How the choice of network video and audio impacts sustainability

Organizations across all industries are increasingly adopting sustainable practices. This is being largely driven by consumers, from retail customers through to users of public services such as transport or healthcare. The push to greater sustainability is also being made by investors and wider stakeholders, including politicians, campaigners and even celebrities.

Environmental considerations are vital, but today, sustainability involves far more, not least social and economic requirements.  Globally recognized sustainable development goals (SDGs) are presented in the UN Global Compact, and there’s also a practical need for organizations to take action. Just as greenwashing can negatively impact reputation, consumers are also looking for sustainable practices that span all organizational operations.

While network cameras are just one part of a business’s operational technology, it’s important for an organization to partner with a technology provider they can trust to uphold values in sustainability. An organization’s credentials can be undermined through a partnership that isn’t sustainable. This means that technology manufacturers need to demonstrate ethical behavior throughout all their relationships, as well as developing products that minimize environmental impact.

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 their own strong sustainability credentials.

Respect & protect

Respect for people is key to achieving sustainability goals across organizational relationships. Like all suppliers, a camera technology provider should follow robust legal frameworks relating to its own workforce as well as those of its suppliers, from equal opportunities through to health & safety. Camera technology can also help organizations ensure the safety of their own employees.

Body worn cameras help protect workers, including the emergency services through to healthcare providers, by creating a deterrent to aggressive behavior. Meanwhile, cameras can also provide remote monitoring to efficiently cover multiple locations. This helps create safe and sustainable environments for operatives working alone, as well as in higher risk areas, such as those involving high electrical power or machinery.

For the public too, an effective camera network increases safety. Here, the technology is also useful in supporting the sustainability goal of achieving universal access to safe spaces, especially for more vulnerable members of society. By improving situational awareness, cameras can help achieve safer cities through deterrence as well as improving investigations when offences take place. Camera generated data can also help predict crime trends, enabling preventative measures to increase safety.

Moving to our roads, a UN sustainability goal is to halve the number of deaths and injuries from accidents. Cameras play a crucial role in increasing safety by identifying accident areas to enhance prevention, as well as deterring offences. When accidents happen, cameras are a vital tool to rapidly coordinate swift attendance of the emergency services.

Protecting our planet

While cameras have a fundamental role to improve safety and security, it’s important to ensure that the materials and processes used to make these devices are sustainable. The network camera manufacturer should use “green“ and recycled materials as much as possible, as well as removing hazardous substances. Manufacturing a durable camera will also ensure a long lifecycle. Even when replaced, long lasting cameras can be repurposed within the circular economy, converting them to a different application.

A common requirement placed on suppliers is the ability to demonstrate CO2 and fossil fuel reduction targets, and prospective camera technology providers should be included in this. As cameras can collect and analyze data relating to emissions, the right technology can also help an organization achieve its own environmental sustainability targets.

This approach is especially true for cities and their planners, as the highest energy consumers as well as the areas with the highest emissions. For example, optimizing traffic control by monitoring use based on emissions is a common approach in cities across Europe. Managing vehicle access, cameras can reduce congestion to improve air quality and help cities reduce their CO2 emissions.

Cameras can also help critical infrastructure and other industrial operations optimize operational efficiency and support environmental safety. This is achieved by monitoring areas within an industrial site where emissions from burning excess gases may be present, or where harmful leaks of oil or chemicals may occur.

To ensure the camera network itself operates with optimum efficiency, data compression technology can reduce energy consumption while maintaining forensic details, full resolution, and frame rate.

Innovate responsibly

While camera collected data can help an organization improve sustainability, protecting that data is vital from a legal and ethical standpoint. Connecting surveillance cameras to a communications network carries an inherent risk that can be used as an entry point by cyber criminals. It’s vital to partner with a network camera provider that has a commitment to strong cybersecurity, which forms a crucial aspect of technology innovation.

Particularly within the security & surveillance technology market, it’s also key to work with a partner that can demonstrate innovation only for ethical purposes that do not infringe human rights or contravene privacy laws. Camera technology should be developed in adherence to frameworks such as GDPR and codes of conduct from legislative regions like the EU that have a commitment to upholding ethical practices.

Innovative technology development can also enable services that are more sustainable by improving their quality and ease of use, both for the provider as well as the service user. For example, by ensuring security, cameras enable unmanned retail stores with the convenience of 24/7 safe access. And while cameras can optimize security with technology including artificial intelligence (AI), ethical development means detections and actions within the software must not include biases or profiling of citizens under surveillance.

A trustworthy partner

A commitment to mutual trust is vital for a sustainable business relationship. Across all supplier partnerships, trust is vital to prevent unethical practices through to criminal dealings such as bribery and corruption. When selecting a camera technology partner, the Ecovadis ranking is a useful guide, providing an independent organizational sustainability rating.

Trust in a technology partnership is also based on honesty and openness in communication and information sharing. Sustainability means network camera technology should be built on an open platform, enabling easier and transparent data sharing. An open source platform also means greater potential for long term scalable development.

A sustainable network camera provider

While partnership with an ethical camera technology provider is just one of many relationships across the supply chain, the right selection is important to ensure sustainability. A trusted network camera provider can help an organization uphold their own sustainability program, but more than this, the right technology partner can enhance the sustainability of operations across environmental, social, and economic spheres.

When it comes to technological innovations and sustainability standards in the network camera industry, Axis is a driving force. Find out more about the Axis sustainability commitments.

Sustainability commitments