Energy Efficiency Improves with ‘Green Guarding’

In the security industry, a key success factor is the ability to sense changing requirements and adapt accordingly. For most security professionals this means recommending the latest access control, visitor management or even secure identity technology. And, this is excellent since there continue to be many advancements in these areas.

Often, guards may encourage other kinds of technology or even services — in energy efficiency, for example. Just think how helpful it would be to also be able to offer “green” or sustainability solutions as well, either via in-house capabilities or by partnering with other companies.

Green Guarding is a concept through which security officers on patrol at a building are trained to be knowledgeable in energy efficiency and sustainability. Security officers are in a unique position to see most areas of a building, so they can identify areas where companies can be more ‘green’.  Security guards are trained observers, so although their while not necessarily one of their primary responsibilities, guards can often notice opportunities to promote a more sustainable environment while fine-tuning their skill set.

For example, while patrolling a company’s perimeter and parking lot, an astute security officer might notice that the lighting systems are old and therefore are not very bright while drawing a lot of electricity. He or she could recommend a new light emitting diode (LED) lighting system for the parking lot that would greatly enhance security while cutting energy costs.

For example, in Oakland, Calif., the City of Oakland transformed an antiquated parking garage at 1250 Martin Luther King Way into a safer, ultramodern energy efficient facility by installing state-of-the-art high-efficiency fluorescent and LED lighting, and wireless (Zigbee) lighting controls that reduced energy use. The energy saving enhancements also allowed for the installation of several ChargePoint EV charging stations, without the need to upgrade the facility’s existing electrical system. The result was a dramatic 45% energy savings, and new electronic vehicle (EV) charging stations.  Certainly, the revamped lighting also provides peace of mind to those visiting the garage as well.

While inside buildings, security guards can spot other ways to be green or sustainable, too. For example a guard on patrol might identify areas where heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are not working properly or could be upgraded. Additionally, listening for drip system leaks, smelling excessive fumes and touching electronics to determine if they are hot and still powered after hours are all simple methods to identify wasteful practices that could be rectified in an effort to be lean and green.

Eric Crabb is Vice President – Service Integration at ABM Security Services. For more information about ABM Security Services and ABM Energy Services, go to

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