Blog Series – “The Top 15 Reasons To Use Biometric Technology In Workforce Management And Retail Point Of Sale”
Leading up to our participation in the National Retail Federation’s 2011 “Retail’s Big Show” from January 9 – 12 in New York city, M2SYS Technology is publishing a blog series on the top 15 reasons that biometrics is a smart choice for retail organizations to consider as an authentication technology in workforce management and retail point of sale applications.
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In case you missed it, here are the links to our prior posts in the series:
And now on to our next post…
Reason #5 – Going “Green”
What Does It Mean To Be Truly “Go Green”?
Seems like whatever direction you turn these days, everyone is trying to push society to adopt habits that are friendlier to the environment. Whether it’s dropping plastic or paper grocery bags in favor of reusable bags, switching from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs, hybrid cars over internal combustion engines, solar/wind power over coal burning power plants or maybe it’s participating in a curbside recycling program. There are umpteen ways to become more environmentally conscientious and a plethora of choices around us to help lower our carbon footprint on this planet.
The idea behind “going green” is adopting personal habits and behaviors that lead to consuming less natural resources or using products and/or services that rely less on chemical or synthetic materials in their production and therefore produce less waste. It’s also developing a heightened awareness of the environment around all of us, what constitutes the slow, often unnecessary destruction of that environment and how simple lifestyle and product consumption choices can significantly impact our surroundings. But wait, there’s more…
“Going Green” also means that we not only do what’s within our power to reduce our carbon footprint, but we also take steps to encourage others to do the same. If we own a business, we take all necessary measures to ensure responsible environmental behavior by carefully crafting a business plan that is centered on the highest profit at the lowest cost with the least possible impact on the environment.
Biometrics Reduces Paper Waste
Earlier this year, M2SYS wrote about how biometric technology reduces paper waste. We pointed out that each year, Americans waste enough paper to build a 12-foot wall of paper from New York to California. One way to reduce the amount of paper used in a business is to switch from antiquated paper and pen time and attendance techniques to biometric based time clock software.
Another way you can use biometrics to help the environment is by switching from plastic membership cards to a biometric check in system. Here is an excerpt from a blog post we wrote earlier this year about why biometrics is a great solution for club and membership management:
“Think for a moment about the amount of energy, time and resources that are needed to manufacture one plastic membership card. Now multiply that by the number of members at your facility. Now multiply that by the number of locations. Perhaps you are a national chain and have locations all throughout the country or even across the globe. Add them all up and then factor in all of the other membership facilities throughout the world who still have not adopted biometric technology. The fact is that according to a recent report on CNN, “Americans generate enough plastic in one year to shrink wrap the state of Texas.” Granted, most of that plastic created is through the manufacturing of consumer products but as a business owner, you can do your part to help reduce your carbon footprint by switching to a biometric solution that eradicates the need to create any plastic cards whatsoever. If you print the ID cards directly at your facility, this translates into less ink for the printers, less electricity to run the laminator, less paper being consumed and less waste being generated by the production process and the absence of discarding expired or unused cards. It also makes members happier that they no longer have to worry about carrying around an ID card that they could potentially lose or become stolen.”
How many retail establishments offer their customers plastic cards for membership, rewards, clubs, gifts, discounts, etc.? How about employee and manager ID cards? Imagine if all of these businesses adopted biometric authentication for these programs instead of issuing a plastic card. There is no doubt that if this were to become a reality, millions and millions of pounds of waste would be eliminated and it would have a tremendous impact on the environment.
Developing A “Green Identity”
Here at M2SYS, we often dream about a world absent of plastic membership cards and the role that biometrics will one day play in the effort to encourage all people on the planet to develop a “green identity.” We often ask ourselves, “What can we do to help reduce the 251 million tons of waste disposed in our landfills each year?” Our vision is to somehow rid the world of the plastic identification cards that fill our wallets and switch to biometric technology as a viable means of authentication and identification. Biometrics removes the need for you to carry anything to establish positive identification, everything you would need is already with you wherever you go.
Let’s face it, plastic is ubiquitous. The United States Census Bureau recorded that 576.4 million credit and 507 million debit cards were in circulation within the U.S. in 2009. Although this is merely one slice of the plastic pie, incorporating biometric authentication systems for financial transactions would have a monumental effect on the amount of plastic used and positively impact the environment. Reduction of plastic use in this country needs to be attacked on many levels with technology that was specifically designed to replace these outdated and environmentally unfriendly business tools. Biometrics is one of the key technologies to accomplish this and worth investigating if you are looking to inject or boost environmentally conscientious initiatives in your business.
What are some other things you have done to become more environmentally conscientious? We welcome your comments, stories and observations!