Building a better world by embracing smarter possibilities
The promise of a better world has driven human achievement across the centuries. In today’s world, the tools we have at our disposal make the goal of building a better world more achievable than ever before. We can monitor, measure and analyse the impact of our activities in real time. Through the unprecedented reach of today’s corporate supply chains and the globalised economy, we can leverage technology to scale positive impact and amplify its effects exponentially.
At Axis, we believe that innovation and technology should be an enabler which improves people’s lives and delivers a positive societal impact. Ethical values are intrinsic to doing business in the 21st century. It’s what we mean in our vision statement, which guides everything we do: Innovating for a Smarter, Safer World.
Technology can amplify this discontent, by acting against citizens’ best interests, or it can work in harmony with society, acting as a tool to win trust. We live in the era of the fourth industrial revolution, in which the internet of things (IoT), cloud computing and big data can play a vital role in building a better world. But where do we start? Let’s look at two of the greatest challenges we currently face.
Human activity is putting unprecedented stress on our world, but we can work to reduce our impact by living more efficiently. People living in urban areas account for a disproportionate 60-80% of global energy consumption and 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Investing in Smart City technology can have a huge impact on balancing these numbers and help many cities reach their sustainability goals by 2030.
Axis’ approach to sustainability is reflected by our commitment to the UN Global Compact, which we signed in 2007. Its principles have provided guidance and underpinned our sustainability work and strategy for over a decade. Axis actively contributes to some of the UN’s 17 global sustainable development goals (SDGs), which include sustainable cities, responsible production, climate action and improving health and wellbeing.
One of the pillars of Axis’ approach to Smart Cities is the potential for environmental monitoring through sensors and cameras to improve the systems that underpin urban living. For example, city-wide street lighting consumes up to 5% of the entire energy output in many nations. IoT sensors are a great way to collect information; imagine a future in which audio sensors detect a car approaching and turn on a streetlight, or in which video from surveillance cameras can be used to adjust lighting according to weather conditions.
All of the tools that make the fourth industrial revolution possible bring with them the risk of cybercrime and security breaches. If we don’t act responsibly, these risks may outweigh the benefits and possibilities that the connected digital age affords.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has estimated that cybersecurity issues cost businesses $600bn a year, rising to $1trillion by 2025. The tech industry often fails to identify and act proactively around security issues. There are concerns that many consumer and enterprise devices on the market are not “secure by design”, containing poor quality code and having no long-term support plan with regular patches and firmware upgrades.
Thanks to our commitments in this area, Axis is honoured to have been part of a workgroup contributing to the UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Secure by Design and Secure by Default standards. These will be announced at IFSEC and are intended to help the video surveillance industry be more resilient in relation to cybersecurity.
Technology with ethical values
We are privileged, in our industry, to be in a position to bring about positive change. Through IoT, big data and cloud technologies, we can strive for a better way of living, addressing some of the biggest global challenges we face in the world today. But it’s important to also recognise that company ethics and the values of those responsible for designing, building and deploying these technologies are as important as the technologies themselves.