Security services may seem far detached from the world of recycling and eco-friendliness. But the two can work in harmony. We’ve put together a few ways that remote monitoring stations, and the security industry in general, can still make a positive impact on the environment.
It’s easy to assume that all the responsibility lies with the manufacturers of security surveillance equipment. Of course, it is their responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint through:
1. Becoming compliant with legislations
The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) became law in the UK at the beginning of 2013. It’s probably the most far-reaching law that works to reduce the environmental impact of electronic and electrical equipment.
Many manufacturers also make use of recycled plastics when producing their products – further reducing their environmental impact.
2. Minimising packaging
Manufacturers in all types of industries are working to minimise packaging used for their products. Manufacturers of security surveillance equipment are not exempt from this: whether they are reducing the impact of current packaging by producing it from recycled materials or altering it all together to reduce the size and quantity of materials used.
3. Reducing paper usage
Manufacturers can also make a difference by reducing the amount of paperwork that comes with their products. For instance, brochures and manuals can be replaced with CD-ROMs.
However, there are numerous ways that remote monitoring stations and security installers can also make a positive impact with environmental initiatives. Here are just a few ideas to get the security industry to go green:
1. Choose carbon-footprint friendly displays
It is a costly renovation bringing in new displays for your remote monitoring team but it is often a necessary upgrade. When you do make the change consider opting for LED or plasma displays, which are far more efficient that cathode ray tube monitors.
2. Installers: Encourage use of environmentally friendly products
Work with end-users and monitoring stations to provide a fantastic security system, which consists of surveillance equipment that complies with environmental guidelines for electrical equipment.
Always ensure that the supplier of the surveillance equipment complies with WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) regulations. This simply means that your customers, and you as the installer, have an easy way to dispose of old electronic security equipment in an environmentally friendly manner.
3. Get clever about recycling and upgrades
When it comes to clearing out old equipment and updating security systems or remote monitoring stations, it is essential that you consider the environmental impact. As mentioned before, check if the supplier of your equipment is WEEE compliant and make the most of the recycling services they offer.
Recently, here at Farsight, we went through an overhaul of our warehouse and inevitably ended up with a lot of wastage. As a remote monitoring station, we have a huge range of end-users – so we always get in touch with our customers first when we are need of a particular service. In this case, we monitor Woodford Recycling’s security systems so immediately requested their business to help with the warehouse clear out.
We ended up recycling a huge amount of electronic equipment (as you can see in the image) and also made the warehouse environment a much safer space for Farsight employees – making a real difference to security going green and our health and safety.
4. Think about the energy your systems use
Remote monitoring stations run 24/7, with monitors and PCs continually turned on so operators can view sites when alarms are detected. Because this is an inevitable part of being a remote monitoring station, it is essential that the systems opted for are environmentally friendly.
Consider upgrading your current PCs. By consolidating operator nodes, that may have two or three PCs, to just one modern PC you can make a huge difference to the efficiency of your security services – and reduce your carbon footprint.
Upgraded PCs will have the ability to run different types of software simultaneously. Eliminating the need for more than one PC per operator node. Here at Farsight, we are currently upgrading our systems to achieve just that. Through making use of the multitasking abilities of modern PCs, our operators can work more efficiently too. And it doesn’t mean we have to change the software we currently use. Instead, through using Microsoft 7 on the new PCs we will be able to run software that is only compatible with older versions of Microsoft.
Remember, if you decide to opt for reducing the number of your PCs, you will need to comply with WEEE guidelines when disposing of your old hardware.
Keeping on top of our environmental impact is, of course, a day-to-day activity too. Every working environment should keep on top of their power usage and carbon-footprint, with the simple tricks of turning off unnecessary lights and keeping office temperatures at an optimum level. But these few steps show that there are several specific ways the security industry can make a real difference to their environmental impact.