Audiodrome Record Pressing Launches First 100% Solar-Powered Vinyl Press in U.S.

In celebration of Earth Day, Audiodrome Record Pressing in Gainesville, Florida officially opens its doors today. The very first fully in-house solar-powered vinyl pressing plant in the U.S., Audiodrome is the project of Dave Newell and Betsy Bemis, and has a holistic focus on taking steps to mitigate the environmental impact of pressing records while meeting the incredible demand for vinyl in 2024. 

Vinyl’s rapid regrowth has been on the rise for years now, with the format outselling CDs since 2020 and generating the majority of yearly revenue from physical sales – more than $1 billion. But ramping up production has led to struggles to meet demand, resulting in 6 month+ wait times with major labels cutting the line at large plants. Additionally, pressing vinyl is not only costly, complicated, and challenging, but also famously impactful on the environment

“Creativity is an essential part of our humanity and there is something about vinyl records that people find meaningful,” Bemis says. “They allow us to physically participate in the experience and build a tangible connection between the artist and the listener in a way that no other format does. It can be a beautiful thing. But the environmental cost of communion doesn’t have to be so high.”

To counter the negative environmental impact of pressing vinyl, Audiodrome will utilize the following resources and commit to the following practices:

  • Fully solar-powered facility
  • Steamless record presses with closed-loop chiller systems
    • No burning of fossil fuels
    •  No boiler chemicals or runoff
    • Minimal water usage
  •  Using recycled PVC from trimmings and rejects to make new records
  •  Bio-Vinyl option – uses less fossil fuels / petroleum; expect to have by May 2024
  • Using exterior packaging alternatives to shrink wrap or polybags
    • 100% curbside recyclable and biodegradable external packaging made from FSC, SFI, and Rainforest Alliance certified papers
    • 100% home compostable external packaging made from cornstarch, PLA, and PB
  • 51% sugarcane shrink wrap options
  • Recycling and reusing shipping materials – cardboard, pallets, packing materials
  • Using biodegradable single-use nitrile gloves that decompose within 1-5 years vs. traditional nitrile gloves that require over 100 years to decompose. Using reusable/washable gloves when possible.