Environmental sustainability is reflected in Bittium’s small and big decisions in product planning and assembly and on the company’s premises.


Focus Area #4

Environmental sustainability is reflected in Bittium’s small and big decisions in product planning and assembly and on the company’s premises. In its environmental actions, Bittium focuses on improving the efficiency of its operations and on using lower-emission energy sources. Bittium’s footprint is reduced by the longer useful life of products and the development of recycling as well as improvements in resource efficiency.

Environmental sustainability at Bittium is guided by the company’s environmental policy, legislation on environmental protection and sustainable development, and various international principles and customer requirements. At Bittium, environmentally sustainable operations mean responsibility for curbing climate change and the development of resource-efficient solutions. The most notable environmental impacts of Bittium’s products occur during the last stage of the life cycle, that is, recycling.

In addition to reducing the environmental impacts of its own operations, Bittium seeks to actively reduce environmental impacts throughout the value chain. In 2023, Bittium continued to prepare for the introduction of the digital product passport as regards Bittium’s products. To this end, Bittium has increasingly collected information on its products in the company’s product information management system. The digital product passport is part of the new circular economy package published by the European Commission.

The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which took effect in October 2023, is intended to prevent carbon leakage, which refers to emission-causing activities being moved outside of the EU.  The mechanism applies to CBAM goods that are imported into the EU, including iron, steel, and aluminum products. Bittium has some products for which the company is required to report in accordance with the CBAM disclosure requirements on the year 2023. 

Management of Environmental Sustainability at Bittium

Bittium has a certified environmental management system, which applies the most recent version of the ISO 14 001 standard. The environmental management system enables Bittium to improve the management of its environmental impacts and the level of environmental work. The following viewpoints are the core of the management of environmental work and environmental sustainability at Bittium:

  • Monitoring and observing amendments to the laws and regulations concerning environmental protection and sustainable development. The use of energy-efficient solutions in R&D (ecological design) and at business premises is also included.
  • 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.

Bittium operates in a strongly regulated business environment. The company regularly monitors the international environmental requirements that govern its products as well as the local regulations derived from these, with all suppliers also required to comply with them. 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.

The provisions of the Ecodesign regulation framework are applied in Bittium’s product design and product development. The secure Bittium Tough Mobile 2 smartphone satisfies the requirements of the Regulation, which entered into force in 2023. In its product design, Bittium also takes into account the requirements of the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR).

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).

Environmental Objectives and Sustainable Development 2023

Bittium monitors three environmental indicators measuring the environmental effects of its operations, that is, the development of the carbon dioxide equivalent (kgCO2e), the development of energy consumption (MWh) and the percentage share that renewable energy accounts for of total energy consumption.

Environmental Sustainability Indicators

The company continuously monitors the level of environmental protection. The following indicators have been selected as the key environmental sustainability indicators.

  • Travel (air and road transport)
  • Premises (electricity consumption, heating and waste)

In 2023, the volume of waste remained unchanged from the previous year. Water consumption decreased by 8.4% and heating costs by 16.7% year-on-year. At the same time, electricity consumption increased slightly, by 2.6% from the previous year.

The total amount of travel increased during the year under review because the scope of reporting was expanded to include train journeys, which were not included in the previous year.




Maintaining the Waste Recovery Rate at Over 95 Percent

Most of the waste generated by Bittium is packaging waste. There have been no significant changes in the volume of waste since 2018. Although production volumes have increased, a larger proportion of the manufactured components and partial assemblies are delivered directly to factories, which reduces the amount of waste generated at Bittium. The simplification of packaging modules has also helped reduce waste. There were no significant changes in the amount of hazardous waste compared to the previous years.

In addition to minimizing waste, Bittium aims to forward all waste to be reused or recovered as appropriate. Design and material recycling are promoted in product design and development in the spirit of the circular economy, while innovating sustainable solutions with partners. Bittium has implemented waste recycling to the maximum extent possible, with the waste recycling rate being 99.9% in 2023.

Developing the Energy Efficiency of Premises and Increasing the Share of Renewable Energy

The carbon footprint of Bittium’s premises and facilities represents 67% of the total carbon footprint. Improving energy efficiency is one of Bittium’s key objectives in terms of the reduction of carbon footprint. District heating from the local energy supplier is not yet fully carbon neutral, but production utilizes biofuels and recycled fuels sourced from nearby areas. According to the electricity supplier, the distribution of the production methods for the purchased electrical energy is such that 38% comes from renewable sources, 24% is emission-free and 38% comes from fossil sources.

Renewable energy sources accounted for 42% of heat energy and 36% of electrical energy. At its highest during the year, the share of solar power of the electricity consumed at the Oulu office was 14% (in 2022: 13%, 2021: 13%, 2020: 13%, 2019: 11.9%).

Reducing Carbon Footprint

Bittium calculated the Group’s total carbon footprint for the sixth time. The carbon footprint calculations are mainly based on process data, which was obtained from the databases of Bittium and its cooperation partners (such as product suppliers and the electricity supplier). The calculation includes direct emissions and the indirect emissions of purchased energy (Scope 2). In addition to the above, the reported indirect emissions include the indirect emissions of business travel and electricity production for the past year. With the carbon footprint measurement, Bittium monitors, in particular, the efficiency of the shift to renewable energy sources and the efficiency of solutions that are more sustainable in terms of climate.

Our carbon footprint target for 2023 was <1,500 kg CO2e/employee. Our total carbon footprint was 620 tCO2e, or 1,049 kg CO2e/employee (2022: 707 tCO2e, 1,119 kg CO2e/employee; 2021: 719 tCO2e, 1,096 kg CO2e/employee; 2020: 753 tCO2e, 1,130 kg CO2e/employee).

Bittium reviewed its travel policy in 2023 in accordance with the company’s emission reduction target. The scope of reporting on travel was expanded during the year to include different forms of transport. For example, train journeys are included in the reporting on the year under review. Consequently, the emissions associated with travel are not directly comparable between the year under review and the preceding year.

Technologies supporting sustainable development promote the reduction of customers’ carbon footprint and enable influence on product life cycle emissions. For example, Bittium’s solutions responding to the needs for remote diagnostics enable emission reductions throughout the value chain by reducing the need to visit health care facilities in person.

* When calculating carbon footprint, Bittium uses the exact data on the properties owned by it and the data available on properties leased by Bittium. This applies, for example, to the available waste figures. Bittium also takes into account the coefficients published by Statistics Finland concerning the average CO2 emissions of district heating production in Finland, for which an average is calculated for the past three years. For this reason, there may be minor variation in the carbon footprint comparison figures at the annual level.

Circular Economy as the Starting Point for Bittium’s Product Design

Bittium’s business is mainly focused on product design, sales and marketing, while its manufacturing partners are responsible for product assembly. The environmental effects of products emerge at various phases of the product life cycle: procurement of raw materials, product manufacturing, transport, product use or product disposal. However, a significant part of the environmental effects during a product’s life cycle can be influenced through product design and design decisions. The inclusion of environmental aspects in the product design processes creates a foundation for all product design and development at Bittium.

Bittium’s approach involves an established model of operation concerning product materials and their handling: more with less. Environmental objectives are reached by maximizing the service life and recyclability of products, for example, by influencing the amount of materials used in the manufacturing of products. Environmental effects can be reduced through design decisions, for example, by reducing the consumption of raw materials, through the lengthening of life cycles, by reducing the use of hazardous materials and by ensuring that products can be recycled. The transition towards a carbon-neutral circular economy requires cooperation and innovation. In 2023, Bittium engaged in discussions with its supply chain partners on carbon footprint calculation and recycling. 

Bittium’s products are designed to have long life cycles and to be repairable and recyclable. For example, reliability, delivery reliability and maintenance services, including service and update work, must be guaranteed for many defense industry products for decades. 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 must also be taken into account in this context. Bittium disassembles decommissioned products, sorts the components and recycles them appropriately.

The rapid development of regulation and materials requires that Bittium is capable of adjusting its product design in accordance with the changes required by the business environment. Bittium has responded to the requirements, for example, with redesign of products; the long service life of products provides an opportunity to create environmentally sustainable solutions to replace product modules with outdated environmental attributes. When old and new technology is combined, the old product platforms are developed in a more environmentally friendly direction, with the requirements of the most recent regulations taken into account while making no compromises on the service life.

Ecodesign Accelerates Sustainable Product Design

In early 2022, the EU’s Ecodesign Directive entered into force in the EU area, with the Directive specifying the ecological demands to be applied in the design and development of products that use energy. The Directive promotes sustainable development by improving energy efficiency and the level of environmental protection, while also improving the security of energy supply. The scope of the Directive’s application expanded in 2023 to also include the effects of software production so that they are taken into account in the life cycle assessment concerning the ecological footprint of products. Bittium products meet the requirements of the Directive.

The EU’s proposed regulation on the ecodesign of sustainable products also includes a digital product passport, which would enable information to be collected of the various phases of value chains, such as product use, maintenance and recycling. During the year, Bittium documented a majority of its product information to correspond to the requirements of digital product passports. The company aims to have all of its products entered in the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system by the end of the first half of 2024.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals by the UN


Bittium’s measures related to ecological product design, sustainable consumption and production methods and energy and resource efficiency promote, in particular, the sustainable development goals no. 8 (decent work and economic growth) and no. 12 (responsible consumption). Resource efficiency is promoted in consumption and production through operations that comply with the environmental standard. Ecological design is the starting point of product development and an important part of sustainability work at Bittium. Special attention is paid to the use of renewable energy, waste recovery rate and the reduction of waste at our operating locations and the results are reported as part of Bittium’s sustainability report.