During early November, world leaders gathered in Glasgow, United Kingdom, for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). This is an annual conference to assess progress in dealing with climate change, and more recently, progress towards goals set in the 2015 “Paris Agreement.” Topics included the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adopting sustainable farming practices, establishing zero-emission maritime routes, phasing out coal and fossil fuels, accelerating adoption of clean energy, reversing deforestation and providing financial support to developing nations on making the transition to net-zero. Poly attended the conference alongside representatives across industry, including Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon and the RBA.
This year, countries delivered their “National Determined Contributions,” or NDCs, which describe each country’s efforts to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The U.S. pledged to reduce carbon emissions to ensure a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 and plans to help countries around the world accelerate their clean energy transition, address pollution, and improve the planet. The full briefing on U.S. commitments is available here, but we, at Poly, have ambitious commitments and goals of our own.
We know that climate change is a global emergency, requiring urgent commitment and action. No excuses. As a global technology business, it is our responsibility to minimize our environmental impact and empower others to do the same. Creating better ways to communicate, connect and collaborate is at the very heart of Poly, and it’s where we will make our greatest contribution to battling climate change.
Tackling Needless Travel
COVID-19 reshaped the travel landscape, and Poly has put effort toward rethinking and reshaping when we travel. Poly’s portfolio of professional-grade audio and video products, backed by innovative management software, artificial intelligence, analytics, and insights, make the work-from-anywhere culture possible. In fact, hundreds of thousands of customers, companies, and institutions around the world use Poly products to come together and collaborate virtually as if they were in the same room. This not only saves significant time and money but also eliminates needless travel, helping Poly and our customers reduce our negative impact on climate change.
Reducing the Carbon Footprint
At Poly, we are committed to reducing energy use and carbon emissions from our operations. Our goal is to deliver absolute emissions reductions across our business, our products, and for our customers. We will achieve this by understanding and driving down emissions in our operations and through our supply chain; by building sustainability into the design of our products, wherever possible; and by leveraging our technological expertise and virtual communication solutions.
In 2020, our reported footprint was 12,382 tCO2e, approximately 25 percent of which was from our main manufacturing site in Tijuana, Mexico. This facility has one of the largest capacity solar projects installed over a roof in Latin America with 4,284 panels occupying a space the size of two soccer fields. Our main global sites, Santa Cruz, California, and Hoofddorp, Netherlands, have solar installations, too.
We’ve also made progress in understanding our carbon footprint. In the last year, we’ve undertaken a verification audit across our global sites by implementing a new carbon management software system, streamlining our data collection processes and consolidation method. This allows us to better understand and manage the energy use and operational emissions under our direct control, paving the way for ambitious goals as we move forward.
Poly was one of the first companies to achieve full compliance with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. We also work closely with our suppliers to ensure our entire supplier network follows RoHS requirements, and we comply with the EU’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. It’s true. We’ve set a positive precedent as leaders in compliance, but we are not done.
Just this year, we’ve made progress in integrating consistent processes and practices across Poly, including the adoption of a common Hazardous Substances Specification aimed at product designers and supply chain partners worldwide, which clearly outlines our requirements and provides a framework for compliance. We are pleased to share that we have not identified any instances of non-compliance during the reporting period.
Over the last year, we’ve continued to make good progress in reducing the use of plastics in our packaging. We completed a landmark project to begin replacing our plastic trays with paper-molded pulp. Several new product releases have been packaged in these trays, and we will now look to roll this out through other products in our portfolio. We’ll also be transitioning to a unified and centralized packaging process for all business units, something we’re looking to complete by the end of the 2022 fiscal year. This will help us further improve management, oversight, and consistency across our packaging range to drive environmental efficiencies
Reduce, Renew, Recycle!
Our Environmental Policy guides our operations, products, and services to reduce the materials from our business that negatively impact the environment. The policy commits us to prevent harm—particularly in the forms of pollution, emissions, waste, and hazardous substances—and applies to Poly’s worldwide operations, vendors, subcontractors, and suppliers.
Poly is also making efforts to reduce the number of legacy products that end up in landfills. Poly recently launched an environmentally friendly refurbishment program, Poly Renew. This “buy-back” initiative is helping Poly customers plan their post-pandemic, back-to-office IT strategy in an environmentally conscious way.
As a result of the pandemic driving most companies to remote work and reducing their real estate footprints, many Poly customers currently have unused desk phones which can be upcycled and refurbished.
With the Poly Renew program, Poly’s channel partners can now upcycle their existing, unused desk phones and redeem for voucher credit towards any Poly device, including headsets, voice, and video options, to fit their evolving collaboration needs in supporting a hybrid workforce.
If a product isn’t renewable, that’s okay, too. All discarded Poly products and packaging can be safely disposed of or recycled. We operate a voluntary global takeback and recycle program, through which customers can rest assured that end-of-life Poly products will be managed responsibly.
What We Know
We can’t ignore climate change or our role in it. Our planet hangs in the balance. We may only be able to take small steps each day, be it eliminating needless travel, reducing emissions, renew programs, or minimizing our carbon footprint, but we will take them. We will embrace our responsibility as a global technology company to tip the scale and better our world. For more information on how Poly is using our force for good, including details about our other initiatives, download our most recent Global CSR Report.