In the first of a two part blog, Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security Services, looks at the security industry’s green legacy.
Being ‘green’ and environmentally friendly is now expected of companies, whatever industry they operate in. It is because an increasing number of clients have become much more aware of the need for sustainable resources and the effect pollution has on the environment.
It’s reasonable to say that some security firms woke up to the green movement a long time ago whilst others still lag far behind. A lot of the decisions about whether to ‘go green’ are formulated in the boardroom or by an influential CEO. Commitment from the top is still one of the most critical factors that will determine an organisations stance on green issues.
Being ‘green’ is an area of growing importance for our clients so it’s important to make sure we not only meet their security requirements but overall CSR needs too. So what exactly does ‘going green’ mean? Why is it important to make sure that CSR is central to business strategy? And what can businesses do to improve their own green credentials?
It’s useful to look at some of the key elements of the green movement as a whole but by way of example, we have looked in more detail below at the concepts we have embraced at Magenta. We’ve always taken pioneering steps to promote green improvements as a part of our wider policies because CSR, sustainability and environmental issues are ever more important to clients.
Since 2001, when Magenta Security Services was the first manned security company to achieve ISO 14001:2004, we have continually improved our environmental practices and we are now considered the leader in the industry’s drive to be environmentally friendly. We’re proud to be a carbon neutral company – being the first security company in the UK to do so.
We have a fully operational fleet of LPG vehicles, had have recently made a significant investment in state-of-the-art electric cars and we try to live by the mantra – ‘recycle, reuse and reduce’. These elements combine and sit firmly within the company’s CSR policy.
In terms of our ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ policies we try to utilise practical methods to not only reduce the amount of waste we generate but to also reuse the waste. As an example, we converted equipment used across our sites to low voltage and low energy systems and invested in environmentally friendly lighting systems throughout our offices. This initiative alone has achieved a 50% reduction in Magenta’s electricity costs. The aim was to reduce energy usage by 35% by the end of 2012 but we have already beaten this target and we are now expecting to achieve a 75% reduction in energy use. Our longer term aim is the installation of solar panels on the roof of our headquarters. Alongside energy storage, this should almost negate our need to draw electricity from the grid.
Resource reduction has extended beyond electricity for Magenta in the last twelve months with a £25,000 investment in digital systems, allowing the creation of a paperless office. This will save more than 250 reams (125,000 pages) each year. The recycling efforts of the company are measured, enabling us to state with confidence that we have saved hundreds of trees.
In the next blog we look at how staff engagement can improve an organisations environmental strategy.
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