Environmental Responsibility

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

FOCUS AREA #4

Environmental Responsibility

Our 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 our operations and their development. By maximizing the service life and recyclability of our products, we can influence their total life cycle impact.

Goals Actions Performance Measures Examples of Results
Reducing climate impacts Continuous improvement of the waste recovery rate  Recovery rate 99.9 %
Reduce the total carbon footprint per employee Carbon footprint/employee (CO2ekg) 1,755
Maximize the use of renewable energy Using solar power at the Oulu office Average of 10% during the summer months
Taking the energy profiles (renewable energy) of purchased energy into account Evaluating energy consumption at each location  

Observations Related to the Results of the Stakeholder Survey

Concerns about the climate and the environment emerged in the stakeholder survey and the theme was highlighted as Bittium´s fourth focus area of sustainability.

 

8. 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.

 

12 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.

Management of Environmental Responsibility and the Environmental Program

In line with our environmental policy, we are committed to minimizing the environmental impact of the production, use and disposal of the products we design. We apply the ISO 14001 standard to our environmental management system and observe the principles of sustainable development in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard, for example, in the following ways:

  • 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. Compliance with the principles that limit the use of hazardous substances supports these goals.

We regularly monitor the international environmental requirements that govern our products as well as the local regulations derived from these. The requirements also extend to our major suppliers. We have applied 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 in our design since 2002. In 2019, our ETJ+ energy efficiency system was audited in accordance with the ISO 50001.2018 standard.

Although the use of halogens is not yet forbidden in electronics, we strive to provide halogen-free products in order to meet the growing demand in the field and minimize the environmental impact of our products. Bittium´s halogen-free statement conforms to the IEC (International Electrochemical Commission) definition of halogen-free materials (IEC 61249-2-21).

Environmental Responsibility Indicators

We continuously monitor the level of environmental protection. The following were selected as the key environmental responsibility indicators:

 

Environmental Program Achievements in 2019

Our objective for the 2019 environmental program was to manage environmental information in our Oulu office and the ETJ+ certification of our energy efficiency system in accordance with the ISO50001.2018 energy efficiency system standard.

We reached our environmental responsibility objectives in 2019.

  • Up to 11.9 percent (2018: 12%) of the electricity used at the Oulu office was solar power.
  • Our total carbon footprint was 1,153,136 kg CO2e (2018: 1,219 tCO2e, 2,865 kg CO2e/employee).
  • Our energy efficiency system is ISO 50001.2018 compliant; however still certified against ISO 50001.2011.

 

Significant Improvement Achieved at the Oulu Office during 2017–2019

In 2019, we continued to optimize the energy efficiency of the new premises we opened in Oulu in late 2017. For example, replacing office equipment and optimizing our lighting systems – such as LEDs controlled by motion detectors – enabled us to significantly reduce our energy consumption.

In addition, we centralized our product testing and development laboratories and IT servers to achieve efficiency benefits, also with regard to energy consumption.

We continued to use solar power at our Oulu office, where up to 11.9% (2018: 12%) of the electricity used came from solar power. We are one of the pioneers in the use of solar power in our area, having started using solar power solutions in 2017.

The waste recovery rate remained high at 99.9 percent (2018: 99%) thanks to a significant reduction in burned waste and a substantial increase in product delivery volumes in 2019.

We expanded our monitoring of energy and waste consumption as well the volume and types of waste in 2019 to cover the other properties we own. The information for operating locations other than the Oulu office, with comparison figures, will be published in our sustainability report for 2020.