Taking responsibility for the impact on the environment is a 21st-century challenge for all businesses. For some organisations, green credentials are an important consideration when purchasing any equipment they use.
How do the IP camera brands we supply at Network Webcams compare when looking at their environmental responsibility policies? To see how green your IP camera is, we researched 8 manufacturers to see how easily we could discover their stance on the environment. Do they highlight their goals and commitments to being more energy efficient? How are they reducing their carbon footprint or minimising the materials used in their products? How do they reduce waste?
For a brief overview of our findings, please see the table below which indicates which aspects we were able to easily find and learn about for each brand, via their own respective websites.
|Energy efficient products|
|Reducing CO2 emissions|
|Promoting a greener brand|
|Reducing hazardous materials|
We’ve summarised a little more about what we discovered for each brand below.
As you can see from the table above, Axis have made it very easy to learn more about their stance on environmental responsibility. Axis treats sustainability as a natural part of their operations and takes long-term responsibility for minimising the environmental impact of their products. Their efforts include climate compensation company-specific transports, reducing energy consumption at all Axis offices, optimising logistics flows & product packaging, lowering carbon emissions and using more recycled plastic. Each year since 2010 Axis have produced annual & sustainability reports that highlight their work for that year and the new strides they are taking – see the 2016 report. Axis covers all the bases and it’s great to see that they even think of the little things, such as giving all permanent employees at its Lund headquarters a bicycle – a nice touch.
Bosch appears to be taking their environmental responsibility very seriously. Conducting business in a sustainable manner is part of their ethos and they have proven this in 2008 by setting targets such as a 20% reduction in total CO2 emissions by 2020 (target since amended to 35%) and cutting down the energy required for lighting production halls by 60%. Their corporate stance on environmental issues can be dated back to 1973. In recent years they have won a number of awards across many of their bases for their continued work in this area. Bosch's website contains a timeline of their environmental protection milestones.
It is clear that based on information from the Hikvision website that they have a strong focus on being as efficient as possible and keenly invest in R&D for innovation. Unfortunately, it seems there’s not so much of a focus on corporate social responsibility. After a great deal of searching, we were unable to find any mention of their green credentials or environmental goals. Enquiries with Hikvision directly have not been fruitful either and we’re sure customers will quickly draw their own conclusions about this Chinese giant’s stance on the environment. Note that for ethical reasons we no longer stock Hikvision products.
LILIN was also a difficult brand to find relevant information regarding green credentials. They state that they comply with EU standards and carry out regular random checks of components received from their suppliers, ensuring they meet Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliance. This is good news but we were unable to find any information beyond this that indicated that they’re setting their own targets and actively working on issues such as waste reduction and recycling. For a brief summary on LILIN, you can visit their about section.
Update from LILIN - 09/06/17: Following publication of this blog post, LILIN let us know that it's working towards the environmental management standard ISO 140001 and that it was the first manufacturer to introduce EnergyStar monitor support on its NVRs. This enables monitors to be put into powersave mode after a period of inactivity and the feature is now configurable on all of its recorders.
We have still not received any links to LILIN's environmental policies or any corporate social responsibility policies.
Mobotix aim to deliver improved energy efficiency – “Choosing a Mobotix video system means choosing Green IP video’’ - the key to this ethos is in their product design. Mobotix use PoE for low energy costs and their decentralised design means a reduction in energy-consuming servers and storage, but although these features are a core part of Mobotix’s energy-efficient approach, they’re not unique to Mobotix. They can, however, boast about their weather resistant camera housings - with cameras that do not require heaters to operate in cold temperatures and the fact their cameras also do not have moving parts, thus requiring little maintenance and being more sustainable.
The information that Mobotix publishes regarding their green credentials is focused on the product range and can be found in some of their product brochures or E-newsletters such as their “ Mobotix News 4/13”. We were unable to find any information regarding their approach to other environmental issues such as CO2 or waste reduction, materials used in packaging or transportation policies.
In 2007, Panasonic launched their ‘Eco Ideas’ strategy to accelerate their activities towards achieving coexistence with the global environment. This strategy is made up of 3 main objectives or ‘Eco Ideas’ that they promise to promote. These include:-
- Produce more energy-efficient products, while eliminating those which don’t meet the criteria
- Reduce CO2 emissions across all of their manufacturing sites
- Encouraging the spread of environmental activities throughout the world
Since this, Panasonic have also launched ‘ Green Plan 2018’ in the hopes of stepping up their environmental efforts to reach their goals by their 100th anniversary. Panasonic have a helpful environmental portal for you to learn more about their environmental efforts and policies.
Sony sees global environmental conservation as a critical issue in the 21st century and works aggressively to help create a sustainable society. As seen with other brands, Sony comply with current EU legislation in relation to materials purchased, but takes this one step further by creating the “Sony Green Partner Standards” in 2001. The aim is to encourage suppliers to introduce Green Partner environmental management systems, and as of 2003, Sony only procures parts and materials solely from suppliers that have qualified as Green Partners. Sony has also invested heavily in the use of renewable energy.
Unfortunately, with Sony’s huge product portfolio, it’s difficult to find environmental information that relates specifically to their IP cameras, but they do have a corporate social responsibility website resource page.
Vivotek are very much like Axis and Bosch in understanding the importance of making their environmental policies as public as possible. Some of their aims are to reduce energy consumption and emissions during the entire life cycle of a product, adopting a greener design for both products and packaging, and to regulate and eliminate the use of hazardous substances. To see more details on what is involved in these processes, Vivotek have set up their own portal called “ Green Vivotek”, which lists all the goals and certifications that they have amassed over recent years – a handy tool.
Axis, Bosch, Panasonic and Vivotek are the clear front runners when it comes to making it easy for end-users to discover their stance on the continued sustainability of our environment. We were impressed by the level of detail that these brands provided and what aims and goals they have set. We’d have expected to have seen more information from the other brands and perhaps that information does live in the depths of their websites somewhere, but it really should be much easier to find!
NW partners more strongly and closely with vendors who have a strong environmental and sustainability agenda.