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Will We See a Carbon-Neutral Lock?

I am sure we will have one at some point. Between now and whenever that happens, there is an opportunity for the smart lock and access control industry to figure out its swagger when it comes to its sustainability strategy and messaging.

At IMAC, we plan to spend the month of November focused on stories related to sustainability and environmental concerns. Putting aside the home automation use cases of turning off lights and HVAC when a door is locked," there is a story for our industry to tell as it pertains to the multifamily market (broader but we will focus here). There are societal impacts, marketing benefits, talent acquisition opportunities, and revenue to be made by being more environmentally conscious. We have seen all the lock manufacturers take this more seriously over the years. Recently, SALTO System announced its "smart locking manufacturing plant achiev[ing] carbon-neutral status." Allegion has had a well-documented program. As part of their quarterly financial report, Assa Abloy announced, "commit[ed] to science-based sustainability targets." That is all great and should be celebrated.

But how do we break down the macro stories, bring them down to the micro, and apply them to market segments like multifamily? What does it all mean? We need to create an industry narrative the same way we have done with fire ratings that become second nature to how we perform and is easily understood. Make it second nature. Sustainability seems like a place we can rally together and set an industry standard. Just like we did for school safety.

For instance:

  • Build products that are reusable, last longer, and stay out of landfills. Primarily as software drives the product selection more, we cannot afford it, and the world does not need the product to be thrown away because they want to, for example, use Zwave instead of Zigbee. As Rob Martens has said often and I 100% agree on, "we need modularity."
  • Reduce the hazardous materials we use like chemicals, glues, and packaging in manufacturing. SALTO has a great story they are going to share on the stickers they use. What other stories like this exist?
  • Reduce the amount of precious natural resources we use in manufacturing: Like water. I was blown away when I toured a lock factory on how much water is used to produce a single lock. I know this is an area that lock companies focus on to make sure they are not wasting water. What other examples are there?

There are many more examples of ways we, as an industry, can make an impact. We are at the beginning of a long and exciting road.

And one last thing, it would be great if the industry came together and did two things from the beginning. Let's come together, be incredibly transparent, and communicate the impact we are having as a community.

Let us hold hands, raise the bar, and lead.  

More to come this month.