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Sustainability in security – what does it really mean?

Sustainability in security – what does it really mean?
Sustainability has now become sort of a mantra in many industries, including security. So what does sustainability in security mean, and what does it take to be a sustainable company in the industry? This article takes a closer look.
Sustainability has now become sort of a mantra in many industries, including security. So what does sustainability in security mean, and what does it take to be a sustainable company in the industry? This article takes a closer look.
Sustainability has become a much heard and discussed term. But how do you define it? Perhaps the following from the United Nations may shed some light. In 1987, the UN Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as: “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The commission went on to say: “Today, there are almost 140 developing countries in the world seeking ways of meeting their development needs, but with the increasing threat of climate change, concrete efforts must be made to ensure development today does not negatively affect future generations.”

Sustainable solutions providers

Indeed, sustainability is important and is something that all industries should work towards, including security.
“The planet is facing a climate emergency, resources are being depleted, biodiversity is decreasing at a rapid pace, and human rights are still being violated in many parts of the world. These situations, or trends if you will, are affecting and challenging sustainability in any industry, and the security industry is no exception,” said Carl Trotzig, Director for Quality and Environment at Axis Communications. “Sustainability is not just important for the security industry, but for all industries. Businesses are becoming more trusted than the government, resulting in companies that are expected to initiate change and to lead amid some of the most pressing global challenges.”
That said, how to companies address these challenges, and what qualifies as a sustainable vendor/supplier/solutions provider in security? We take a look in the following.

Use of green materials

Since biodiversity loss is a major threat to sustainability, using green materials that do less or no harm to the environment is key. Trotzig cited his own company as an example.
“Axis has a list of banned and restricted substances, including both substances that are already regulated by law and substances that aren’t restricted yet will likely be so in future. We believe it’s very important to us to not just wait for legislation, but rather be one step ahead. This proactivity is a competitive advantage, ensuring we are ready for upcoming legal regulations, creating a more robust business, and enabling us to offer customers products that are free from hazardous substances,” Trotzig said. “At Axis, we have set a goal to ensure that all Axis-designed products launched 2025 are free from brominated and chlorinated flame retardants (BFR and CFR). We are also phasing out PVC (polyvinyl chloride). 80 percent of Axis cameras are already PVC-free.”

Product durability

To minimize impact to the environment, manufacturers should make their products durable. This is to ensure that when they are replaced at a certain point, they can be repurposed for different applications. Long-term software support should be provided in order to support a long and cyber-secure use life, Trotzig said.


Operations-wise, security companies should employ business practices that can help achieve sustainable development goals.
“A security solutions provider should reduce the sustainability impact throughout their value chain. For example, by switching to fossil free energy in manufacturing, minimizing transports, conducting human rights due diligence in the supply chain, and designing products and technologies with environmental impact and human rights in mind,” Trotzig said. “That said, it’s imperative that manufacturers conduct research into their supply chains to determine where materials have been produced, how they have been sourced, and understand their wider social and environmental impact.”


All industries today are expected to have knowledge about the impact they have throughout their whole value chain and to be able to report on its progress. “At Axis, we have noticed that many companies we do business with are showing increasing interest in where product components and materials are coming from. To be transparent and be able to share the right information is key,” Trotzig noted.

Helping customers achieve sustainability

To ensure sustainability, it is also incumbent upon the solutions provider to help their customers achieve their sustainability targets.
“Customers will have their own sustainability goals and ambitions, and it’s important that solution providers can help and guide the customer. The goal of any solution provider should be to be a role model and knowledge partner. Working with the right camera provider can help an organization, such as a business or city authority, improve the sustainability of the service they provide. To achieve this, it’s key to work with a supplier that can not only provide the right technology, but who also has strong sustainability credentials,” Trotzig said.

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