We've all opened that box containing the latest piece of technical wizardry, only to find mountains of plastic wrapping, a cardboard sleeve, foam insert and a virtual forest of warranty documents and instruction manuals.
Where packaging is concerned, plastic is not the only option. Packaging can be environmentally friendly, incorporating biodegradable materials instead. Do we really need a detailed instruction manual in 15 different languages, or could we replace it with a Quick Start Guide supported by online resources?
Now that we are faced with eye-watering increases in the cost of energy this has become a real hot potato. Start by measuring energy use whether it's in the product, the manufacturing process or your place of work. Once you've documented energy usage you can start to look at ways of optimising it's use. Leaner production lines, LED lighting, power saving designs. All achievable.
Whether it's people or product, there are ways to reduce travel and shipping. One benefit from the pandemic is that it has made people think 'Is this trip really necessary?' Communications have changed. People are happy to converse online. But there's more, as manufacturers recognise the benefits of producing product where it is going to be used instead of shipping it around the globe.
Recycling and sustainability
It is no longer acceptable to 'rip out' old kit and consign it to landfill. Legislation is forcing manufacturers to consider disposal and recycling of kit and components. But many are also recognising that recycling can have benefits.
Without a doubt the security industry, as a whole, has been slow to adopt green practices. This is changing.
However, before you get too excited, there is a 'But'.
It seems that many smaller companies, in particular those with modest work forces, are less receptive to going green.
So, is it ignorance or indifference? I know from personal experience that running a small company can be an exhausting challenge.
It's easy to put yourself in the role of a harassed MD faced with another sheaf of bureaucracy. More boxes to tick when all you want to do is get on with your job and make some money. The fact is there are opportunities associated with going green, and given the current state of play environmental issues and their associated legislation are here to stay.
My own company has adopted a more enlightened stance. The owners and Directors experienced their environmental epiphany some years back, and now proudly add ISO14001 to the firm's quality assurance credentials.
Companies in the security sector are starting to realise that they are faced with a choice: make the world a greener place through good practice, or go the way of the dinosaurs.