Walking the talk of sustainability at Teleste

At Teleste, we’ve been working for decades to improve and optimise energy efficiency and power consumption. The key driver has primarily been to improve product performance which provides direct benefits to our customers by way of decreasing energy consumption and lowering electricity bills. However, heightened interest and expectations towards environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors have since become another key driver for taking on even bigger strides towards better power efficiency. We wholeheartedly welcome this shift towards more sustainable business practices. It is both fulfilling and exciting to utilise our vast experience and expertise in helping our customers achieve their goals and ambitions in the green transition.

In 2021, we set out to closely examine our processes across all our business lines to be able to precisely define our revised sustainability principles. We were quickly reminded that environmental considerations were already very much embedded into our values and practices, but there were still steps to be taken for us to pinpoint and sharpen our sustainability goals for 2022 and beyond.

Learning from a wealth of experience to impact the future

When we began to systematically review ESG requirements, we quickly discovered that we were already on the right track in many areas. Much of what we promise in our list of principles is based on what we have already been carrying out – in some cases for over a decade. As an example, ten years ago, in our main factory we completely removed the use of plastics from our product packaging and transitioned into using non-colorized cardboard. Our shipping packages sent out of Finland are now not only fully recyclable but are also manufactured from already partially recycled materials. We also make sure that our packing techniques are optimized for pallets and are thus increasing transportation efficiency.

Innovation is not only done on the hardware, packaging and logistics side – also software plays an increasingly important role. We leverage customer experiences and data as much as possible to further develop the software and firmware of our products – to tweak and tune power efficiency well into their life cycles.

At Teleste, almost everything is designed, developed, and manufactured in-house, which gives significant advantages when it comes to ensuring the quality, reliability, and delivery of our products and makes us less susceptible to component shortages and supply-chain disruptions. We require that our significant suppliers commit to ethical and environmentally friendly operations, and we aim for efficient and sustainable use of water, energy, and materials in all operations.

The industry’s growing need for increased energy efficiency

In addition to environmental considerations, the current uncertainties in energy markets makes energy efficiency more important than ever. Across all our business lines – everything from Edge QAM devices to our on-board information displays have been designed for maximal power efficiency, without sacrificing performance. As an example, our Intelligent Networks technology has ushered in broadband nodes and amplifiers that are able to optimize power consumption to the actual network capacity.

At massive scales, even small power efficiency improvements within the network can significantly increase efficiency and reduce the overall CO₂ footprint. In addition, our intelligent network devices are fully remotely operable, which means less on-site adjustment and less physical truck roll.

We are currently working closely to take advantage of future technologies, such as DOCSIS 4.0, and coming up with ways to keep the network power consumption in control while maximizing the capacity and performance. Result of such development will enable a significantly longer life cycle for the fixed network infrastructure.

Reliability at the core of sustainability – designed to last and evolve

When designing our products, we consider the environmental impacts throughout their entire life cycle. This is reflected in the design emphasis we also put on the durability and serviceability of our products. As an example, network hardware products are often expected to have a long technical life cycle. Instead of swapping out hardware every few years due to failure and performance degradation, our hardware is built to last until the next generational transition. In addition, many of our software-operated products are remotely serviceable and will get performance and efficiency improvements well into their lifecycle.

Regardless of the product, every technology will ultimately reach end-of-life and for this stage, our products are designed to be recyclable. For example, the vast majority of our products are equipped with an aluminum enclosure that can be fully disassembled and detached. We also actively avoid using materials that are non-recyclable or are otherwise harmful to the environment, and we, of course, abide by the EU’s SVHC (substances of very high concern) requirement and pay stringent attention to materials that can be harmful to handle.

Employee engagement as a driver for environmental innovation

Innovation is at the very core of Teleste’s working culture, and this is something that we are very proud of. We have made steps to create a work environment where our employees have the opportunity to bring up new ideas and suggestions to improve working methods and the products that we create. Our plan is to pay even more attention to sustainable development in the future. As an example of our efforts, the next annual Teleste Innovation Challenge will focus specifically on environmentally sustainable solutions that aim to improve recyclability, energy efficiency, or the use of recycled materials.

Taking meaningful environmental action requires concerted efforts, and we are committed to exploring how we can build a more sustainable future together with our customers. Our enormous wealth of experience and expertise combined with our agility to innovate gives us a strong foundation upon which to lead the charge to drive our industry towards a greener future.

Pasi Järvenpää

Pasi Järvenpää

I’m currently heading Teleste’s R&D. Together with our R&D teams we work everyday to build smart, safe, smooth and sustainable future. Please visit my LinkedIn for more information.