Reducing the impact of products and services with eco-design
As well as limiting its own direct impact, Orange is also working to reduce the impact of its products and services on the environment throughout their life cycle. We are doing this by developing eco-design processes for products (like the new Livebox, which now comes with features such as standby mode), and providing environmental labelling on mobile phones in France, Spain, and Romania.
We are also eco-designing our services, taking account, not only of the physical equipment but also the operations and processes linked to the service life-cycle. Eco-design of services is an emerging field in which few companies have invested so far.
To address the complexities of the concept, Orange Business Services have decided to start with some pilot projects. The first of these is the Multi Connect Business service which extends a range of business telephony services using IP provision to enhance functionality for end-users. We have implemented an eco-design/eco-innovation method which aims not only to reduce the impact on the environment but also to improve the customer experience whilst controlling costs.
The eco-innovation project brought in a wide range of professional skillsets. To lead the project we brought together the head of product marketing, the product line manager, a purchaser, two members of the Orange Labs technical team, the supply chain process manager, the after-sales service process manager and the head of the eco-design pilot programme. We also asked for input from our main supplier, and towards the end of the project we also worked with sales engineers and a corporate communications manager.
This enabled us to benefit from a variety of skills to enhance creativity, accelerate time to market, and also leverage participants’ networks to raise awareness among company staff not involved in the project.
The results of this pilot have been very positive. For a typical business customer using 100 telephones over five years, the financial gains are in the order of €13,000, while some 2,500 hours of travelling time are avoided, reducing CO2 emissions by around 10 metric tonnes. A follow-up project will be launched shortly.