Bittium´s products contain a range of electronic and mechanical components. The sustainability of the purchasing chain is ensured, for instance, through material and component supplier requirements and material assessments. Bittium maintains a database in which it records all the materials and substances contained in components.
Bittium conforms to sustainable business practices and requires the same of its suppliers. The company´s partners must comply with Bittium´s Code of Conduct as well as the Bittium Supplier Requirements. The Bittium Supplier Quality Manual was updated with details in 2021, and it is available on Bittium´s website. Suppliers are always expected to comply with the latest version of the guidelines.
Suppliers are also audited according to pre-defined criteria. Audits are carried out as a self-assessment based on the Bittium Supplier Requirements or as an audit conducted by Bittium. Most of the audits conducted in 2021 were based on self-assessment. However, especially in Finland, conducting audits physically at the suppliers´ premises was possible to some extent in spite of the pandemic. As regards international suppliers, local partners have been used for audits. This approach has enabled on-site audits in China, for example.
In 2021, Bittium started a development project entitled Marimin with the aim of finding more Finnish and European suppliers of critical components. A large number of suppliers has been evaluated under the project and, for certain critical components, it has been possible to move deliveries to Finland and Europe.
Employee training is also an important part of ensuring sustainable purchasing. Sustainable purchasing is part of the environmental training package that Bittium´s employees complete independently.
Identifying the origin of minerals
Bittium´s products are made using minerals that may also come from countries that violate human rights or cause environmental destruction by mining such minerals. Bittium urges its suppliers to comply with the legislation on conflict minerals and the relevant recommended reporting practices. In this way, it can be ensured that the minerals used in Bittium´s products do not originate from conflict or risk zones.
In practice, the legislation requires sustainable purchasing and transparent supply chains with respect to certain minerals, such as tin, tantalum, wolfram and gold from conflict areas. These minerals are typically used in household goods and their electronic components, such as mobile devices and computers. External databases are used for monitoring.
In 2021, Bittium did not receive any reports on suspicions concerning minerals from conflict areas.
Avoiding counterfeit materials
Counterfeit materials are any materials whose origin, age, composition, configuration, certification status or other feature is presented falsely and with misleading markings on the material, packaging or container.
Bittium is aware of the risks associated with counterfeit materials, both when purchasing materials as ready-to-use components and when using the previously mentioned raw materials. Bittium is committed to conducting the necessary assessments to avoid using counterfeit materials in its products. The company has developed a supplier reporting method to avoid the use of counterfeit materials. The procedures address different stages of the purchasing process, starting from the selection of suppliers. Bittium´s employees are trained to identify counterfeit materials. By combining product information management with information in the material database, Bittium can respond to customer expectations regarding real-time information management in relation to counterfeit materials.
Due to the impact of the global component shortage on Bittium´s operations, new suppliers have been added to the supply chain to ensure the availability of certain components. While this may only be a temporary arrangement, diligent assessments have been conducted on the new suppliers to ensure that the materials are authentic.
No counterfeit materials were found in Bittium´s products in 2021.