Many companies are facing tough economic times and must do more business on less revenue. But at the same time, the environmentally friendly aspect of business is still a highly desirable trait that clients and end-users demand. How can the security executive balance losses in revenue coupled with budget cuts, but still boast being an environmentally-conscious company?
Going green many times means lowering energy consumption. By being conscious of choosing energy saving security equipment, security executives can still do their job while also lowering the company’s ‘carbon footprint’. Using energy-efficient security products can also drastically lower the cost of company utility bills, which is money saving and energy conscious. Work with your systems integrator to find out how much power the system may require. By tweaking a few products, the company may find a lower utility bill each month, while also using less energy consumption.
Being green can also be as simple as allowing your employees to work remotely once a week, so that when they need to catch up on paperwork, fill out and file reports or answer e-mails, allow them to do it at home rather than in the office. This reduces the amount of energy it takes for the employee to travel to work, and also cuts your utility bill since the employee’s computer is not draining power that day. Of course, allowing the employee to work remotely requires trust that the employee will be working at home.
Not quite convinced? Here is the ultimate smart-greening solution.

Think Outside the Box

Sometimes companies are faced with serious cost-cutting measures, and the security department has little or no existing budget at all. In that case, consider thinking outside the box. Simple, common sense solutions can cost little money while creating a successful security result, and many times, simple solutions can be environmentally friendly.            
When plumbing/heating supplies wholesaler Ferguson Enterprises experienced product theft and product tampering, plus a few isolated parking lot issues, the company’s director of corporate security and emergency planning, Scott Hewitt, had to come up with some quick solutions that did not require a lot of money, and those solutions also ended up being earth friendly.
“We were seeing a lot of large, expensive equipment being stolen, and none of our employees ever witnessed or noticed anything suspicious,” said Hewitt. “So, after numerous losses of this particular piece of equipment, I had to come up with something. I needed a solution fast, and so I purchased a home monitoring camera from a local (retail) store. We had that set up and installed even before a security company could give a quote for a system, and we figured out the source of the problem very quickly, and were able to put a halt to the scam immediately.”
Sometimes all it takes is making the problem more visible. “Another problem the company was noticing was that our losses had shifted from copper theft to cast iron theft,” said Hewitt. “In that instance, we decided to relocate the materials to a more visible location inside the store, and were able to lessen the thefts to nearly none that way.” No money spent, no energy generated, which means a green solution.
During a series of isolated car thefts at one store location, Hewitt came up with a “low cost, self-help solution.” He explained, “We were having a few problems in the parking lot at one particular store. Many vehicles were being broken into and tampered with and in most cases stolen after hours. So we had to come up with an inexpensive solution.” Hewitt simply pointed a pole mounted camera to monitor the driveway and also strung a heavy chain across the entrance of the parking lot. “Believe it or not, that was a simple solution that has prevented any more car thefts for the past two years,” said Hewitt.      
The company is worth $11.8 billion, and Hewitt is responsible for managing and overseeing the security teams at 1,400 national locations with 22,000 employees. From his 10 tens years of experience, Hewitt understands how the company does business.
“The company will invest in something they see as valuable. We have to be able to track every dollar, and must have a contribution to the bottom line. That is why there are no blanket camera solutions at every store; we install cameras at a store only when there is a problem. Approximately 200 of our 14,000 locations have cameras, because those are the stores that have experienced security problems,” said Hewitt.
Hewitt has an interesting motto that he tells his teams: “We need to be working smarter, not harder. And we always have to produce a better ROI while being concerned about cost.”
Some of you may think that going green is just a fad. Others may take a serious interest in it. But however you feel about it, going green can often mean saving the company money. And in this economy, we need all the cost cutting solutions we can think of (without jeopardizing the security of the company, of course).

Siemens Building Technologies has recently built an entire facility that is dedicated to using sustainable and energy efficient products throughout the buidling.

Creating a Sustainable Facility through Architecture and Design

Siemens Building Technologies is one company that is leading the way to introduce greener, more sustainable practices throughout its U.S. facilities. Key accomplishments
company-wide in the past year include:
  • Completing a comprehensive CO2 inventory of its operations for FY2007 and FY2008.
  • Establishing local sustainability champions in each of the company's nine field operating zones.
  • Establishing a Local Sustainability Grant Program to support field office initiatives.
  • More than quadrupling the number of LEED Accredited Professionals working throughout the company.
  • Reducing its total CO2 in two primary manufacturing locations by 11 percent from FY2007 to FY2008, and 14 percent versus FY2006.
Siemens’ own research, published in conjunction with McGraw-Hill Construction in the 2007 SmartMarket Report, "The Greening of Corporate America", found that organizations fall along a continuum of five stages of sustainability.
Stages one and two view sustainability as a cost; stage three begins to see sustainability as a lever of economic advantage; stages four and five embrace sustainability as part of organizational strategy.
“We view our company as a solid stage three, and then set our goal to become a stage four to stage five organization,” said Brad Haeberle, vice president and chair of Siemens’ Internal Sustainability Committee. “With that in mind, the committee’s first task was three-fold: to learn from other industry leaders in corporate sustainability, and to gather information on what we were doing today and to brainstorm what we could and should be doing as a company.”
According to Haeberle, this led the committee to interview a number of leaders and pioneers in corporate sustainability, many from industries unrelated to Siemens, to provide a fresh perspective of the role that sustainability can play across the enterprise and its people.
One Siemens facility that implements and observes green practices is the Siemens Building Technologies’ Executive Briefing Center in Buffalo Grove, Ill. The 6,000 square foot center, which was opened in June 2008, averages two visitors per month. Among its “green” efforts:
  • It uses Osram Sylvania lights and ballasts where possible
  • All lights are LED, which emit low heat and low energy
  • All power distribution in the Center is from Siemens Energy and Automation
  • All of the carpet and glue are low VOC (volatile organic compound)
  • The front wall of the Executive Conference Room is sustainable walnut
  • The back wall of the Executive Conference Room, known as the wave wall, is made from compressed fiberboard.
To provide visitors with information on the company’s product and service capabilities, 12 Energy Star flat panel televisions are placed throughout the Center for digital messaging. 
Since it is an interior space with limited window accessibility, the windows are positioned to optimize the natural lighting, using less indoor lighting.
The lighting feature in the Executive Dining Room uses light harvesting – lights will automatically dim or shut off when enough sunlight streams into room. The curve of the light fixture reflects the light down to the table, maximizing the use of minimal lighting.