Product development plays a key role in our consideration of the product life cycle environmental impact. Decisions made at the design stage have great significance for the entire product life cycle, as they cover the entire supply chain from the procurement of raw materials to the removal of the product from the market. Environmentally conscious product design aims to reduce material volumes, cut energy consumption, extend the life cycle of the network infrastructure as a whole and improve product quality. Modularity is an important aspect in product design, and nearly all of the HFC access network products are modular.
The ICON9000 product designed for the North American market increases this modularity. The AC9100 NEO product can be upgraded as a distributed access architecture device by adding to the existing device a cover that introduces the new functionality. The Luminato 4X4 digital headend platform is also a modular product platform. The benefits of modularity are reflected in the serviceability of the products and the versatility of the platform, which also means a longer life cycle for the product. Teleste has also studied new power supply solutions for improved efficiency. These will be used in new distributed access architecture products. The power consumption of broadband networks increases along with the increasing capacity requirements. Operators are looking for new sustainable solutions to improve network performance and manage their power consumption. Teleste has incorporated solutions in network products that make it possible to decrease the power consumption of amplifier units when the overall load on the network decreases. In this way, network power consumption can be cut by as much as 20 per cent a year without risking the service level.
Teleste’s international supplier network consists of suppliers from more than 20 countries. In direct purchases, 20 per cent of suppliers account for 80 per cent of all sourcing. Co-operation with suppliers is based on annual contracts and a long-term approach. The co-operation is steered and monitored through the Code of Conduct, guidelines concerning functions such as logistics and order processing, supplier evaluations, supplier self-evaluations, meetings and audits.
Sourcing is divided into two main categories. Direct sourcing concerns the various components, products and services needed in the assembly of Teleste’s own products. Indirect sourcing concerns goods and services that we use for our own business operations. Teleste always strives to ensure that materials come from ethically and environmentally responsible sources. The company uses a third-party service to maintain the necessary information pertaining to the legitimate trade of natural resources and supply chains in line with sustainable development. The third-party service monitors the origin of the raw materials used in standard components (conflict minerals, 3TG).
The most significant sources of environmental impacts in Teleste’s manufacturing are energy consumption and the waste generated by the company’s operations. Teleste’s production operations consist of the manufacture, assembly and testing of electronics. All of these processes are environmentally safe. Production efficiency is maintained by using the lean approach. One aspect of quality development in production is the use of continuous improvement boards (JAPA boards). In 2018, JAPA activities were extended to cover employee processes, and the first office robotics applications have been implemented for the update of forecast and control parameters. In addition, Teleste applies the 5S method in its production. This method focuses on improving productivity by eliminating non-value-adding activities, improving quality and safety and creating a visually attractive, efficient workplace. The Recycling and reuse section includes more details about the sorting of waste.
Logistics and services
Our logistics management takes into account environmental questions and cost-efficiency alike, which are typically mutually supportive goals. Cost-efficient logistics often also results in the smallest carbon footprint. The carbon footprint arising from transport results mainly from the transport of materials and finished products. It is reduced by prioritising rail and sea transport in intercontinental logistics over air cargo and by consolidating shipments when possible. In 2019, we were able to reduce the CO2 emissions arising from air transport by as much as 29% compared to 2018.
In the service business, the main source of environmental impact is CO2 emissions from driving related to installation and servicing. The practices used by the company to reduce CO2 emissions include vehicle choices, efficient material resupply processes for installation units and route planning.
Teleste’s products are safe throughout their production process and service life. The design of products takes into account the full product life cycle, including availability, service life and serviceability. The upgradeability of products with long life spans is part of the environmental perspective. Customer satisfaction is guaranteed by long-lasting and serviceable products with energy consumption matching the set targets. Teleste continuously develops its access network products to allow its customers (operators) to reduce their network electricity consumption relative to the amount of data transmitted. The general measurement used in the industry is bit/W, which is the amount of data transferred using one unit of energy. New DOCSIS 3.1 devices with an extended frequency range provide operators with the opportunity to achieve a better efficiency ratio.
Recycling and reuse
The sorting of waste at source is essential for efficient recycling and reuse. At Teleste, all waste generated is appropriately sorted for recycling. In 2019, the Group generated 151.7 tonnes of waste, of which 85.6 tonnes were used as material and 62 tonnes for power generation. Only 3.4 tonnes were taken to disposal sites.
Teleste’s waste recycling rate decreased last year from 67 per cent to 57 per cent, but the total waste volume was reduced by 28 per cent.