Environmental Responsibility

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

FOCUS AREA #4

Environmental Responsibility

Responsibility for the environment, the mitigation of climate change and resource-efficient solutions are key aspects of Bittium´s operations and their development. 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 are observed in accordance with the standard in the following ways, for instance:

  • Monitoring and observing amendments to the laws and regulations concerning environmental protection. Also includes the use of energy-efficient solutions in R&D (ecological design) and at business 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. This practice supports the realization of the principles aimed at limiting the use of hazardous substances.
  • Developing energy efficiency through continuous improvement. Two energy auditors approved by the Energy Authority conduct annual on-site audits.

The Company regularly monitors the international environmental requirements that govern its products as well as the local regulations derived from these. The requirements also extend to our 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 product 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) effective from the beginning of 2021. SCIP has not had a significant impact on Bittium´s operations.

Although regulations prohibiting the use of halogens in electronics have not been introduced yet, Bittium aims to offer halogen-free products whenever alternatives to halogen components that meet the relevant functional requirements are available. Bittium´s halogen-free statement conforms to the IEC (International Electrochemical Commission) definition of halogen-free materials (IEC 61249-2-21).


 

Actions Performance Measures  Situation in 2020 Target 2021  Result in 2021
Continuous improvement of the waste recovery rate  Recovery rate (%) Recovery rate 99.84% Recovery rate over 95% 99.08%
Reducing the overall
carbon footprint
Carbon footprint/employee (CO2e kg / employee) 1,130 CO2e kg/employee.
Note! The figure is not entirely accurate due to incomplete data. For example, the estimate does not include all of the company´s travel-related emissions because not all business travel was booked through the designated travel agency.
<2,900 CO2e kg/
employee. This target
is assessed for a
three-year period based on the available data.
1,096 CO2e kg/employee. Note! The emission factors have changed from the previous calculation due to a change in statistical methods.
Maximize the use of renewable energy Share of solar power at Oulu office. The solar power plant generates approximately 10–13% of the energy consumed by the Oulu office from May to August. This represents approximately 5% of the annual energy consumption of the Oulu office. Solar power represents over 10% of the Oulu office´s energy consumption during the summer months. The solar power plant generates approximately 9–13% of the energy consumed by the Oulu office from May to August. This represents approximately 5% of the annual energy consumption of the Oulu office.
Share of renewable
energy of purchased energy
Evaluating energy consumption at each location. Energy transmission files and energy profiles are available for each office to the extent required for the performance indicators Indicators are available for each office. Energy transmission files and energy profiles are available for each office to the extent required for the performance indicators.
Increasing environmental awareness among Bittium´s employees The employees´ rate of participation in training (%). 58% of new employees participated in the mandatory training. Voluntary further training was not organized. Mandatory basic training: 60% of new employees. Voluntary further training: 50%. Core target groups: operation, product management, project management and device engineering. 58% of new employees participated in the mandatory training. Voluntary further training was not organized.

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.

8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavor to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, with developed countries taking the lead.

  • We recognize the need for resource efficiency and respond by observing various environmental standards in our operations. Ecological design is the starting point of our product development.

 

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

12.2  By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

12.5  By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

  • We pay special attention to the use of renewable energy, our waste recovery rate and the reduction of waste at our operating locations and report them as part of our sustainability reporting.

Circular economy principles are taken into account in Bittium´s product design and product development

Bittium´s business is mainly focused on product design, sales and marketing. Product assembly is performed by manufacturing partners. Bittium´s share in the early part of the product life cycle only accounts for a small proportion of the products´ life cycle impacts. The greatest environmental impact occurs during the last stage of the product life cycle, i.e. recycling. Eco-friendliness is a starting point for all product design and product development at Bittium. Accordingly, circular economy principles are increasingly taken into account in these activities.

Bittium´s products are designed to have long life cycles and to be repairable and recyclable. In the case of many defence industry products, for example, the company must be able to guarantee operational reliability and delivery reliability for several decades. These products include a maintenance service that involves device maintenance and updates. Material cycles are created in relation to product repairs or returns related to the product life cycle, for example. The information security risks associated with the products are also taken into account in this context. Bittium disassembles decommissioned products, sorts the components and recycles them appropriately.

Bittium´s product design and product development activities aim for compliance with the EU Ecodesign Directive, which is intended to improve the energy efficiency of products by integrating environmental perspectives and life cycle thinking into the product design stage. The Directive is in the process of being expanded to also address the impacts of software production on the life cycle assessment of a product´s ecological footprint. Bittium has participated in the authorities´ work on the Directive at the Finnish and EU levels.

Environmental Program 2020–2022, Performance Measures and Results Achieved in 2021

Bittium started an environmental program in 2020 that will continue until 2022. In the program, it was determined that the areas that are the most relevant to reducing Bittium´s carbon footprint include the recycling of waste generated by the company´s operations, the use of renewable energy and increasing environmental awareness among Bittium´s employees. Four targets were set for the environmental program:

  1. Maintaining the waste recovery rate at over 95 percent
  2. Maximizing the use of renewable energy
  3. Increasing the share of renewable energy in energy purchasing
  4. Increasing environmental awareness among employees.

We achieved our environmental sustainability targets in 2021.

  • Our total carbon footprint was 719 tCO2e, 1,096 kg CO2e/employee (2020: 753 tCO2e, 1,130 kg CO2e/employee; 2019: 1,153 tCO2e, 1,755 kg CO2e/employee; 2018: 1,219 tCO2e, 2,865 kg CO2e/employee). The lower carbon footprint was attributable to a significant reduction in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic and a change in the calculation method concerning emissions generated by waste.
  • At its highest, the share of solar power of the electricity consumed at the Oulu office was 13.5 percent (2020: 13%, 2019: 11.9%, 2018: 12%).
  • Bittium utilizes in its carbon footprint calculations accurate information on the properties available and the information available from the properties where Bittium is for rent. This includes for example available waste information. In addition Bittium acknowledges for example the CO2 emission co-efficiency factors published by the Finnish Statistical Center for the average district heating production from which the average of  last three years is calculated. For this reason, benchmarks for the carbon footprint may vary slightly from year to year.
  • Altogether 104 employees (15.9 percent of the personnel) completed the test included in the environmental training module.

Most of the waste generated by Bittium is packaging waste. The waste volume has remained relatively stable since 2018 in spite of the delivery volumes of Bittium´s products increasing over the years. This is due to Bittium´s manufacturing partners taking a larger role in the supply chain and a larger share of manufactured components and partial assemblies being delivered directly to factories. The packaging modules have also been simplified.

Environmental Sustainability Indicators

The company is following the annual level of environmental protection continuously. The following indicators have been selected as essential environmental environmental sustainability indicators.