Ecodesign, a solution to protect the environment

Given the urgency of the energy transition, one of the things we can do is to limit our impact on natural resources. We are working in this direction by reducing the impact of our products and services starting from the creation stage using the ecodesign process.

Ecodesign, a solution to protect the environment

Ecodesign at Orange

Ecodesign involves integrating environmental protection throughout the life cycle of products and services. This approach reduces their environmental impact from the creation stage by taking into account the consumption of raw materials and energy, discharges into the natural environment and their effects on climate and biodiversity.

Our Livebox 4 is a perfect illustration of an ecodesigned product: in a more compact size, disassembly and reassembly are made easier by no soldered or glued components, thus simplifying recycling. The parts that can wear out (button, front panel, etc.) can be replaced without touching the housing. Its carton packaging, FSC approved (Forest Stewardship Council), is manufactured using cardboard from sustainably managed forests and uses vegetable-based inks. 50% of it is formed using recycled materials and does not exceed one third of the weight of the product. The Group was awarded a prize for this project at the sustainable development Mariannes d’Or 2017.

More recently, Orange has marketed a new TV HD ultra-compact decoder whose carbon footprint has been divided by two compared to the previous generation of decoders! In fact, 30% of its housing is made of recycled plastic. Its small size reduces the quantity of material used as well as optimising its transport. It has also been designed to make it easier to repair and recycle at its end of life.

Key numbers

  • 50% of recycled materials in the carton packaging of the Livebox 4
  • 30% recycled plastic in the housing of the TV HD decoder

Businesses and local authorities: eco-innovating for our customers

Ecodesigning a service, means taking into account not only the physical equipment needed, but also the activities and processes of the life cycle of the service in order to reduce the CO2 emissions of the whole of the cycle. To achieve this, Orange Business Services has set up pilot projects. The first of these concerns the Multi Connect Business service which completes a range of business telephone services with IP offers. With tangible results: savings of around EUR 13,000, 2,500 hours of business travel avoided and a reduction in CO2 emissions of around ten tonnes for a company with a hundred telephones after five years.

Finally, besides products and services, ecodesign can also apply to buildings. This is demonstrated in the new Orange shops in France where the lighting is produced by LED light bulbs that consume very little energy. The furniture and the construction materials of the shops have also been selected to minimise their environmental impacts.

The circular economy, a process of transformation and progress

Ecodesign is a key step in implementing the circular economy in all our processes. Following a Dialogue with our stakeholders carried out in the Group in 2017, a strategic steering committee of the circular economy was set up to decide what actions needed to be deployed and to prepare a 2017-2020 roadmap. This covers ecodesign, limiting the consumption of critical resources, reusing equipment and the possibility of giving a second life to waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

In Europe, Orange has pledged to collect 30% of the mobiles discarded by its customers by 2020. 1.6 million discarded mobile phones and 12 tonnes of mobile waste were collected in 2018 by the Group on the continent. We have created an exchange platform to reuse our boxes and develop the sale of second-hand mobiles. An internal refurbishment centre was also opened in Senegal in 2018 and we have organised systems for collecting discarded mobiles and processing tailored to each category of waste and to each country.

Finally, we are working on reducing our upstream impact by encouraging our suppliers to limit their use of critical materials and to promote the use of recycled resources. We are also working with the public authorities and the industrialists in different sectors to use the resources contained in the waste of electrical and electronic equipment. One tonne of this waste contains 50 times more scarce resources than one tonne of ore. Urban mines that need to be operated intensively!

Key numbers

  • 1.6 million discarded mobile phones collected in Europe
  • 20,000 decoders refurbished in Poland and reused in Senegal