Home Business Insights & Advice The environmental benefits of using RFID cards over traditional cards

The environmental benefits of using RFID cards over traditional cards

by Sarah Dunsby
16th May 24 12:15 pm

As a business owner, creating an eco-friendly company should always sit high on your list of priorities. After all, it impacts the views of employees and consumers as well as the environment. Transitioning from traditional cards to RFID cards could be one of the smartest upgrades of all.

Research shows that 59% of companies have started using more sustainable materials as a part of their commitment to going green. Here’s why RFID cards could be an ideal upgrade.

What are RFID cards used for?

RFID cards, short for radio-frequency identification cards, feature a tag, a radio receiver, and a transmitter. In turn, they utilise electromagnetic fields so that the cards can be automatically identified by smart card readers without the need to place the card in a scanner.

They are most commonly used as ID cards for employees, granting instant access to workspaces. Additional applications include payment cards, asset tracking cards, and travel cards. In any situation, they provide several key benefits, including;

  • Time savings for users.
  • Automatic scanners ensure that only authorised actions are permitted.
  • Removing the need for (and risks of having) passwords.

Perhaps one of the most impressive features, though, is that they have the potential to cut carbon emissions and help companies become greener.

The environmental benefits of RFID cards

RFID cards are the greener option, not least because the manufacturing practices surrounding them have evolved at a rapid pace. Here’s how they produce a better result for the environment.

Reduced plastic usage

It is estimated that over 30 million kilograms of PVC is used to manufacture payment cards annually, a figure that becomes even higher when you add access cards to the equation. It is a very scary situation when you think most cards expire within a few years before subsequently being binned. RFID cards offer a better alternative.

Modern RFID card manufacturing processes significantly reduce the amount of plastic used. In fact, some are 100% PVC-free. Meanwhile, high-grade products made either entirely or partially from recycled materials have a significantly positive influence. Crucially, the inlays can be made from sustainable and biodegradable materials.

Longer lifespans for reduced waste

As stated, traditional cards often have very limited lifespans; RFID cards provide a longer-lasting solution as they are durable and do not necessarily need to feature short expiration dates. In many cases, employees will be able to use access cards for several years.

Better still, RFID cards can be reconfigured. This could mean updating an individual’s authorisation privileges or even removing the data before setting the card up for another user. Naturally, when people use fewer cards throughout their lifespan, any negative impact on the environment will be greatly reduced.

Fewer cards necessary for reduced manufacturing needs

In addition to lasting longer, RFID cards can authorise access to multiple areas or be used for multiple functions. This could subsequently allow users to carry fewer cards in their wallets. Aside from being more comfortable and convenient for them, it reduces the need to produce cards in such high volumes.

The fact that RFID networks and systems can be easily extended also aids the situation, logistically and environmentally. The ability to avoid the need to manufacture a whole new set of cards when new access points are added is hugely beneficial. For even greater convenience, RFID units can be incorporated into wristbands and lanyards.

Financial savings to support sustainable reinvestment

Implementing RFID cards and readers will require an initial outlay but will save you a lot of money in the long run. Even when opting for cards made from greener materials, you can find them for just a few more pence per piece. In turn, the financial savings made can be reinvested to support your green endeavours further.

Whether the focus is on reduced plastic usage, energy savings, greener packaging, or other eco-friendly upgrades is up to you. Either way, though, your continued commitment to green habits will make a difference. Better still, it will be reflected in consumer opinions, worker happiness, and the company’s finances.

The final word

RFID technology, and especially RFID cards, use fewer dangerous materials, and their convenience and versatility will indirectly support reduced carbon emissions. Whether looking to reduce your environmental impact through reduced material waste and pollution or better manufacturing processes, this is a simple yet effective switch.

Better still, the cards are physically used by employees and/or consumers, making it impossible for them to ignore your commitment to helping the planet. Perfect.

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