Cyber Security Najave

Green and Sustainable Practices’ Rightful Place in Security Industry

This question serves as the cornerstone of a comprehensive survey conducted by in collaboration with Hikvision. The survey, aptly named “Sustainability and the Security Industry,” sets out to unravel the prevailing sentiments within the market concerning environmentally conscious practices. Drawing insights from an extensive pool of respondents, the research conducted by delves into the hearts and minds of physical security professionals regarding the relationship between green and sustainable technologies and the security industry. Invitations to participate in the survey were disseminated far and wide, via social media channels, the website, and targeted email outreach. The participants, a diverse cross-section of the industry, were meticulously segmented, revealing a tapestry of perspectives.

The scope of the survey is far-reaching, endeavoring to uncover the level of market awareness regarding green sustainability practices and technology. It delves into the prevailing trends in green technology across the industry and how these trends shape the decision-making process of channel players. The survey also examines the underlying significance of green technology and practices when it comes to purchasing decisions, as well as the key factors and features that hold importance in the intricate product selection process.

Exploring Key Aspects of Sustainability

The survey extends its reach to investigate potential disparities in market sentiment across regions, classifying respondents into two broad categories: the Western hemisphere (US, Europe, and the Middle East) and the Asian sphere (Asia and Oceania). The findings offer a glimpse into the minds of Western and Asian channel players, revealing a fundamental understanding of sustainability principles. However, the survey hints at a need for greater education and information dissemination.

While there is fervent interest in green practices and technology, practical considerations such as device features, durability, brand reputation, and budgetary constraints loom large in the realm of purchasing decisions. The message is clear: manufacturers and brands must not only underscore the sustainability aspect of their products but also effectively convey the practical features and real-world applications that resonate with users. In doing so, they can bridge the gap between intent and action, ensuring that the security industry moves forward in harmony with the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable practices.

The majority of security channel players are familiar with green and sustainability principles on a basic level. However, the survey shows the need for more market education and information

Opportunities lie in the growing need for market education

The majority of Western and Asian security channel players are familiar with green and sustainability principles on a basic level. However, the survey shows the need and the opportunity for more market education and information.

According to survey results, the majority of respondents (88%) from both regions stated familiarity with the topic, indicating a strong awareness of the importance of this field in the security industry. This familiarity can be attributed to the growing global emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility in recent years. The past few years have seen security device manufacturers increasingly incorporating sustainability principles and energy efficiency into their products, with a focus on reducing the environmental footprint of manufacturing processes and supply chains.

There is, however, a difference in the level of understanding and implementation. 61% of our Western group indicated they understood or have implemented green practices in their businesses, compared to 55% of Asian respondents. On the other hand, 39% of Western and 45% of Asian respondents indicated some to no familiarity. This shows a significant number of market players who may be in the early stages of adopting sustainability measures or may be facing challenges in their implementation.

High interest in purchasing energy-saving products

Overall, the majority of respondents ranked green initiatives of high importance and displayed great interest in purchasing energy-saving products for their businesses.

In terms of green and low carbon initiatives, 47% overall said it was very important, while 18% said it was somewhat important. Interestingly enough, 30% (the next largest group) indicated that it was fairly unimportant.

This could perhaps be attributed to several factors. One is cost considerations – upfront investments in technology and processes may deter (smaller) businesses as these initiatives may not show immediate financial returns. Secondly, there are business objectives to consider – sustainability initiatives would take a backseat to more pressing concerns such as budgets or operational challenges.

When asked whether it was important for them to buy energy-saving/low-power consumption products to contribute to greener and low-carbon practices, a high number of respondents answered in the affirmative: 50% of Asian respondents said that this feature was very important versus 44% of Western respondents. Overall, only 3-4% said that it was not important to them.

This finding isn’t very surprising. Energy-saving products are readily available and easily adopted. The benefits are more tangible and immediate in the form of reduced electricity bills.

The findings in this section tie in with the results from the question which highlighted the need and opportunity for manufacturers/brands and local government to inform the market players about the long-term benefits of adopting green technology in terms of energy efficiency, lower operating costs and cost of ownership as well as future-proofing their security solutions.

Product durability is crucial for security solutions where downtime and frequent maintenance can have significant consequences

General demand for green security products is present, with Western companies leading the way

Yes, there is demand for green security products and solutions in both Western and Asian markets. However, a more consistent demand is seen among Western respondents while Asia may offer more potential growth opportunities in this area.

The survey results indicate that Western respondents see a stronger demand for eco-friendly products and solutions, with 11% reporting consistent and 33% reporting frequent requests from clients, with the rest rarely or never getting orders for such. The numbers were lower for Asian respondents (10% and 12% respectively). However, a notable 39% of Asian channel players noted occasional requests which can suggest a growing interest in sustainable solutions.

Key green technology trends

As the majority of our respondents possess a certain level of familiarity with the topic, they were asked to identify green technologies and products in the market. This inquiry serves a dual purpose: firstly, to affirm their comprehension of the topic and secondly, to identify current trends.

Based on the responses, several major green technology trends emerged.

Solar power is cited as the main green technology in the security market

The majority of survey participants cited solar power as an alternate power source, such as solar-powered cameras, security products, or surveillance systems.

The survey revealed that a significant portion of respondents highlighted solar power as a viable alternative energy source for various applications, including solar-powered cameras, security products, and surveillance systems. Some participants expressed their observations on the topic, stating they haven’t seen much beyond solar and greener packaging of products. Others specifically mentioned their preference for solar-powered PTZ cameras and high-efficiency solar chargers for mobile power in security equipment. Additionally, survey participants noted the increasing use of solar panels to power external cameras, emphasizing the growing trend in the industry. Many recognized the environmental benefits of using solar energy, stating that using solar energy to power security equipment and systems reduces reliance on traditional power grids and decreases carbon emissions. The adoption of hybrid solar systems was also mentioned as a promising step toward sustainable power solutions.

When specifically inquired whether respondents had prior experience using solar-powered security products, most answered positively. There was a difference between the two groups though: 81% of Western vs. 52% of Asian survey participants. This corresponds with the earlier findings of more projects and overall awareness being present in the Western survey group.

When brands make their eco-friendly stance and industry green certifications easily identifiable, it makes it easier for security channel players to make informed choices

 Smart energy management

Respondents referred to IoT energy management solutions capable of integrating sensors, lighting, and security devices/systems. These integrated solutions enable dynamic adjustments in response to changing conditions, such as the need for supplementary lighting, recording, and remote management.

The responses can be further categorized into several subgroups based on the type of the preferred products.

Smart lighting system

Within these groups, nearly half (43%) of respondents mentioned LED lighting technology, with one participant noting high-performance LED lighting systems. However, the majority (57%) centered their attention on how efficient lighting control can optimize energy utilization.

Participants explained their perspectives on this matter, with their statements referencing smart lighting systems that can automatically adjust brightness based on environmental conditions and detect the presence of people through sensors to enhance energy efficiency. This helps in reducing the brightness of the lighting system. Others emphasized the importance of the use of intelligent lighting to reduce energy consumption, thus mitigating its environmental impact.

IoT-enabled energy management for monitoring and optimizing energy consumption

In the realm of IoT-enabled energy management for monitoring and optimizing energy consumption, 27% of participants expressed their interest in the matter. For example, they mentioned solar-powered cameras and sensors, combined with IoT-enabled energy management systems. These systems are designed to provide intelligent control over energy usage in security equipment.

Low-power sensors

Additionally, 24% of respondents showed a strong inclination toward low-power sensors. These sensors are instrumental in reducing video power and storage demands by activating lighting or video recording only when motion is detected or when relevant activities occur. Some participants discussed the application of wireless sensor networks for monitoring environmental parameters and security risks, low-power sensors and detectors for automating the control of security equipment, as well as DAS fiber-based detection, low-voltage products, LED lighting systems, and solar systems.

It would be relevant to mention at this point that 4% of the total comments did talk about artificial intelligence as a tool, with only two respondents specifically mentioning video analytics for this function.

80% of the survey respondents cited sustainable supply chains as an important consideration

Energy-efficient equipment

In the discussion of energy-efficient equipment, 13% of the total comments by the participants highlighted security devices capable of effectively managing energy consumption and costs, either through their design or power-saving modes.

A substantial 70% of respondents expressed a preference for low-power or low-energy consumption devices, emphasizing their role in reducing overall energy consumption. This sentiment was reflected in remarks about the need for low energy consumption security devices and a focus on clients’ concerns about equipment power and heat generation. Many participants also acknowledged the efforts of manufacturers to enhance their products’ energy efficiency.

The concept of energy-saving modes, which can effectively place devices or systems in sleep mode when not in use, resonated with 24% of the participants. They emphasized the importance of features like “auto power off” and applauded the design of the new generation of surveillance cameras and sensor devices, which incorporate advanced image processing technology and sleep modes to reduce energy consumption.

Sustainable storage solutions, focusing on data transmission and storage optimization, garnered the attention of 7% of respondents. This technology is aimed at enhancing data transmission efficiency and indirectly reducing power consumption during data transport, processing, and storage.

A substantial 41% of respondents emphasized the significance of wireless connections and reduced cabling for improved power allocation and management. They cited examples such as PoE access control, solar CCTV technology, and low-power wireless communication technology for data transmission between security devices. These green technologies were lauded for not only conserving energy but also for saving space and resources.

The discussion also turned to virtualized computing via the cloud, with 29% of respondents endorsing this approach as a means to consolidate servers and reduce IT power and administration costs. They mentioned migration to the cloud, remote programming, maintenance, and solar-powered cameras with cloud storage.

Furthermore, 18% of participants underscored the importance of video compression techniques in reducing hardware, space, and power requirements. They praised innovations like smart codecs that minimize storage needs.

Finally, 12% of respondents discussed storage options, whether onboard or stored on the edge, to minimize centralized storage. They pointed to energy-saving hard disks, flash storage such as SSDs and memory cards, and decentralized systems featuring multi-sensors and energy-efficient cameras with PoE capabilities.

Sustainable manufacturing

While the focus of our inquiry centered on green technology, it is noteworthy that a significant portion (16%) of the participants discussed the concept of sustainable manufacturing. This shows that this is a predominant aspect they associate with the broader topic of green and sustainability practices in the security industry.

Accessible pricing encourages more users to use eco-friendly products, resulting in increased energy and cost savings, thus perpetuating the cycle of sustainability and business benefits

Use of environmentally friendly materials during production with emphasis on sustainability and durability

A significant 23% of participants directed their attention toward the use of environmentally friendly materials in the production of security equipment. These discussions revolved around the manufacturers’ growing concern for eco-friendly materials, which not only reduce the use of harmful substances but also minimize the environmental impact during both manufacturing and product disposal. Participants emphasized the significance of recyclable materials and sustainably designed security products. Furthermore, the emphasis was placed on developing products with increased sustainability, utilizing more durable materials to reduce the need for replacement or repair, while also enhancing energy efficiency. Some manufacturers now offer products with extended warranties and materials that are recyclable and reusable, promoting sustainability not only in the products themselves but also in their packaging.

What channel players care about

Now, let’s look at how these practices influence purchasing behavior and identify the key factors that hold greater importance as well as the trajectory of green and low-carbon initiatives within the security industry in the near future.

Prioritize device design and features

When making purchasing decisions, security channel players prioritize device design and features, followed by brand name and price. Green sustainability practices ranked last.

Although the majority of survey respondents indicated that green and low-carbon initiatives were very important to them, it is evident that when it comes to actual purchasing decisions, practicalities take precedence.

Device design and features, brand reputation, and pricing have immediate and tangible implications that impact day-to-day business operations. Green and low-carbon initiatives may be seen as long-term goals that are less immediately relevant to a security channel player’s business. This primarily has to do with upfront costs and hassles associated with transitioning/integrating green technology or practices. It is also possible that security professionals don’t readily see how current green solutions align with the specific needs of their projects.

This underscores the need for accessible, cost-effective, and practical green solutions and market education to encourage an industry shift towards a more balanced consideration of practicalities and sustainability in future purchasing decisions.

Adopting greener products would ensure that their security solutions and practices align with upcoming environmental standards, avoiding potential fines or penalties

Product durability and designs with low energy consumption top the list

In terms of green device design, security channel players placed the highest importance on product durability, followed closely by designs with low energy consumption. Sustainable storage and energy-saving modes came in third place, with alternative energy sources and sustainable materials in device production following closely behind.

Product durability is crucial for security solutions (e.g., video surveillance and access control) where downtime and frequent maintenance can have significant consequences. Moreover, durability and energy efficiency features can translate to tangible cost savings in both the short and long term. The relatively lower emphasis on sustainable storage, alternative energy sources, and sustainable materials indicates that, at present, practical functionality takes precedence over eco-friendly considerations in purchasing decisions.

Of note though is that while solar-powered security devices were the most recognized green technology among respondents, this surprisingly only ranked fourth in this list. Nonetheless, there is a growing demand for solar-powered devices in various projects.

Brand recognition plays a major role

Of the highest importance to security channel players is brand recognition, particularly brands that are eco-conscious and possess industry green certifications. Following closely behind is the emphasis on sustainable manufacturing and manufacturers that exclusively partner with sustainable suppliers adhering to strict environmental standards.

When brands make their eco-friendly stance and industry green certifications easily identifiable, it makes it easier for security channel players to make informed choices, which creates more business opportunities. This labeling also fosters credibility while providing brands with a competitive advantage by offering sustainable solutions and options that will bring about long-term cost savings.

The role of eco-friendly materials and reduced carbon footprint in the supply chain

Survey respondents placed nearly equal importance on using eco-friendly materials for packaging and reducing carbon footprint through the supply chain.

Overall, 80% of the survey respondents cited sustainable supply chains as an important consideration. This approach would involve optimizing transportation logistics and packaging practices to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. 79% supported the eco-conscious efforts of manufacturers to reduce their carbon footprint through sustainable packaging to reduce waste (e.g., by eliminating excessive plastic packaging and using biodegradable materials). This was reaffirmed when both Western and Asian respondents affirmed their preference for green packaging options in a follow-up question, thus signifying an overall promising shift toward more eco-conscious consumer behavior.

Durability and energy efficiency features can translate to tangible cost savings over both the short and long-term

Balance between environmental consciousness and practical necessities

To ensure a comprehensive survey, respondents were invited to identify any factors that may have been overlooked. Remarkably, the majority of comments in this section circled back to practical considerations as their focal point.

Procurement priorities

An overwhelming 59% of the comments honed in on quality and performance as paramount factors. These remarks underscored the significance of factors such as quality, performance, and price when making procurement decisions. For instance, participants noted that it is necessary to understand the demand, the brand and its reputation. Second, after the comparison of price and performance in total, they will choose the equipment with higher cost performance. Additionally, they pointed out that procurement decisions need to encompass equipment selection, brand selection, technical specifications, price comparison, service support, and compliance requirements to ensure the acquisition of suitable equipment and services. Furthermore, the overall cost-effectiveness of the equipment, including the price, operational and maintenance costs, and energy consumption, was emphasized.

ROI and cost

For 41% of respondents, ROI (Return on Investment) and cost played a central role in their considerations. The importance of aligning pricing with benefits and considering the return on investment was emphasized. Participants acknowledged the significance of factors like availability and comparative pricing. They also noted that while green and sustainable features were vital, they should not lead to significantly more expensive technology compared to existing options.


Challenges to adopting green practices in the security industry

The primary challenges identified by respondents in this section align with the survey responses discussed above. While the adoption of green and low-carbon practices is on the rise, they are not yet recognized as essential in the security industry. This indicates an opportunity for market education, with a focus on making it easier for channel players to pick and choose between solutions while demonstrating the tangible ROI, highlighting practical features/functionalities, and addressing any issues relating to the integration of these green devices and technologies into existing solutions.
When asked about additional support or resources needed in the security industry for the adoption of green and low-carbon practices, respondents underscored the need to streamline the process for channel players to assess products and make informed comparisons. This includes providing clear and accessible information about a product’s energy efficiency and compliance with recognized green standards. Additionally, they need case studies to illustrate the benefits of adopting green and low carbon practices to their bottom line and the environment. In the words of one respondent, “environmental solutions must not impact the Quality of Service (QoS): it must be a net-positive.”

While green and sustainable features are vital, they should not lead to significantly more expensive technology compared to existing options

Future of green and low carbon practices in the security industry

When inquired about the adoption of green and low carbon practices in the coming years, the overall responses convey a positive outlook, with only 4.7% respondents saying that sustainability would still not be a priority for the security industry.

The majority of survey participants (22.9%) anticipate that manufacturers will be able to attract a broader customer base and stand out in the market by clearly demonstrating their eco-conscious features, branding, and certifications. Channel players and end users are also expected to anticipate and prepare for stricter government regulations in the near future (22.6%). Adopting greener products would ensure that their security solutions and practices align with upcoming environmental standards, avoiding potential fines or penalties.

Another 22.6% indicated that technology advancements will make greener products less expensive, making them more accessible to a wider audience. This would potentially create a self-reinforcing cycle: accessible pricing encourages more users to use eco-friendly products, resulting in increased energy and cost savings, thus perpetuating the cycle of sustainability and business benefits.


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