Monitoring green?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

YARMOUTH, Maine--"Funny you should ask," said Jim McMullen, president of C.O.P.S., after being queried as to whether his company was doing anything to go green. "We're looking into alternate energy sources, we have a commitment and if we can make the numbers work out, we're looking at doing solar panels or windmills."
The company's vice president of finance, Dan Barberra, has recently been charged to work on a "green project" for C.O.P.S. Barberra lives in Atlantic City, where the school system was awarded a grant project to use wind power. "[Barberra will] be talking to some of the people who set up energy for the casinos," McMullen added, "and they're talking in N.J. about putting these windmills offshore." He said it made good financial sense to try it out, and an added benefit is that, "We would like to participate as a company in helping the environment." As a company, C.O.P.S., which monitors 400,000 accounts nationwide, is looking into this green initiative first in its N.J. office, where it also may install solar panels, and then has plans to expand to Arizona. In their Florida central, "Solar panels won't work because of the hurricane situation."
At PerMar Security in Des Moines, Iowa, going green is also "something we're beginning to think about," said Jeffrey McAleer, vice president and general manager, electronic security. PerMar monitors accounts primarily in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, although it has subscribers in 38 states across the country. "It's becoming more of a conversation here. A lot of the companies we do work with see it as an important thing. A lot of manufacturers are really interested in being green, and those concerns are starting to funnel into every industry, including security. They're asking our dealers what the equipment in our systems is made of, what parts are able to be recycled, including the components."
Many times, the security directors are the ones driving the green train. "When we go to a manufacturing facility, anywhere from an airline to a food producer, the security directors are making it more of a priority to be green," said McAleer. "They want to know who we are buying from, and what they are doing to be green. They ask us, 'What is Honeywell doing, what is DMP or DSC doing to be more green?'"
HSM is ridding itself of paper. "The most significant initiative in our center has been the process of moving to a paperless environment for all day-to-day work transactions," director of PNC Steve Walker said in an email. "We made the change in early 2006 to stop printing customer communications and process all information and change requests electronically. This initiative has reduced our paper consumption by 5,000 sheets per day."
At Jade Alarm in Kansas City, "Our SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) batteries are disposed of with an 'approved' recycler," said president Joe Pfefer. In addition, "we have a 55-gallon container here that we will constantly fill with our scrap pieces of wire. At the end of the year, we 'cash in' the drums and it helps with our end-of-year party." And, "As a company we do our best to make sure the chemicals we utilize are environmentally friendly. We use the newer anti-freeze in all of our 16 vehicles and AMSOIL synthetic lubricants as well--the advantages being higher mileage and oil changes are once per year--saving the environment on all that pollution of wasted oil."
Said C.O.P.S.'s McMullen, "Since oil prices might go up, we have to do everything to reduce our costs for our dealers--we use a tremendous amount of electricity. We are looking into making ourselves green. That encompasses going through our building and evaluating it ... it's happening literally right now."