To accelerate a shift towards a more circular economy, the environmental and ecological impact of fibre must be key considerations during the design and production processes. According to new Industry Insight from Prysmian Group, a focus on the development of sustainable fibre networks will ensure that global operators are playing their part towards realising a greener society.
With many companies, including Prysmian, setting out ambitious targets to reduce their impact on climate change, significant progress can be made by incorporating sustainable design trends. By increasing the weight of the fibre preforms, a reduction in both the percentage of unusable glass and the set-up time during the process is achieved. The melting of glass at the beginning of the process, which consumes energy, is carried out less frequently with larger preforms and as such, lessens the overall energy consumption.
In addition to this, the use of recycled materials can lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions. Prysmian itself has developed the first fibre optic network using over 90% polyethylene, which decreases the impact of raw material production and in turn, the amount of CO2 emissions. Prysmian reused 54% of its drums in 2020 to reduce its impact on product packaging and also monitors the percentage of waste that the company recycles on a global scale.
“Fibre can play a significant role in improving circularity, which should be a large focus for companies around the world. By making design and production processes more sustainable, we can all reduce the CO2 emissions that are being released,” said Prysmian Group Executive Vice President Telecom Business, Philippe Vanhille. “As the impact of climate change becomes more severe, the fibre optic production industry must seek to raise its standards when it comes to circularity. In 2019, Prysmian set the goal of reaching between 64 and 66 percent of waste recycled, which we exceeded in 2020. But there is always more that can be done and all businesses in the telecoms industry must play their part.”
The Industry Insight highlights how in addition to recycling materials, cables are becoming smaller and are having an immediate effect on CO2 emissions. If the diameter of a cable is reduced, the volume of material used will also decrease. This leads to a direct reduction in the overall CO2 footprint during the design process, but this also has a knock-on effect on the rest of the supply chain.
Vanhille continued: “If a cable is designed to offer a high performance but with a smaller diameter, less materials are needed to create that cable. In addition, it is possible to fit more cables per drum and fewer drums per shipment, which has a positive impact on the number of carbon emissions during transport. Design features can play a vital role when it comes to sustainability and meeting greener targets and must be a key consideration when it comes to developing cabling solutions.”Click below to share this article