Developing Eco-Sustainable Networks

Measuring impact from end to end

Massive amounts of data, applications and services continue to move to the cloud, stored in increasingly large data centers. To support this shift — and deliver dynamic, multi-screen video along with elastic, pay-as-you-go, cloud-based services — today’s networks have to handle unprecedented volumes of traffic. Global mobile broadband connections are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% from 2012 to 2017, reaching 4.5 billion connections by 2017.¹

Along with this comes an increased demand for power. In 2011, the Internet used about 30 billion watts of electricity, roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants, with only six to 12% of electricity used to power servers performing computations.²

The Shift Plan launched in June 2013 describes how the company’s specializations in the technologies at the heart of next-generation networks — IP networking, cloud and ultra-broadband access — combined with Bell Labs expertise and the technical vision of Alcatel-Lucent’s CTO, continue our commitment to innovative eco-efficient networks.

Read more on The Shift Plan  >

Cloud computing will be critical to the future of energy-efficient networks, starting with cloud-enabled labs that share resources and the energy needed to test and develop solutions. Reducing overall consumption yields cost savings that also benefit our customers.

1 Ovum,
2 New York Times,

The Cloud Shift and mobile technology
The Cloud Shift is our vision for building a better cloud with high performance, reliability and greater scalability using open carrier-grade virtualized networks that leverage the flexibility of the cloud. We are virtualizing our mobile portfolio through the separation of functional software from underlying hardware, helping mobile operators by virtualizing mobile networking functions and moving them into cloud. Our network functions virtualization (NFV) portfolio includes evolved packet core (EPC), IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and radio access network (RAN) and extends them to the cloud.


Mobile operators can deploy these network applications to drive breakthrough scalability and elasticity, becoming more agile, efficient and responsive. NFV appeals to mobile service providers now because it allows them to innovate more quickly and easily while providing the best return on their investments in an all-IP network infrastructure such as LTE. It enables network automation and efficient use of resources for rapid scaling up and down of services.



See how the Cloud is simplifying operations and deployments for more eco-efficient networks.


The network energy gap chart


Our 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS) Core Router addresses the increasing costs of growing core networks. Instead of requiring additional platforms that escalate power usage and space requirements, the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 XRS Core Router elegantly scales within a single system. Network operators can save more than 50% in power and space costs over a five-year horizon of network growth.

Read the research report  >

Looking at the whole lifecycle
Our life cycle approach addresses the environmental impacts of technologies from the concept stage onward. Notable applications include:

  • Logistics tools that quickly compare various routes for shipping components and finished goods, suggesting cost- and energy-efficient alternatives
  • Design guidance and best practices for product developers to reduce end-of-life environmental impacts associated with disassembly, reuse and recycling

We further minimize our environmental impact by:

  • Extending product lifetime and value through, for example, upgradeable hardware and software features
  • Developing equipment that consumes less space and generates less heat
  • Providing more functionality per kilowatt used
  • Operating on alternate energy when possible
  • Ensuring a safe electromagnetic environment
  • Reducing acoustic noise
  • Using materials with low environmental impacts
  • Providing eco-efficient product packaging and transport

The Alcatel-Lucent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Estimator

Alcatel-Lucent has developed and introduced a common Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Estimator methodology within ITU L.1410 (published February 2012) and the ICT Guidance for the World Resources Institute GHG Protocol (publication anticipated 2014).

Alcatel-Lucent has pioneered a simple, accurate LCA Estimator to generate product carbon footprint (PCF) information on all our new product families. The results are provided in an eco-declaration for each product that conforms to:

  • The European Association for Standardization Information and Communication Systems ECMA-370 standard
  • The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62430 standard for Environmentally Conscious Design for Electrical and Electronic Products

The LCA Estimator is also used to evaluate material alternatives, transportation routing, and power profile options.

As well, we have championed the adoption and development of the LCA Estimator framework for broader industry-wide use and alignment through the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI), an ICT industry consortium. We are currently leading the estimator’s integration into the ICT Sector Guidance for the World Resources Institute Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP).


Developing Eco-Sustainable Networks lifestyle assessment

Innovation for a sustainable future

Green innovation


Green Innovation highlights include:

  • More than 50 Bell Labs scientists, researchers and engineers around the world are working on green research projects, collaborating with more than 50 other companies, research institutes and universities within the GreenTouch consortium and on bilateral bases. Ernst & Young icon
  • We remain strongly committed to our partnerships with universities around the world, with Bell Labs actively supporting and funding more than 20 university green research collaboration projects in 2013. Ernst & Young icon
  • Approximately 10% of Bell Labs patents are dedicated to energy-related and green innovations. Ernst & Young icon
  • The GreenTouch consortium released its Green Meter Research Study, which showed that it is indeed possible to reduce the net energy consumption in communication networks by 90% by 2020. Ernst & Young icon

As the research division of Alcatel-Lucent, Bell Labs has recognized for several years now that network energy consumption is one of the major industrial challenges facing Alcatel-Lucent’s customers and the ICT industry at large. With the predicted exponential traffic growth in communication networks and increased cost of energy, the operational expense and the energy bills of service providers are expected to increase significantly unless new technologies are developed to improve the energy efficiency of telecommunications equipment and lower its power consumption. Equally important are a number of deployment scenarios where access to a stable, reliable power grid cannot be taken for granted. These include off-grid and bad-grid deployments in developing countries and rural areas as well as massive deployments of network equipment (such as small cells for example) in which providing power to the equipment presents significant operational challenges and expenses. Ernst & Young icon


Bell Labs’ Network Energy Research program, formerly called the Green Research program, focuses on optimizing network energy utilization and driving innovative solutions to Alcatel-Lucent’s products in the near, medium and long terms. The program’s research efforts span all major areas of the network, including wireless, fixed access, metropolitan and core networks, and optical transmission. The program also investigates innovative applications of ICT technologies in connected and smart cities applications, including smart grids and electric mobility applications.

The Bell Labs Network Energy Research program aims to:

  • Dramatically improve end-to-end network energy efficiency
  • Provide technologies, solutions and services for sustainable communications and networked computing based on out-of-the-box thinking, "clean slate" architectures and open innovation
  • Address technical and operational challenges resulting from high energy consumption and limited or no access to reliable and stable power sources

This work involves more than 50 researchers, scientists and engineers around the world, collaborating either directly or through jointly funded projects, industry consortia, research institutes and universities. These include the GreenTouch consortium and the INTelligent Energy aware NETworks (INTERNET) consortium in the UK, where Bell Labs serves on the industrial advisory board.

With Bell Labs research highlighting longer-term barriers to sustainable network growth, energy considerations have become important to a large number of new Bell Labs projects.

Supporting university collaborations
Despite current budget pressure, Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs are committed to maintaining a strong university collaboration program focused on high-quality, high-impact research activities.


Bell Labs actively supported and funded 20 university green research collaborations in 2013.

GreenTouch™ Consortium
Because network energy consumption affects the entire ICT industry, the Bell Labs vision is also based on extensive collaboration with service providers, equipment manufacturers, utility companies and academia. Such collaboration is at the core of the GreenTouch consortium, which was founded in 2010 to improve network energy efficiency by a factor of 1,000 compared to 2010. Ernst & Young icon

Bell Labs is a founder and remains the most active member of the GreenTouch consortium — a global, pre-competitive research initiative with the mission to improve network energy efficiency by a factor of 1,000 compared to 2010 levels. Its deliverables by 2015 include the architectures, solutions and roadmap needed to realize its objective, and the demonstration of key technologies.

Members of Bell Labs hold leadership positions in GreenTouch, including:

  • Chair of the Executive Board
  • Chair of the Technical Committee
  • Chair of the Mobile Communications Working Group
  • Chair of the Marketing and Communications Subcommittee
  • Chair of the Funded Projects Subcommittee
  • Co-chair of the Operations Committee
  • Co-chair of the Services, Policies and Standards Working Group


In 2013, its third year of operation, the GreenTouch consortium released its Green Meter Research Study, which showed that it is indeed possible to reduce the net energy consumption in communication networks by 90% by 2020.

Read the study  >

Green Meter Research Study
The GreenTouch consortium published a first-of-its-kind Green Meter Research Study last year showing the predicted traffic growth of future networks can be supported while significantly reducing the total network energy consumption. The study also described a roadmap and full technology portfolio for equipment vendors and service providers, quantifying the relative energy-efficiency benefits of individual technologies. This significant reduction in net energy consumption, up to 90% compared to the 2010 reference scenario, is enabled by new technologies and derived from associated energy efficiency gains in the respective components networks. These energy efficiency gains include gains of 1,043 times in mobile access networks, 449 times in wireline access networks and 64 times in core backbone networks.

The Green Meter results have been cited in numerous articles, reports, blogs and social media platforms. Alcatel-Lucent experts, including the Chair of the Executive Board and Chair of the Technical Committee, have given more than 30 interviews to technical reporters, journalists and analysts. Several current research projects and activities are expected to be included in future updates of the Green Meter calculations.

The network energy gap chart

Energy efficiencies enhanced by GreenTouch innovations. GreenTouch Green Meter Research Study: “Reducing the Net Energy Consumption in Communications Networks by up to 90% by 2020"

The Universal Router Energy Model
In May 2013, the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) — a key GreenTouch member funded by Bell Labs — demonstrated a vendor-agnostic router/switch power consumption model that can be applied to any packet traffic profile. Validated on an Alcatel-Lucent router, the model assessed the energy required to carry traffic across different network paths, allowing service providers to choose the most energy-efficient routes.


Discover how service providers can measure power consumption for better eco-sustainability.


World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability
GreenTouch Chairman Thierry Van Landegem was invited to share his insights into the GreenTouch model and progress with the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability. The second edition of the Council’s monthly newsletter, Green Light Report, featured GreenTouch.

Read the report  >

Events, conferences, workshops and trade shows
GreenTouch also organized and participated in a number of industry events, conferences, workshops and trade shows, sharing its vision and results and encouraging others to contribute. These included a Green Information Communication Technology Summit in collaboration with Verizon and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, a Belgian workshop on the role of ICT in helping the European Union reach its 2020 energy efficiency target, the EcoCity World Summit Workshop, the IEEE 2013 Online Conference on Green Communications and TIA 2013’s sustainability track.

GreenTouch members are frequently invited to speaking and interview engagements, presentations, workshops, panel discussions and keynote addresses at important industry and academic conferences.

Read the list of events  >


The GreenTouch consortium includes more than 50 members from 23 countries and more than 300 participants, continuing strong partnerships and collaborations with Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) and MIT.

GreenTouch has initiated 16 research programs since its inception — with more than 15 individual projects and research activities — spanning all areas of the network. It has also established and defined a network reference architecture as a baseline model for comparison of future energy efficient technologies. Bell Labs currently leads and is a key contributor to eight GreenTouch™ research projects.

Other green research partnerships
Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs participate in several other major collaborative efforts focused on green innovations, including research to understand the energy implications of the current explosive growth in wireless access to cloud services. One example of this is the company’s work with the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) in Melbourne, Australia.

Read CEET’s Power of Wireless white paper  >
Read more about CEET  >

Reducing the impact of our products and solutions

We maintain high standards of product stewardship and consider the environmental impact of our products throughout their life cycles, from design to end of life.

Improving the efficiency of raw materials use Ernst & Young icon
Our life cycle assessment (LCA) approach evaluates the consumption of raw materials throughout the life cycles of our products. Data and results from LCA assessments inform continual improvements to achieve more efficient use of raw materials and energy at every stage of product life: raw material extraction, pre-processing, intermediate material and component manufacturing, final manufacturing and assembly, packaging, distribution and installation, use, and end-of-life reuse and recycling. These improvements are incorporated into our best practices for environmentally conscious product design. Examples of Alcatel-Lucent processes that improve the efficiency of raw materials use are:

  • Design-to-cost reduces the cost of goods sold by developing new products at a high quality level and expected cost while maximizing resource efficiency and reducing environmental impact. We recently extended the implementation of the design-to-cost process to go beyond core parts and cover whole systems such as power supplies, rack assemblies and installation materials.
  • Designing for standardization reduces parts inventories by increasing the use of “golden” catalogs and reuse of “golden” parts. Golden catalogs and parts are to be considered first in any new design or redesign to increase the commonality of such parts across the company — promoting resource conservation and design simplicity. Golden catalogs, which cover relevant commodities for everything from board designs to field installation materials, now cover 95% of our technology needs. For example, Alcatel-Lucent equipment racks are standardized to only six reference designs, resulting in a common look and feel that simplifies rack interchangeability and stocking, which saves on material and energy consumption due to reduced inventories and logistics.
  • Common designs and design reuse increases parts interchangeability, provides common toolsets and reduces the need for component testing and qualification — ultimately lowering production costs and impact on the environment by reducing inventory, obsolescence and waste. This philosophy is illustrated by the recent launch of our new Component Selection Tool, which standardizes access to component portfolios across all business lines.
  • Eco-efficient product designs provide increased functionality (e.g., capacity, service, performance) per unit of electricity consumed while occupying less physical space, weighing less and using fewer types of materials. This has significantly reduced the amount of raw materials consumed in our products over their entire life cycles. For example, our FP3 network processor chipset in our 7950 XRS core router family enables faster service delivery while consuming 66% less electricity. Its density is also five times that of its competitors, with a design that converges multiple networks onto a single core platform able to support all network requirements — meaning fewer components and raw materials go into its increased functionality.
  • Improved materials selection guidance supports optimal materials selection during the design phase to deliver increased efficiency in material consumption while offsetting other material and energy flows and environmental impacts. For instance, selecting aluminum with a high metal recycled content (~65%) over painted steel (~30% recycled content) for product chassis and cabinets significantly reduces raw materials extraction requirements. It also produces a lighter-weight product that consumes less energy during shipping, installation, and end-of-life product takeback and recycling. Aluminum also needs fewer materials for corrosion and finish protection.
  • Enhanced LCA methodology developed and introduced by Alcatel-Lucent provides a common LCA estimator methodology within the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) L.1410 (published February 2012) and the ICT Guidance for the World Resources Institute GHG Protocol (published in early 2014).
  • Accelerated innovation delivers technological and environmental innovations to market more quickly, increasing access to resource-efficient equipment that uses less energy and materials resources. The acceleration of our R&D cycles has hastened the development of the innovation building blocks that enable the rapid production of breakthrough technologies and intellectual property such as lightRadio™.
  • Product packaging has a direct impact on the raw materials consumed and waste generated from our manufacturing processes. It also indirectly affects the amount of transport space required to deliver our products. By replacing the plywood and solid wood containers used in our primary (outer) packaging with cartons made of recycled fiber, we are reducing demand on natural resources such as forests and lowering the weight of our packaged products, thereby reducing transportation needs. In just one year we have converted 10,000 wooden containers to recycled-fiber cartons.
  • Product transport logistics help avoid excessive parts inventories and reduce the cost and environmental impact of transportation during the intermediate/final manufacturing and product-distribution stages. New analytical tools help plan parts inventories and their movement throughout the manufacturing stage. Additionally, by implementing a regional campus manufacturing model, products forecasted for high demand can be manufactured closer to our major customers.

Managing materials
We place paramount importance on minimizing and managing the environmental impacts of materials used in our products and throughout our supply chain. Our supplier requirements specify our expectations for the control and tracking of material content, as well as prohibitions against materials that are banned, restricted or to be avoided in our products or packaging.

Specifically, our suppliers must track material content information according to the IEC 62474: Material Declaration for Products of and for the Electrotechnical Industry. We maintain a robust material/substance content management process to aggressively limit the impact of hazardous materials and waste on human health and the environment. This process ensures that we:

  • Meet regulatory material restrictions in all markets we serve
  • Go beyond legislative material restrictions where there is a sound scientific basis for doing so, which includes abiding by regional legislative requirements on a global level and respecting material restrictions
  • Invest in research and development both independently and through partnerships to minimize the eco-impact of materials
  • Advocate the use and adoption of lower eco-impact materials among our suppliers, customers and in the industry at large

Restricted substances Ernst & Young icon
Our EHS policies outline global mandates, requirements and standards related to the use of hazardous substances. We also maintain similar standards for our suppliers: our contracts include clauses mandating specific requirements for substances that are banned, restricted, to be avoided or reportable to us (for further information, please refer to Section 4.4.3 “Responsible purchasing”).

We maintain a detailed five-year roadmap on substances we may target for banning based on future regulatory trends and proactive voluntary actions. We regularly update our hazardous substances requirements to include new requirements and targets. For example:

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): We have voluntarily reduced our use of PVC over the last several years in recognition of its associated environmental and human health risks. By the end of 2015, our goal is to eliminate PVC from our products where it is technically, economically and environmentally feasible. Though there are challenges with PVC elimination when applied to network infrastructure equipment, we are aggressively taking action on multiple fronts, including R&D, supplier/industry partnerships, and advocating with customers and standards-development organizations.
  • Lead: While compliance with materials-related legislation such as the Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive and the Restriction, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation is primarily EU-focused, we have adopted these globally. Our products are fully RoHS compliant — and although network infrastructure equipment is currently exempt from the RoHS requirement to eliminate lead-based solders, all of our new designs for network infrastructure equipment are lead-free. We are on track to meet our goal of eliminating all remaining lead-based solder from our network infrastructure products globally by mid-2014, two years in advance of the expiration of the RoHS exemption.

We invest in R&D, partnerships and externally funded projects to identify and evaluate alternative materials with reduced eco-impact (whether through reduced toxicity or prolonged product life cycle). These include, for example, PVC alternatives, halogen- and lead-free materials, fluxes and corrosion protection. In addition, our history of leading-edge, lead-free R&D — both internally and via industry partnerships — has been crucial in establishing a critical understanding of lead-free assembly reliability and addressing key risk areas such as device attachment, surface finishes, solder alloys and tin whiskers. We continue to investigate halogen-free printed wiring board materials for lead-free assembly, compatibility and reliability.

2013 Achievement

Our target by the end of 2015 is to replace the use of PVC in our products with alternatives that are technically and economically viable. In 2013, we continued implementing PVC substitutions for our major cable purchases, which represent 80% of our total cable spending. We worked with strategic suppliers on introducing technically and economically viable alternatives to PVC in cables.

Product materials content Ernst & Young icon
In 2013, Alcatel-Lucent delivered 254,658 metric tons of equipment to market. To ensure our products make the most efficient use of materials, we analyze them to better understand the composition of both their component materials and recycled content, identifying opportunities for improvement.

The following are material content examples for our finished products:

9234e Base Station d2U (wireless product)
Total weight of finished product (typical configuration supplied to customer) 139.6 kg
Metals aluminum: 55.8 kg; copper: 35.4 kg; stainless steel: 10.7 kg; steel: 0.8 kg; other metals: trace
Percentage of metals in finished product 73.6%
Plastics epoxy resin: 32.1 kg; ABS/polycarbonate: 4.5 kg; other plastics: trace
Percentage of plastics in finished product 26.2%
Other materials glass fiber, ceramics, organics, minerals: 0.3 kg
Percentage of other materials in finished product 0.2%


1830 PSS-4 Photonic Service Switch (IP routing and transport product)
Total weight of finished product (typical configuration supplied to customer) 11.1 kg
Metals stainless steel/steel: 2.4 kg; copper: 1.8 kg; aluminum: 0.5 kg; tin: 0.4 kg; nickel, zinc, silver and other metals: 0.4 kg
Percentage of metals in finished product 49.7%
Plastics ABS/polycarbonate: 4 kg; epoxy resin: 1.1kg; polypropylene, polyethylene and other plastics: 0.1 kg
Percentage of plastics in finished product 46.8%
Other materials glass fiber: 0.1 kg; ceramics: 0.1 kg; organics (e.g., resins, pigments): 0.1 kg; minerals (e.g., ferric oxide): trace
Percentage of other materials in finished product 3.5%

We work closely with our components and materials suppliers to use a high percentage of recycled input materials in raw materials processing and manufacturing. The following shows the percentage of recycled materials typically contained within our feedstock materials:

Percentage of recycled materials typically contained within feedstock materials
Aluminum 40% avg.; extruded forms – up to 85%; sheet products – up to 63%; electronic components – up to 5%
Zinc coatings – up to 36%; die castings – ~10%
Lead large battery storage plates – ~50%
Tin solder – up to 5%
Steel 47% avg.; structural parts – ~80%; rolled sheet goods – up to 35%
Stainless steel 60% avg.
Copper 38% avg.; structural – up to 75%; electrical/electronic – up to 5%
Nickel 34% avg.
Packaging ~50% in cardboard packaging for shipped products


Example for a single Alcatel-Lucent wireless product (9234e Base Station d2U)
Total weight of materials in product 139.6 kg
Total weight of metals in product 102.7 kg
Total weight of recycled material in metals 42.2 kg
Percentage of recycled input material in product 30%


Example for a single Alcatel-Lucent IP routing and transport product (1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS))
Total weight of materials in product 11.1 kg
Total weight of metals in product 5.5 kg
Total weight of recycled material in metals 1.8 kg
Percentage of recycled input material in product 16%

Ensuring product safety
Alcatel-Lucent is committed to meeting the needs of its customers and ensuring the safety of its employees and the general public. We assess the health and safety impacts of all our products at all stages of their life cycles. During the design phase, we work with suppliers to avoid the use of hazardous materials. We ensure that all materials are prepared for transportation according to nationally or internationally accepted regulations. Our technical documentation provides specific guidance for the safe use of our products, and mandatory training for Alcatel-Lucent Services personnel covers a range of topics to ensure a safe workplace.

Additionally, all Alcatel-Lucent products that emit radio frequency (RF) energy must comply with country-specific regulations for human exposure to RF emissions in the manufacturing and product-use phases. Compliance is determined either by analytical assessment or measurement of propagated RF energy. Finally, our company requirement dictates that all electronic waste is shipped to processing facilities that have passed our EHS liability assessment. Unless otherwise specified, all electronic waste is processed to recover as much of its recyclable material as possible.

Our position on human exposure to the electromagnetic environment
We closely follow health and regulatory issues related to wireless communications, including those associated with the electromagnetic environment. This effort has been recognized by third parties such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which since 2006 has assigned Alcatel-Lucent the highest score achievable in the electromagnetic fields category. We actively contribute to the international standardization bodies that develop exposure assessment standards. We ensure that our product portfolio — including macro cells, small cells and Wi-Fi — complies with national and international standards and regulations on human exposure.

Scientific knowledge about electromagnetic environment
Our position regarding the electromagnetic environment is based on the opinion of more than 150 expert committees mandated by national and international authorities to assess the advancement of scientific knowledge. All have been consistent in concluding there is no established health effect from exposure to RF fields below the limits set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) — the international commissions recognized by the WHO.

As outlined in the WHO’s Fact Sheet 304: "Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak radio frequency signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects." This statement applies to all mobile and wireless network technologies implemented by Alcatel-Lucent, including CDMA, GSM, W-CDMA/UMTS, LTE and Wi-Fi.

Harmonizing exposure limits
We track the evolution of the scientific knowledge on which present exposure limits are based. Expert committees such as Europe’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks conclude there is no established health effect at exposure levels below the guidelines developed by ICNIRP.

Contributing to international standardization initiatives
We support the development of human exposure assessment standards through international standardization bodies and industry associations. We also contribute to the global standardization framework of exposure assessment methods coordinated by the International Electrotechnical Commission. This framework aims to harmonize exposure assessment methods from regional and international standardization bodies such as the IEEE and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization.

Packaging and distribution
Lean packaging
Packaging has a direct impact on the environment through the consumption of raw materials and waste generated from manufacturing and disposal. It also affects transportation-related GHG emissions by increasing the amount of shipping space required.

Alcatel-Lucent has recently focused on reducing the amount of packaging we use for our products. We’ve eliminated unnecessary primary and secondary packaging, reduced “void space” and ceased the physical shipment of certain products, relying instead on digital delivery of software and licenses.

Efficient transport
New package design has allowed us to double-stack product in pallet shipments, such as our optical network termination units shipping from Asia to North America. The new packaging allows twice as much product to be shipped per ocean container, providing considerable cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint.

In 2013, the Global Direct Order Fulfillment (DOF) Project will enable us to ship our products from our various manufacturing and warehousing locations to our customers in the most direct manner possible, reducing transit time and GHG emissions. We’re also further reducing our carbon footprint by shifting from air freight to surface transit whenever possible.

Increasing the energy efficiency of products in use
To meet the dramatic growth in broadband traffic, our customers have to deploy more capacity in their networks — increasing operational costs and power requirements. The use of a typical network product accounts for 80–90% of its total environmental impact, the bulk of which is associated with energy consumption. Consequently, reducing energy consumption and developing energy-efficient, eco-sustainable products and solutions have become critical to the long-term affordability of telecommunication networks.

Leading-edge advances in energy efficiency are incorporated into key products throughout our product portfolio, reducing both powering and cooling costs compared to products with competitive silicon technology.

  • IP routing: At the heart of the Alcatel-Lucent 7450 Ethernet Service Switch, 7750 Service Router and 7950 Extensible Routing System is the in-house-designed FP3 network processing silicon chipset. Driving down power-per-gigabit by more than 50% in edge-routing applications and up to 66% in core applications compared to competitive silicon technology, the FP3 serves as the foundation for the continued evolution of our IP router product portfolio.
  • IP transport: The 400G Photonic Service Engine (PSE), an in-house-designed application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), is a key component in our Photonic Service Switch (PSS) product platform. Optimizing performance by extending reach without the need for costly electrical regeneration, it increases network capacity by 2.6 times while reducing power consumption and footprint by one-third. Compared to our previous DWDM product generation, the PSS platform occupies 75% less space and consumes 69% less energy for each gigabit/second of data transported.
  • IP platforms: We are improving the sustainability performance of our IP platform solutions by increasing subscriber density per square meter as well as the number of subscribers per watt consumed. Energy efficiency will also increase due to the increased density of multi-core processors, and the virtualization of applications such as CTS, SCG, ICS and PCM in the same hardware chassis.
  • Fixed networks: Bringing more efficient fixed access networks to market relies on optimized hardware development. This means designing critical components in-house and using only the most advanced generation of Class H line drivers, and working with chipset vendors to minimize the number of chipsets and increase the level of integration of various access functions. Our “green DSL” platform, which is based on the three power modes defined by the ITU (full power, low power and sleep mode), utilizes the Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) to allow significant power savings in each DSL port. Research to further improve the energy efficiency of our products is also being conducted on concepts such as reduced data transfers across chip interfaces, minimized buffer sizes and new interconnect technologies like 3D stacking. Clock gating, dynamic voltage and frequency scaling also provide opportunities for reduced power consumption.
  • Wireless networks: We have developed a holistic approach to increasing the energy efficiency of our radio access portfolio:
    • At the site and system architecture levels, we promote the implementation of distributed site architectures based on remote radio head and the deployment of heterogeneous networks, leveraging features that can switch macro cell carriers or small cells on or off depending on traffic load.
    • At the product design level, our macro base station power amplifiers can adjust consumption based on traffic load. Energy efficiency also drives our small cell product designs.
    • We focus on identifying energy-efficient hardware architectures, selecting components with low power consumption and providing increased functionality for a given power-consumption level. With our partner Qualcomm, we are building the highest performing small cells with the lowest power consumption in the industry.

Helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals
Canada’s Shaw Communications is one of the first companies in the world to experience the ability of 400G technology to meet rising traffic demand. In a trial using the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 PSS with the 400G Photonic Service Engine (PSE), Shaw successfully doubled the capacity of its existing network to 17.6 Tbps. 400G will not only help Shaw handle higher traffic volumes faster but also makes the network more energy efficient, supporting the company’s commitment to reducing energy consumption while optimizing operating and network maintenance costs.

Read more about our trial with Shaw  >
Learn more about the 1830 PSS  >

Telenet, Belgium’s leading cable broadband provider, became first in Europe to use the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 XRS to deliver bandwidth-intensive video, cloud and high-speed wireless services and applications while reducing its energy footprint. The 7950 XRS consumes 66% less energy than other core routers available today, supporting Telenet’s commitment to reduce its ecological footprint.


2015 Target

Improve the functional energy efficiency of our radio access technology — now part of the lightRadio portfolio — by at least 75% between 2008 and 2015. We are on track to meet this goal.

Takeback, remanufacturing and recycling Ernst & Young icon
Alcatel-Lucent offers global product takeback, remanufacturing and recycling services for any type of telecom products regardless of vendor. Members of our global network of approved recycling vendors collect and recycle products that have reached their end of life. Customers are provided with an online request form to arrange equipment pick-up. Where possible, we participate in public recovery systems.

In 2013, Alcatel-Lucent managed 7,463 metric tons of electronic waste. Of this, 500 metric tons of equipment and components were remanufactured and/or resold, of which 111,612 circuit packs and 1,222 configured pieces of equipment were remanufactured internally at Alcatel-Lucent.

We also avoided producing more than 10,335 metric tons of CO2e by remanufacturing new equipment and components. Approved recycling partners recycled 6,743 metric tons. Of this, 97% was recycled or resold, 1.3% was treated by incineration and 1.7% was disposed of via secure landfill. In 2013, nine new product families were added to our remanufacturing and resale operations. The overall number of Alcatel-Lucent product families under the current remanufacturing/resale process has grown from 45 in 2008 to 95 in 2013.

Telecommunication networks operated by our customers employ significant amounts of batteries to maintain the required backup power to run a stable network. Alcatel-Lucent has a battery maintenance, installation and removal, transportation and recycling program across the United States to ensure these batteries are properly managed and recycled. The goal is to enable customers to manage potentially harmful chemicals from lead-acid batteries from entering the nation’s waste stream and instead be available to be used again in new batteries. Alcatel-Lucent recycled 3,752.6 metric tons of lead-acid batteries from customers’ networks in 2013, resulting in the recovery of 2,626.8 metric tons of lead for use in the manufacture of new batteries.

2013 Achievement

In 2013, 97% of 7,463 metric tons of electronic waste was recycled or resold, 1.3% was treated by incineration and 1.7% was disposed of via secure landfill.

Contact Us

We hope this online report provides useful information about the sustainability challenges facing businesses and societies today. We will continue to engage in constructive discussions on these topics as we continue to work toward solutions for a thriving, sustainable world. Throughout the year, you can find dynamic, regularly updated content on:

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