Environmental Responsibility

Responsibility for the environment, the mitigation of climate change and resource-efficient solutions are, nevertheless, key aspects of the company´s operations and their development.

FOCUS AREA #4

Environmental Responsibility

Bittium´s business is mainly focused on product design, assembly by manufacturers, sales and marketing. These processes only account for a small share of the products´ life cycle impacts. The greatest environmental impact occurs during the last stage of the product life cycle, i.e. recycling. Responsibility for the environment, the mitigation of climate change and resource-efficient solutions are, nevertheless, key aspects of the company´s operations and their development. By optimizing the service life and recyclability of the products, the total impact of their life cycle can be influenced.

Goals Actions Performance Measures Examples of Results
Reducing climate impacts Continuous improvement of the waste recovery rate  Recovery rate 99.9 %
(99.9% in 2019)
Reduce the total carbon footprint per employee Carbon footprint/employee (CO2ekg) 1,130
(1,755 in 2019)
Maximize the use of renewable energy Share of solar power at Oulu office Average of 5.4%, during summer months 13.8%
Taking the energy profiles (renewable energy) of purchased energy into account  Renewable energy share in Tampere office: 65%
Oulu and Espoo offices´ energy provider declared to achieve CO2 neutrality by year 2035
 
Improving personnel´s environmental awareness Taking part in trainings, percent of personnel  15.2%

Management of environmental responsibility and the environmental program

In accordance with its environmental policy, Bittium is committed to minimizing the environmental impacts of the production, use and disposal of products. The ISO 14001 standard is applied to Bittium´s environmental management system and the principles of sustainable development in accordance with the standard are observed in the following ways, for instance:

  • Monitoring and observing amendments to the laws and regulations concerning environmental protection. This also covers to use of energy-efficient solutions in R&D (ecological design) and premises.
  • Minimizing the environmental impacts of the production, use and disposal of products. The development of instructions and practices related to ecological design supports these principles.
  • Encouraging suppliers and partners to implement environmental management systems. Observing the principles that limit the use of hazardous substances supports these goals.
  • Developing energy efficiency through continuous improvement. Bittium´s energy efficiency is reviewed each year by two reviewers authorized by Finland´s Energy Authority.

The Group regularly monitors the international environmental requirements that govern its products as well as the local regulations derived from these. The requirements also extend to the company´s major suppliers. The provisions of the ROHS directives (I, II and III), the REACH regulation (on hazardous substances) as well as the WEEE (recycling of waste electronic and electrical equipment) directive have been applied in Bittium´s design since 2002.

Companies are under the obligation to report any substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in their products to the SCIP database for information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products), maintained by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and in use from the beginning of 2021.

Although the use of halogens is not yet forbidden in electronics, Bittium aims to offer halogen-free products whenever possible. However, it is not always possible to find alternative components that meet the functional requirements. Bittium´s halogen-free statement conforms to the IEC (International Electrochemical Commission) definition of halogen-free materials (IEC 61249-2-21).

Environmental program achievements in 2020

The objectives of the environmental program in 2020 included a waste recovery rate of over 95 percent, increased use of renewable energy sources and increased environmental awareness among the personnel. The company achieved all of these objectives. Altogether 104 employees (15.2 percent of staff) took and passed the test related to environmental training.

Bittium reached its environmental responsibility objectives in 2020.

  • In the Oulu office, up to 13.8 percent (2019: 11.9%, 2018: 12%) of the electricity used was solar power.
  • The company´s total carbon footprint was 753,490 kg CO2e (2019: 1,153 tons CO2e, 1,755 kg CO2e/person; 2018: 1,219 tons CO2e, 2,865 kg CO2e/person). The considerable reduction in air travel, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, contributed to the lower carbon footprint.
  • The EES+ energy efficiency system received the ISO 50001.2018 in 2020.

Environmental responsibility indicators

Bittium continuosly monitors the level of environmental protection. The following were selected as the key environmental responsibility indicators:

 

 

 

New projects launched

As part of the environmental program 2020–2022, a number of new projects were launched:

  • Management of Bittium´s environmental data, aiming to develop the usability and accessibility of monitored data with respect to traditional and new indicators alike.
  • ECO Design, which will expand the existing ECO Design model to cover the effects of software production in the assessment of the environmental impact during a product´s life cycle.
  • Environmental awareness at Bittium and an individual´s opportunities to reduce climate change. At a practical level, this project aims to illustrate the opportunities of individual Bittium employees to reduce climate change with their choices in everyday life. This is a participatory project that gathers and, where possible, implements identified practical ecological actions.

Alignment between the Focus Area and the UN´s Sustainable Development Goals

 

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labor in all its forms.

8.8 Protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.

  • We ensure that our subcontractors act in accordance with our Supplier Requirements, which include the observance of human rights in activities that are directly related to our operations. We published the Supplier Requirements on our
  • We monitor employee well-being in various ways, and our company applies clearly defined practices to support work ability. We maintain up-to-date safety plans as well as an equality plan. Safety issues are taken into account in our orientation training program. The employee benefits provided by our company have been selected to support mental and physical well-being and build a strong sense of community.

 

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.

12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

  • We set an example by reporting on the planning, implementation and results of our sustainability actions in our annual sustainability report. We take a systematic approach to the development of our sustainability efforts and the reliability of our reporting.
  • We cooperate with our customers to ensure that we can take sustainability into consideration in our products and operations to the greatest possible extent, including environmental responsibility.
  • We publish more detailed quality, environmental and data security requirements for our partners on our public website.