We regularly assess our environmental impacts as part of our ISO 14001 certified environmental management system and aim to continuously reduce the environmental impact of our product portfolio, business operations, and supply chain.
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emissions from 2014 baseline (Scope 2)
waste recycling rate (includes reuse, material recycling, and composting)
employees working on ISO 14001 certified sites
The environmental footprint generated by products over their life cycle can be influenced during the product design phase. Our product development process includes environmental requirements, and many of the required product qualities, such as energy efficiency, maintainability, and recyclability, are beneficial for the environment. The updateability and modular design of many of our products, combined with our field services, extend the product life cycle, which typically ranges from a year to over 20 years. However, we are aware that the global scarcity of resources and rapidly developing environmental requirements call for us to improve our product design process continuously.
To ensure that our products are safe for people and the environment, we set strict requirements on the materials used in our products during the product design process. Components are analyzed early in the new product development process to ensure compliance. We systematically collect information about substances that REACH* legislation has defined to be of very high concern as well as about compliance with RoHS** legislation in order to enable the safe use and end-of-life treatment of products. Furthermore, we are prepared to report the required infor¬mation in the SCIP database*** of the European Chemicals Agency. We select new suppliers carefully and ensure that they meet our strict requirements. At the end of a product’s life cycle, we advise customers to recycle the products in accordance with local best practices for electronics recycling or to return them to Vaisala for recycling.
* REACH = Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals
** RoHS = Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment
*** SCIP = Substances of Concern In articles, as such or in complex objects (Products)
Waste associated with Vaisala’s business operations is produced at the beginning of the supply chain in the manufacture of materials and com¬ponents, in Vaisala’s own operations related to manufacturing, repairing and servicing of products and the work of our personnel, as well as at the end of the value chain when a customer removes a Vaisala product from service.
Our main manufacturing site in Finland generates most of the waste in our own operations. There waste is sorted into 14 categories to enable its efficient processing and use. In the future, we are going to put even more effort in increasing personnel awareness, so that a larger portion of waste would end up in the correct category. We actively try to find ways to direct an even bigger proportion of waste to recovery in cooperation with our waste management service providers.
We also aim to reduce the amount of waste generated, for example by utilizing reusable trays for packaging with some of our suppliers and reducing scrap material produced in our manufacturing processes. We reduce the amount of waste at the end of the value chain by designing our products to last as long as possible and offering diverse maintenance and repair services for our products. In addition, we advise our customers on how to recycle our products at the end of their life cycles.
We believe in a future in which societies are powered by renewable energy. In 2015, Vaisala joined RE100, a global initiative encouraging companies to make a 100% renewable energy commitment within a clear timeframe. With this initiative, we committed to using 100% renewable electricity in our facilities by the end of 2020.
In 2020, we reached our target and succeeded in covering our sites’ electricity consumption with 100% renewable sources. The use of renewable electricity has reduced our energy consumption emissions by 97% compared to our baseline year 2014 (Scope 2, market-based).
Also the energy efficiency of our facilities is important to us. At the end of 2020, our head office in Vantaa was reinforced with a new research and development building, in which energy efficiency is improved by a heat recovery system, for example. In 2020, a new building designed for energy efficiency and sustainability was also taken into use in Boulder, Colorado.
We encourage our personnel to make climate-friendly choices. During 2020, we focused on promoting environmentally friendly commuting at our Finnish sites by enabling employees to use their sports and culture benefit on public transport tickets, participated in the national Kilometrikisa (Kilometer Competition) biking contest with our own Vaisala team, organizing a subsidized bicycle service campaign, and testing out a shuttle bus connection between our head office and the nearest train station.