Ericsson achieves carbon target a year ahead of schedule

Telecommunications company Ericsson has reached its five-year carbon footprint intensity target one year ahead of schedule, according to its annual sustainability report published today.

The target to reduce its carbon footprint by 40% was set in 2009 but the company claims it has exceeded expectations by improving product energy efficiency and focusing on its own internal operations.

The report states: “Ericsson takes a full life-cycle approach, through raw material extraction, manufacture, transport, use, disassembly and end-of-life with particular focus on energy efficiency, materials management and product take-back.

“We also work actively to reduce the environmental impact of our own activities.”

During 2012 the company achieved a 22% reduction in direct emission intensity from its own activities including facilities’ energy use, product transportation and business travel.

Absolute emissions from business travel fell by 16% and emissions from product transportation were cut by 12%.

In addition, 2012 saw a 16% reduction in indirect emissions from life-cycle impacts of products in operation.

As well as reducing its carbon footprint, Ericsson has recovered more than 98% of its waste, sending just 2% to landfill in 2012.

Since 2005 the company has offered a product take-back scheme to customers and between 2011 to 2012, take-back orders increased from 5,567 tonnes to 9,271 tonnes. This allowed Ericsson to meet its recovery target and meant that it exceeded its EU Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive target of 75%.

The company also has an ambitious target for 2013 to achieve 10% take-back versus equipment Put on Market (PoM) – more than double the 2012 target. Overall, Ericsson’s objective is to reach a level of 60% of PoM by 2016, primarily through increased customer awareness and better integration of decommissioning services with the Ericsson take-back process.

Conor McGlone

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