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Shaping a Sustainable Future: HID’s Vision for Digital Access Control

by Geny Caloisi

Technology and sustainability have become a focal point for global organisations in the security landscape. A case in point is HID Global, an innovator in access control, security, and identity management solutions, pioneering efforts to integrate digital access control technologies with sustainability initiatives.

For the first time, HID exhibited on its stand at this year’s The Security Event in Birmingham instead of being part of the Assa Abloy stand in previous years. Here, it showcased its latest advancements in access control and our modern ways of living, working, and interacting.

We talked to Gerald Grattoni, Vice President and Head of Mature Markets for Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) at HID, about HID’s approach towards sustainability and its role in shaping the future of digital access control technologies.

The manufacturing of plastic RFID access cards generates a great deal of waste. Research shows over 550 million access cards are sold annually, resulting in 2,700 tons of plastic waste and 11,400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Embracing Environmental Responsibility

HID recognises the environmental impact of traditional plastic RFID access cards and is committed to mitigating this through innovative solutions. Grattoni says, “Shifting away from plastic cards to mobile access – and use of digital credentials – is environmentally beneficial.” Organisations reduce plastic waste and streamline access management processes by transitioning to mobile IDs. Moreover, HID offers eco-friendly alternatives, such as cards made from sustainable materials like bamboo.

“Our research shows that within the next five years, at least 80% of end-user firms say they will shift to mobile IDs,” Grattoni emphasises, and ads, “Our partners say it will be 94%. The point is that there’s a massive shift going on in the access control industry.”

Their reader technology shows that energy efficiency is another priority for HID. Grattoni highlights the Signo family of readers with “Intelligent Power Mode,” which reduces power consumption by entering sleep mode when inactive. HID’s commitment to sustainability extends to its operations, as demonstrated by its LEED platinum-certified global headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Driving Sustainability Through Innovation

HID leverages digital access control technology to catalyse broader sustainability initiatives. A fact that only a few might consider is that HID had designed Signo not only to be future-proof and mobile reader-enabled but also physically. The units are small and weigh 38% less than other industry readers. Unit per unit might look tiny, but considering the difference in cargo, a third lighter can save fuel and storage. The Signo reader can also reduce an organisation’s power consumption by 30%.

Virtual cards are the optimal green solution and streamline the access control’s life cycle. By integrating HID Mobile Access with smart building software, organisations achieve seamless and secure access while optimising resource usage. Access control management and allocation can be done remotely and securely as the integration with mobile technology also includes biometrics.

Grattoni explains, “Combining access control data with location information enables better space utilisation, leading to energy savings and financial benefits. There’s less need for admin and no physical card waste. Using mobile technology removes the friction in access control.”

HID’s focus on innovation extends to partnerships with industry leaders like Google Wallet, enhancing the accessibility and efficiency of their solutions.

Empowering Informed Choices

Grattoni says that most of its partners and companies they work with recognise and endorse eco-friendly initiatives. However, one of the difficulties he encounters is that the market could be more cohesive. Systems are often different, and so are their applications and regulations.

Part of HID’s mission is to educate organisations about what’s available and how to help create a sustainable teaching ecosystem.

Education and empowerment are integral to HID’s sustainability strategy. Grattoni stresses its efforts to integrate sustainability into corporate culture and engage customers through various channels, including meetings, presentations, and webinars. HID’s investment in promoting the benefits of mobile access underscores its commitment to driving sustainable practices within the industry. Furthermore, HID empowers customers with future-proof solutions, offering upgrade paths that accommodate evolving technological landscapes while minimising environmental impact.

During TSE, HID revealed its new HID Seos Essential Bundle, simplifying installation and deployment for small—to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Europe.

Digital and sustainable futures

HID envisions a future where digital access control technologies seamlessly integrate with sustainability principles. Grattoni underscores HID’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions across their value chain by 2050, aligning with broader environmental goals. As digitalisation transforms access control, HID remains at the forefront, shaping a future where security, convenience, and sustainability converge.

HID’s approach to digital access control reflects a steadfast commitment to sustainability and innovation. The company has adopted and implemented its green initiatives in all its offices worldwide.

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