Sustainability - is the industry doing enough?

I am fully behind the energy revolution and anyone keen to make a change.

We should all be moving away from fossil fuels and moving to renewable and greener forms of energy. We need to protect our planet for future generations and we are all seeing the negative effects of global warming all over the world; I read yesterday that Children born today are likely to face seven times more extreme weather events than their grandparents. Grim reading but we all need to act on it!

As a business Multimessage promotes repair services and logistics as part our mission to drive efficiency and improve sustainability for our customers. Repair and reuse rather than replace, we manage inventory and locate it closer to site to reduce transport emissions getting parts to and from site.

However, we and many other business's are up against manufacturers of telecom's equipment that is so cheap to produce that manufacturers and resellers choose to replace rather than repair.

Even the cloud solutions that have replaced traditional PBX (on-premise equipment) there seems to be a policy to provide new handsets for faulty devices. This is electronic waste generated by the Cloud and the race to the bottom. Whether it's the policy of the reseller, the Cloud platform or manufacturer of the handsets, offering a new handset might just get the customer deal, but it's not promoting sustainability.

I have worked within the Telecom industry for 20+ years, supporting maintenance operations of channel partners, a repaired or refurbished device was always the most cost effective solution and all part of a maintenance contract, we need to revert to this way of working to reduce electronic waste, transport emissions and support valuable electronics repair businesses.

Even when products are high value, many manufacturers are often not interested in repairing or working with a 3rd party who can provide regional repairs. Instead they prefer customers to buy high value replacements and happy to ship parts from all over the world because of the additional revenue it brings. A regional repair can avoid the transport emissions, reduce electronic waste and will also cost less for the customer.

The large telecom's companies will provide environmental reports, aim to reduce single use plastics and create products which are more energy efficient, which are all positive but I question, "are they doing enough?" Are they ticking boxes by generating reports and promoting their sustainability as part of their marketing without looking at their whole operations to see there are many areas still to improve?

Don't get me started on faulty equipment and repairs that are sent outside of the country as part of a fixed manufacturer process. This will be for another day and another article.

What are we doing... well as a business Multimessage is not perfect, but we are trying. We are ISO14001 certified and constantly striving to improve. We only use electricity from renewable resources, we do not use Gas. LED lights are installed throughout the building, solar panels are on site to eventually install on the 2 flat roof's.

In 2020 we created an internal scheme to encourage staff to change the vehicle they use to commute to work and go electric. For the next 2 years each employee has access to a one off lump sum to contribute to the initial payment associated with a new car or lease agreement. We also installed an ELV charging point on site for staff and customers to use as required.

In our repair centre we ensure we are not wasting electricity on equipment rarely used. Simple but effective, we can all monitor our energy consumption both at work and at home and reduce that waste.

These have not been major changes but are policies to make sure the resources we use as a business are as green as possible.

Up coming plans will be to offset carbon emissions using companies such as Ecologi who will plant a quantity of trees depending on our reported carbon emissions.

These are all things we as a business can monitor and be transparent on, striving to reduce our energy consumption and the environmental impact of the business.

These will also be the areas of the business that need further improvement, the amount of courier bags used within our logistics department which are purchased as biodegradable. The last time we checked it takes many many years to biodegrade so we are keen to move away from these for a reusable material that fit our needs and we'll find a way to incorporate into the business.

Thanks for engaging and share if insightful.


Managing Director


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