Biometrics & AI: How Next-Gen Security is Going Green

Biometrics & AI: How Next-Gen Security is Going Green.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Biometrics & AI: How Next-Gen Security is Going Green.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Biometrics & AI: How Next-Gen Security is Going Green

With the real-world impact of the global climate crisis becoming clearer each day, businesses can no longer hide behind planned initiatives and promised organizational changes if they’re to realistically achieve sustainability targets. Lip service may fool some investors, but customers will struggle to ignore inaction as temperatures continue to rise and ecological damage worsens.

Though it could be argued society’s obsession with technology has accelerated some aspects of climate change, it may be that technological advancements help us to combat current crises. By reducing unnecessary waste and optimizing the efficiency of existing infrastructure, with support from smart building systems, organizations could measurably reduce carbon emissions. To expand on this idea, this post will explore how next-gen security is going green with biometrics and AI.

Eliminating material waste

There’s no escaping the fact that access control solutions are essential to the safe operation of modern businesses, with this technology helping to protect people and property from external threats. However, traditional access solutions reliant on mass-produced physical credentials are far from sustainable, requiring millions of plastic key cards and fobs to be produced every year. 

In fact, most security cards and key fobs are made from PVC, a highly durable plastic polymer that’s notoriously difficult to recycle, contributing significantly to the 85% of US-born plastic waste sent directly to landfills in an average year. Combine this with data suggesting over 17% of security cards need replacing each year, and the problem with material waste only worsens.

The solution? Biometric controls. By replacing physical credentials with biometric authentication, organizations can eliminate the need for unsustainable plastic cards. Property access is granted via facial recognition, iris/retina, gesture or fingerprint scans, with these forms of credential also being harder to fabricate for increased security. What’s more is that most biometric readers can be retrofitted into existing infrastructure, meaning hardware may not even need to be replaced.

It’s also important to note that biometric readers typically only draw power when they’re in use, resulting in a fairly energy-efficient access solution. Furthermore, these readers often receive less wear and tear than manually operated access systems as users don’t need to insert cards and they feature few moving parts, meaning devices will not need to be replaced as frequently.

Enhancing energy efficiency

It may come as no surprise that many industrial and commercial buildings are far from energy-efficient, with the US Environmental Protection Agency finding that 30% of the energy used in an average commercial property is ultimately wasted. Multiply this figure by the almost 6 million active commercial properties in the US and it becomes clear that this issue needs addressing.

Comprehensive networks of video security cameras are already a key component of business security systems, though these devices can also play a critical role in achieving sustainability. By integrating AI video analytics software into existing security camera systems, organizations are able to both improve physical security responses and significantly reduce energy waste.

Modern AI software is capable of analyzing how infrastructure is used on a daily basis, providing teams with insights regarding factors such as occupancy and utility use. This information can be used to inform the operation of existing HVAC and lighting systems to ensure that these devices are only engaged when absolutely necessary, dramatically improving energy efficiency metrics. 

AI-informed video security systems are particularly effective as they’re able to adapt to changing criteria, meaning machine learning algorithms can continuously assess facility use and suggest alterations to systems as requirements are revised. Coupling this technology with wider Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as temperature and motion sensors enables teams to create smart building management systems with the potential to reduce energy consumption by almost 30%.


The ongoing climate crisis simply cannot be ignored by commercial organizations any longer, though it’s important to remember that modern businesses are responsible for the safety and security of their employees. Rather than questioning the necessity of security technology, we should be exploring proven and actionable ways to create more sustainable security systems.

By eliminating material waste through the adoption of biometric access control systems, and acting to measurably improve energy efficiency with data-informed AI video analytics software, organizations and internal security teams can enact meaningful change within their industries. Continuing to support such developments will ensure next-gen security continues to stay green.

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