend into our communities too. Through our years of charitable giving, our people have shown that they care deeply about the communities they live and work in, and we’re focusing that support to help people access and thrive in the digital world.

It’s estimated that 2.9 billion people worldwide are digitally excluded, limiting their options and potentially leading to further disenfranchisement. As technology professionals, we have the expertise to educate people on the power of technology and start shrinking this inequality gap. That’s why we’re committed to using our time and skills to improve the accessibility of digital technology, expand the reach of education, and reduce isolation.

To achieve this in the short term we will identify two major, innovative partnerships with organisations focused on tackling digital exclusion. By 2035 we will have volunteered 10,000 hours to causes bridging the digital skills gap, and by 2050 we want to have helped to increase the digital skills of 1 million people worldwide.

Looking forward

We believe it's of paramount importance that businesses become more transparent about their plans and strategies to support the planet and the people on it. It’s not about monopolising sustainability and using it as a competitive edge – it’s about committing to a collaborative effort to be better.

From manufacturers to distributors, we all have the opportunity to make a positive societal impact, and our clients expect as much. It’s time to start playing catch-up and make the AV industry a more sustainable and inclusive space for all.

If you’re interested in reading more, Kinly’s full CSR strategy can be found here.

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