Corporate interest and participation in sustainability practices are not abstract or theoretical goals, but are genuine intrinsic measures which when applied successfully, can result in positive results for a company, its employees, and the world around it.
Business strategies which embrace corporate environmental responsibility and sustainability, are those which are positives for all stakeholders. VIRSIG, LLC., an American rapidly burgeoning security technology firm focused on protecting both people and infrastructure, may not yet be a major Fortune 500 company such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Anixter or Honeywell, but what VIRSIG does have in common, is that it takes corporate sustainability—as policy, and practice—passionately.
It does not take much for a company to enter into the practice of sustainability, but it does take some commitment. There are myriad of ways to get started in this arena.
VIRSIG entered into the fold several years ago by selecting United Parcel Service (UPS) as their primary shipping agent for hardware and freight. They switched exclusively to UPS over any other carrier, for the opportunity to participate in UPS’s exclusive Carbon Neutral Program. This program provides VIRSIG the ability to counter balance the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the transportation of their packages and freight, through a third-party certified carbon offsetting program.
This means that for every ton of CO2 a package produces in transportation, an equivalent amount of CO2 is saved by a verified emission reduction project somewhere else in the world. By participating in the UPS carbon neutral program, VIRSIG directly supports emissions reduction projects, and ensures that they are leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Also, as in London, in some parts of America, UPS is starting to use zero-emission electric delivery vehicles—a great way for VIRSIG’s supply chain to ‘go green.’
Significant opportunity to reduce energy and by extension, greenhouse gasses, exists by helping clients save energy. When there is a proper fit, VIRSIG will always select Energy Star (a U.S. efficiency programme) compliant computers and servers which have power management features, that can reduce the use of 500kWh of electricity annually. This is equivalent to saving greenhouse gas emissions by taking an automobile off the road for 3 weeks or planting a grove of trees 70’ x 70’.
As part of VIRSIG’s overall sustainability strategy, the company adopted the ISO 26000 standards of practice toward socially responsible behaviour. These standards have been their framework to integrate social responsibility into their daily values and practices, and have made a positive impact that is relevant and significant to their mission.
VIRSIG understands that following ISO 26000 guidelines leads to encouraging better informed decision making, improving stakeholder relationships, promoting an organizational culture of continuous improvement and quality management, attracting, hiring and retaining top talent, increasing its competitive advantage including access to finance solutions, and achieving an enhanced reputation and strengthened credibility.
VIRSIG is committed to championing environmental sustainment by utilizing work practices which promote improved indoor air quality. This includes utilizing ‘green’ installation products whenever possible, such as low VOC (volatile organic compound) cables, solvents, and adhesives, which minimize off-gassing, as recommended by the U.S. Green Building Council—an organization VIRSIG is a member of. An example of VIRSIG’s commitment to being ‘green,’ is that when equipment was selected to be used for a major project—such as when VIRSIG strung miles of cable on poles for the New York City Marathon to power security cameras and networks, they leased aerial lift trucks which used modern ‘environmentally acceptable’ non-toxic, zinc-free, biodegradable, vegetable-based hydraulic oils and transmission fluids, which comply with American environmental regulatory agencies.
It need not matter if you’re a growing boutique security firm, a major national distributor, or one of the world’s largest companies, these days there is a need for all companies to do their part for society and the environment, and there is a place and a role for each company to find a sustainability plan which fits them. Barriers to change are generally washed away with a little information, and rallying your employees behind a company-wide commitment like this can be a positive for all.
To start the process, simply demonstrate a commitment through education—develop an understanding of what others in your industry are doing, then develop your own plan, and implement it.