ENVIRONMENT: Minimizing the lifecycle impact of our products
WE DESIGN PRODUCTS FOR LONG LIFETIMES
At Icotera, we genuinely believe in long-lasting products with a high lifespan. We want to create products that deliver sublime performance and great end-customer experiences. Realizing this puts high demands on everything from product design to choices of components and materials. It is also crucial that the products persist when new technologies gain ground, thereby reducing the need for replacement.
A fundamental principle for us is to design products that last. Our declared target is a useful life of eight years, but it is not unusual that our products remain installed in European households after ten years. We uphold this through absolute quality demands to every supplier in our value chain delivering components for our products.
This is also why all our products allow for effective refurbishment, and today we have a refurbishment rate of 90 percent (1). Our refurbishment service includes extensive testing before products are recycled to our customers to re-install with their end-users. In this process, only 7-8 percent are discarded. For our customers, this is not only a profitable business; it is a way of utilizing resources better and minimizing environmental impact.
WE MINIMIZE ENERGY AND WORK TO CUT WASTE
At Icotera, we design premium Wi-Fi and fiber termination products for increased performance and improved in-home internet experiences. High performance requires higher power consumption. But if having one high-end router powerful enough to cover the entire home means you can avoid three or four extenders, the total energy use is minimized.
At the same time, we constantly strive to push the limits for how much we minimize the size of our products and still deliver high performance. In this way, we empower ISPs to meet end-users’ desire for minimalistic design, yet we also force ourselves and our partners to shrink the size of each component that goes into our products so that it uses less energy and heat.
Lowering waste in our production is an important focus for us. An element in this regard is shifting to recycled plastic. Today, we offer our customers the option to have their batches produced with up to 90 percent recycled plastic . Our ambition is to reach 100 percent recycled material as the standard, not as an option.
One challenge is that the white color required to meet the design standard for our products today is not currently commercially available in recycled plastic. Luckily, the industry is developing rapidly, driven by end-users’ demands.
WE LIMIT THE USE OF SUBSTANCES OF CONCERN IN OUR PRODUCTS
We pay constant attention to limiting the use of substances of concern in our products. We have extensive black and grey lists of chemicals, and adhering to these is legally binding across all our suppliers and drives our design process. During 2023, we will extend our framework following directives from EU.
We have reduced the use of flame retardants based on bromine (Br), chlorine (Cl) and phosphate (P) significantly to adhere to Swedish chemical tax legislation. Today, all our products are certified according to Swedish legislation, which has limits 30-35 percent lower than the EU standard. We set this as a standard in all markets where we operate.
(1) Of returned products from customers for whom we handle their refurbishment.