Developing eco-sustainable networks

Measuring end-to-end impact

The rapid adoption of mobile devices is driving up daily Internet traffic dramatically. By 2017, more than five trillion gigabytes of data will pass through the world’s networks each year. Higher demand for bandwidth increases power requirements: in 2014, the Internet alone (not counting the devices accessing it) consumed about 80 billion watts of electricity — roughly equivalent to the output of 80 nuclear power plants.*

In April 2014, to help the ICT industry and its stakeholders grasp the challenges implied by this massive power consumption, Bell Labs launched an application that models energy consumption of ICT networks. The GWATT (Global ‘What if’ Analyzer of NeTwork Energy ConsumpTion) application is a thought-stimulating tool that is intended to drive intelligent dialogue about the sustainability potential of new technologies and the relative importance of different architectures and technologies on end-to-end energy consumption.

It is based on forecasts and network modeling from:

Since then, over 4,000 users have accessed the GWATT application and nearly 1,000 have used it to forecast the effect of future traffic projection on energy consumption.

Learn more> GWATT white paper

*Source: http://gwatt.net

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Alcatel-Lucent is committed to respecting Principle 15 of the United Nations’ Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, taking a precautionary approach to the development and introduction of new products in order to protect the environment.

Shifting to the cloud

Network functions virtualization (NFV) promises to reduce power consumption, operating expenses and equipment costs for telecommunications companies by automating processes such as application deployment, maintenance and capacity planning.

Alcatel-Lucent’s end-to-end NFV platform, CloudBand™ delivers these and other benefits to carriers — meeting their stringent performance requirements. It is particularly appealing to mobile service providers as it allows them to innovate faster and more easily, scale services up or down as needed, and optimize the delivery of services, such as voice over LTE (VoLTE), secure mobile communications and machine-to-machine communications.

Through the CloudBand Ecosystem Program — which is essentially an open community of service providers, solution partners and application vendors — CloudBand is available to the entire industry for free. The program fosters collaboration and experimentation that will accelerate adoption of NFV and create new business opportunities across the industry.

Looking at the whole life cycle

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Alcatel-Lucent has created a Materials Composition Estimator to assess the approximate composition of a product subassembly — addressing a key area of interest concerning the valuation potential of end-of-life recycling of precious and semi-precious metals.

We look at the environmental impacts of our solutions and technologies at every stage of a product’s life cycle. Our logistics tools quickly compare various routes for shipping components and finished goods to suggest the most cost- and energy-efficient options. We have incorporated 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 impacts throughout the product life cycle by:

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

Our holistic approach to life cycle assessment

Our holistic approach to life cycle assessment image

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100% of our significant product categories are covered by and assessed for compliance with procedures pertaining to product substances content, safe use and disposal, as well as their environmental/social impacts.

Life Cycle Assessment Estimator

Alcatel-Lucent has pioneered a simple, accurate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Estimator to generate product carbon footprint information for all new product families. The results are provided in an eco-declaration for each product that conforms to the standards of the European Committee for Standardization (ECMA-370) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC 62430). We also use the LCA Estimator to evaluate material alternatives, transportation routing and power profile options.

In 2014, we improved the LCA Estimator’s estimation techniques and algorithms to more accurately and efficiently assess components and materials such as wires, cables, integrated circuits, plastics and metals. All improvements were incorporated into our online LCA Estimator tool.

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Contributing to an HDP User Group-led project, Alcatel-Lucent helped create a calculator to estimate GHG emissions and water consumption for different printed wiring board designs and constructions. The calculator is used to verify and supplement the data sets in our Life Cycle Assessment Estimator tool.

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Innovating for a sustainable future

Bell Labs research and innovation

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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.

We remain strongly committed to partnerships with universities around the world. In particular, Bell Labs continues to build its strategic collaboration with the Centre for Energy Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) at the University of Melbourne.

10% of Bell Labs patents are dedicated to energy-related and green innovations.

Alcatel-Lucent’s research division, Bell Labs, recognizes that network energy consumption is one of the major industrial challenges facing customers and the ICT industry at large. With exponential traffic growth predicted for communication networks — accompanied by increased energy costs — service providers’ operational expenses will increase significantly without the development of new, energy-efficient technologies. A further concern is access to stable, reliable power, which cannot be taken for granted in the case of off-grid or poor-grid deployments in developing countries and rural areas, or where massive deployments of network equipment such as small cells present significant operational challenges and expenses.

Network Energy Research Program
Bell Labs’ Network Energy Research Program focuses on optimizing network energy utilization, and on developing innovative solutions for Alcatel-Lucent products in the near, medium and long terms. The program’s research efforts span all major areas of the network, including wireless and fixed access, metro and core networks, and optical transmission.

The Energy Research program investigates technologies, architectures and solutions that:

  • Reduce required energy per bit (i.e., increase energy efficiency) for data transmission, processing or storage
  • Reduce power wastage from inefficiencies and overhead (for example, through more efficient thermal management and cooling)
  • Enable off-grid deployments through new energy harvesting solutions and high-density energy storage technologies

The research program also investigates innovative applications of ICT technologies, such as connected and smart city applications (e.g., smart grids and electric mobility).

Based on his leadership in the areas of energy and ICT-related issues, Thierry Klein, Network Energy Research Program Leader, was invited to participate on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Momentum for Change Advisory Panel, which features ICT solutions as one its key areas of focus.

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Zero energy networks
Bell Labs’ vision for zero energy networking foresees future access networks powered completely by local, off-grid renewable energy sources; energy waste minimized by efficient thermal management, cooling and efficient power supplies; network equipment and networks that have an energy consumption profile proportional to their traffic loads; and networks that are designed and developed for maximum energy efficiency.

More than 50 Bell Labs researchers, scientists and engineers around the world are contributing to this vision either directly through their own projects or as part of jointly funded projects with industry consortia, research institutes and universities. Bell Labs also serves on the industrial advisory boards for the INTelligent Energy awaRe NETworks (INTERNET) consortium in the United Kingdom and the EU’s FP7 Massive MIMO for Efficient Transmission (MAMMOET) project.

In January 2015, Bell Labs successfully concluded its IntelliSpektrum project, which was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. Collaborating with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and Intel Mobile Communications, Bell Labs demonstrated that today’s ultra-broadband mobile networks can realize significant energy savings and performance gains by deploying a mix of macro and small cell radio base stations.

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Supporting university collaborations
Both Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs are committed to maintaining strong relationships with academic partners to conduct high-quality, high-impact green research activities, including projects to better understand the energy implications of increasing wireless access to cloud services. In particular, we are continuing our strategic collaboration with the Centre for Energy Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) at the University of Melbourne in Australia, which is delivering important insights to reduce the energy consumption of future networks while setting new benchmarks for industry–academic partnerships.

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We also supported 10 PhD students in Ireland working on innovative solutions for efficient energy harvesting, high-density energy storage and efficient thermal-management solutions.

GreenTouchTM consortium

Given that network energy consumption affects the entire ICT industry, Bell Labs’ vision is based on extensive collaboration with service providers, equipment manufacturers, utility companies and academics. This collaboration is at the core of the GreenTouch consortium, which was founded in 2010. The GreenTouch consortium that Bell Labs initiated is a Global Research creating a technology roadmap to make telecoms networks up to 1,000 times more energy efficient with 48 member organizations.

It seeks to develop the architectures, solutions and roadmap needed to realize this objective. GreenTouch will demonstrate its results in June 2015 in a worldwide event.

Ultimately, GreenTouch aims to create ICT networks and technologies that will enable a more sustainable Internet. In the process, it is fundamentally redesigning networks to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their overall carbon footprint for the benefit of the ICT sector and the entire world.

Members of Bell Labs hold a variety of leadership positions within 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
  • Co-chair of the Operations Committee
  • Co-chair of the Services, Policies and Standards Working Group

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In November 2014, one year after the Green Meter Study showed it is possible to reduce the net energy consumption of communication networks by 90% by 2020, the GreenTouch consortium released and publicly demonstrated two new technologies in November 2014 — an energy-optimized optical transceiver and a virtual home gateway. It is estimated these will reduce overall residential and enterprise energy consumption in wireline access networks by 46%.

Read the announcement

New optical transceiver cuts metro power consumption by 50%
In November 2014, GreenTouch announced the results of a Bell Labs/CEET project to redesign a point-to-point optical transceiver for an energy-efficient access network. The redesigned equipment will provide a 30-fold increase in energy efficiency compared to today’s state-of-the-art optical transceivers.

This technology will reduce the overall power consumption of the entire metro access network by 27%, saving approximately four terawatt-hours of electricity on an annual basis. If all electronic equipment in the optical link is figured into the equation, the power consumption reduction increases to 50%. What’s more, these energy savings have all been obtained through an innovative design that uses off-the-shelf commercial components — important given that the access network is the most price-sensitive part of a telecommunications network.

Watch the video

Virtual home gateway moves in-home networking to the cloud
GreenTouch also demonstrated a new technology, led by a team at the Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France, which replaces residential in-home gateways — the devices used to access ded section icated services such as data, voice and TV — with servers in the cloud. By replacing hundreds of thousands of in-home boxes with a smaller number of servers, power consumption in the residential access network could be reduced by 19% — equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 833,000 households.

In addition to ‘virtualizing’ home gateways, GreenTouch also developed a new distributed architecture that allows service providers to shut down some servers during slow times — thereby conserving power — and then turn them back on only when CPU- and bandwidth-intensive services, such as deep-packet inspection or HD streaming are required.

Watch the video

Industry events, conferences and workshops

GreenTouch members frequently organize and participate in a number of industry events, conferences, presentations, workshops, panel discussions and trade shows, sharing project results and encouraging others to contribute to its vision for the ICT sector.

  • During the 2014 EU Sustainable Energy Week, GreenTouch hosted a workshop looking at potential energy consumption and environmental impact of the ‘Internet of Everything’ — and the challenges associated with deploying and managing billions of connected devices in an energy efficient and sustainable way. As part of this workshop, Bell Labs demonstrated its patented vibration energy harvester technology.

    Read more

  • For Nantes Digital Week, GreenTouch was invited by the city of Nantes, France, to host a workshop on the potential for energy efficiency improvements and the impact software-defined networks and virtualization will have on the energy consumption of tomorrow’s networks.

    Read more

Highlights

With more than 50 members from 23 countries and over 300 participants, the GreenTouch consortium is strongly focused on partnership and collaboration.

Heading into the final phase of its five-year mission, GreenTouch is on track to achieve its mission — the demonstration of technologies and architectures that will improve network energy efficiency by a factor of 1,000 compared to 2010. Bell Labs continues to lead and is a key contributor to major GreenTouch research projects.

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 entire life cycles, from initial design to end-of-life re-use and recycling.

Improving the efficiency of raw materials use

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 continuous 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 as follows.

  • Designing for standardization reduces parts inventories by increasing the use of “golden catalogs” and reuse of “golden parts”. Golden catalogs ensure adherence to the company’s list of preferred/allowed suppliers and compliance with policies on restricted substances and other factors. Golden parts are selected after comprehensive analysis against the above criteria, are validated against current usage, confirmed by preferred suppliers and finally approved by a forum of technical, business and quality experts. The primary purpose of the golden catalog for a family of materials, components or products is to minimize the variety of parts across our business lines and product divisions, which in turn reduces costs, improves quality and flexibility and accelerates time-to-market.

    Golden catalogs are refreshed annually to ensure accuracy and relevance in our very dynamic environment. Product components cover approximately 4,100 golden parts. For new product development in 2014, golden parts comprised 60% of the items used in a bill of materials — a significant achievement from a standardization and complexity reduction perspective.
  • 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. For instance, our Component Selection Tool 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. An example of this is Alcatel-Lucent’s breakthrough Enterprise Small Cell device, which will allow operators to extend 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity and coverage into the office for in-building customers. Within a year of announcing this solution, we had already demonstrated it at the Small Cells World Summit in June and are now using it in multiple customer trials.
  • Product packaging has a direct impact on the raw materials consumed and waste generated from our manufacturing processes. It also affects the amount of transport space required to deliver our products and, as a result, the energy efficiency of product transportation. We recently worked with AT&T, one of our network equipment customers, to improve packaging for plug-in cards used in their network. These cards were previously placed in an inner box that was then placed with paper informational materials in an outer shipping box. Process changes were made to maintain the informational materials electronically, thereby eliminating the paper and, more importantly, the extra shipping box. These changes also increased the number of boxes on a pallet by 130%, improving the overall transportation cube utilization.

Managing materials

Minimizing and managing the environmental impacts of materials used in our products and throughout our supply chain is of paramount importance. 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.

We require our suppliers to track material content information according to 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

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.

Read more about 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
    Our products are fully compliant with the requirements for lead as specified in the Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive and the Restriction, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation. We have adopted this EU-focused compliance globally — and all new network infrastructure products implemented since 2010 have been lead-free soldered by design, well in advance of the expiration of the RoHS lead-in-solder exemption for network infrastructure equipment. That said, some lead is still used in solder in special cases, such as the repair of installed equipment and for legacy products as allowed by regulations.
  • Halogen
    We continue our participation in consortia that investigate halogen-free printed wiring board materials for lead-free assembly, compatibility and reliability.

We invest in R&D, partnerships and externally funded projects to identify and evaluate alternative materials with reduced environmental 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.

R&D projects in this area include collaboration with Tier 1 contract manufacturers (EMS), component and material suppliers, industry consortia (e.g., iNEMI, UNOVIS AREA, HDPUG) and universities. These collaborations ensure we can leverage the broadest and deepest possible technical perspectives, to help industry progress and change in reducing the environmental impact of electronics products and materials.

Complying with regional regulations

Our products meet the following compliance requirements when they are intended to be shipped to or used in these respective regions and/or countries:

European Union (RoHS)
The EU Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive [2002/95/EC and its recast, 2011/65/EU] restricts the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in electrical and electronic equipment placed on the EU market after July 1,2006. (There are various exemptions, however, including an exemption for lead solder in network infrastructure equipment.) All Alcatel-Lucent products shipped to the EU after July 1, 2006, are in compliance with the RoHS Directive.

European Union (REACH)
On June 1, 2007, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation (No. 1907/2006) entered into force, placing certain obligations on manufacturers, importers and downstream users. Alcatel-Lucent complies with the current requirements of REACH, including substances subject to authorization in Annex XIV and restrictions contained in Annex XVII.

In particular, Article 33 of REACH requires suppliers to inform recipients and consumers if a product contains more than 0.1% (by weight) of any substance considered for inclusion in the European Chemical Agency’s list of substances of very high concern (SVHC). Based on information received from our suppliers, we have no indication that any of our products, subassemblies or expansion items contains more than 0.1% (by weight) of any of the listed substances.

China
The Chinese Ministry of Information Industries has published a regulation (Order #39) and associated standards regarding restrictions on hazardous substances. This legislation requires all electronic and information products to comply with certain labeling and documentation requirements. All Alcatel-Lucent products intended for sale to customers in China that were manufactured on or after March 1, 2007, comply with these requirements.

In accordance with China’s Electronic Industry Standard Marking for the Control of Pollution Caused by Electronic Information Products (SJ/T11364-2006), customers may access the Alcatel-Lucent hazardous substances table.

Turkey
Alcatel-Lucent products are in compliance with Turkey’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulation, which was published in Resmî Gazete (the country’s official journal of new legislation) on May 22, 2012.

AEEE Yönetmeliğine Uygundur.

Ukraine
Alcatel-Lucent equipment complies with the requirements of Ukraine’s Technical Regulation (No. 1057, December 3, 2008), which restricts the usage of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.

України ТЕХНІЧНИЙ РЕГЛАМЕНТ обмеження використання деяких небезпечних речовин в електричному та електронному обладнанні (від 3 грудня 2008 р. N 1057): Обладнання відповідає вимогам Технічного регламенту обмеження використання деяких небезпечних речовин в електричному та електронному обладнанні.

Vietnam
Alcatel-Lucent products are designed and manufactured in accordance with Vietnam’s Circular 30/2011/TT-BCT on the restriction of hazardous substances and maximum concentration levels of toxic substances allowed in homogeneous materials (except for the exceptions listed in the Circular).

Công ty Alcatel-Lucent đảm bảo rằng rằng tất cả các sản phẩm mang nhãn hiệu Alcatel-Lucent được thiết kế và sản xuất phù hợp với Thông tư 30/2011/TT-BCT của Việt Nam về việc hạn chế các chất độc hại và nồng độ tối đa của chất độc cho phép trong các vật liệu đồng nhất (ngoại trừ các trường hợp miễn trừ được liệt kê trong Thông tư này).

Product materials content

In 2014, Alcatel-Lucent delivered 170,202 metric tons of equipment to market. We analyze the composition of our products’ component materials and recycled content to ensure they make the most efficient use of materials.

The following are materials content examples for our finished products, based on the typical configurations offered to our customers:

Product materials breakdown graph

Recycled input materials
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 metals typically contained within our feedstock materials.

Percentage of Recycled Metals in Product graph

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.

Highlights

All Alcatel-Lucent products including a radio transmitter are subject to RF exposure assessment. Compliance distances are assessed according to international standards and reported in the documentation of the relevant products.

100% of significant products are assessed for health and safety impacts.

Our position on 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 RF exposure.

Scientific knowledge about the electromagnetic environment
Our position regarding the human exposure to RF transmissions 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), the international commissions recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) or similar recommendations from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

As described 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.

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 global standards for exposure assessment through international standardization bodies and industry associations, such as the GSM Association. We contribute in particular to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC).

Packaging and distribution

Lean packaging
Packaging has a direct impact on the environment: not only due to the consumption of raw materials and waste generated during manufacturing and disposal, but also due to transportation-related GHG emissions. Last year we continued to reduce the amount of packaging for our products, eliminating unnecessary primary and secondary packaging as well as void space, and discontinuing physical shipments of certain items (such as hardcopy software documentation). Some of this was done with outside suppliers and some in collaboration with customers such as AT&T.

Efficient transport
Our new package designs have allowed us to increase the packing density of certain optical network termination units by 33% to 55% per pallet. With pallet double stacking, this has drastically reduced the number of ocean containers needed to ship these high-volume products between Asia and North America. We can now fit nearly three times as many units in every 40-foot container (up to 26,800 compared to the 8,640 previously possible): this provides considerable cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint.

Our Global Direct Order Fulfillment (DOF) Project allows us to ship products from various manufacturing and sourcing locations to customers in the most direct manner possible, reducing transit time and emissions. In 2014, we increased the number of direct shipments from 10% to 40% by year end, and will continue to increase our DOF shipments in 2015.

We are also reducing our carbon footprint by shifting from air to surface freight whenever possible. In the Caribbean and Latin America, for example, orders are now scrutinized for opportunities to coordinate customer requests and material availability dates to allow for ocean transport rather than air.

Increasing the energy efficiency of products in use

Given the anticipated rise in greenhouse gas emissions by the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) sector in the coming years, Alcatel-Lucent is relentlessly striving to reduce the environmental impact of its products and solutions. Numerous initiatives are underway to not only increase the energy efficiency of our products and solutions but also to decrease our total carbon footprint through more eco-efficient product design and optimized product development, with a significant focus being placed on implementing more energy saving features and eco-friendly production processes.

  • Fixed networks
    Our commitment to developing energy efficient products in the fixed access domain is demonstrated in our annual Broadband Code of Conduct report, in which all products in this area had power consumption below the targets for their relevant tiers set by the European Commission Joint Research Center. We can achieve such targets by leveraging both the hardware and software on which our equipment run. In addition, we design the most critical components and chipsets in-house to ensure built-in innovation, sustainability and market differentiation, and we partner with key component suppliers for less critical components. Our green DSL platform, which is based on the three power modes defined by the ITU (full power, low power and sleep mode) and utilizes the Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM), allows significant power savings in each ADSL2 / ADSL2plus port.
  • Another example can be seen in our involvement with the evolution of DSL networks, which is also driven by more-and-more small ISAM nodes closer to the subscribers. Alcatel-Lucent has built an optimum technology lowering power consumption for small VDSL2 Nodes by bringing a centralized packet treatment, thus lowering the power consumption. (Such approach being only possible for small nodes). Also, for the coming G.fast standard, we have played a key role in having low power-consumption techniques made a standard feature for this new technology. Regarding PON networks, the main progress offered by Alcatel-Lucent is on dense GPON line cards; by doubling their density, we can drop the cards’ power consumption per port without compromising the well-established GPON standard.
  • IP routing
    We have increased the energy efficiency of our 7750 Service Router (SR) platform by 25% between 2012 and 2014. Pioneering advances in power efficiency are incorporated into each member of the 7750 SR family, reducing the expense of both powering and cooling when compared to products that don’t use our industry leading FP3 silicon technology. Combined with eco-sensitive manufacturing processes, careful materials selection and a view to sustainable product life cycle management, the 7750 SR family also helps service providers reduce their own environmental impact, with the FP3 cutting power consumption per packet processed by 50% compared to the previous generation of FP2. Power savings at the chip level are achieved using the 40 nm process and by expanding clock gating over a wider part of the devices. With its industry leading performance and low power consumption, FP3 is a key building block for the continued evolution of the service router product portfolio.
  • IP transport
    Between 2012 and 2014, the energy efficiency of the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) platform has increased from 43% up to 108% on the 6 most representative configurations tested. The 1830 PSS is a metro, regional and long-haul dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) platform. Optical and electrical cross-layer functionality allows for traffic forwarding to the most economical layer for improved resource optimization and the lowest power consumption. At the heart of this platform is the Photonic Service Engine, which enables high-performance 100G and an evolutionary path to 400G transport. Leveraging an intelligent control plane and integrated data, control and management planes, the 1830 PSS simplifies network management for maximum multilayer performance and efficiency. Meanwhile, the new 200 gigabit per second single carrier line card provides twice the bandwidth in the same footprint without increasing power requirements.
  • IP platforms
    The consolidation of four IMS network elements — 5420 CTS, 5420 SCG, 5450 ISC and 5060 MGC-8 — into one multi-tenancy shared chassis supported by a virtualized platform has resulted in an energy efficiency increase of 45%. Combining these applications in a single environment — while still supporting the same number of subscribers and overall performance — has also translated into a 72% floor space gain.
  • 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 radio modules can adjust power 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 similar power-consumption level.

Helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals

Seeking to realize cost savings by reducing power consumption and simplifying network operations, Verizon Wireless will be deploying our advanced data management platform as part of its LTE expansion strategy. The Alcatel-Lucent Subscriber Data Manager (SDM), one element in a portfolio of technologies that enables rich multimedia applications, will help support the efficient growth of Verizon’s LTE services by centralizing multiple application databases.

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In 2014, Alcatel-Lucent signed an agreement with Telefónica to drive the adoption of network functions virtualization (NFV) in the telecommunications industry. This strategic relationship will use the Alcatel-Lucent CloudBand platform to identify and develop processes to help service providers decide which elements of their networks should be virtualized and when — and in doing so, greatly reduce operating costs through the more efficient management of physical infrastructure and the faster rollout of next-generation services.

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As part of a multimillion-dollar infrastructure investment, New Zealand’s Chorus will be the first Asia-Pacific telecommunications provider to deploy the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS). With its ability to handle up to 16 terabits of data per second, the 7950 XRS has the capacity necessary to deliver high-bandwidth broadband services — and do so in an eco-sustainable way, consuming just a single watt of energy per gigabit of traffic.

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In support of its mobile ultra-broadband rollout strategy, TDC — Denmark’s largest telecommunications company — is currently deploying Alcatel-Lucent small cell technology to expand coverage to both enterprise and residential customers. Small cells allow TDC to offer ultra-broadband access and services faster and at a reduced cost with less energy consumption. Small cells’ unobtrusive design (compared to traditional cell towers) also helps preserve the country’s architectural heritage.

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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

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 2014, Alcatel-Lucent managed 5,825 metric tons of electronic waste. Of this, 327 metric tons of equipment and components were remanufactured and/or resold, of which 59,756 circuit packs and 239 configured pieces of equipment were remanufactured internally at Alcatel-Lucent.

We also avoided producing more than 6,280 metric tons of CO2e by remanufacturing new equipment and components. Approved recycling partners recycled 5,256 metric tons. Of this, 96% was recycled or resold, 2% was treated by incineration and 2% was disposed of via secure landfill. In 2014, 9 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 103 in 2014.

Telecommunication networks operated by our customers employ significant amounts of batteries to maintain the backup power required to run a stable network. Alcatel-Lucent operates battery maintenance, installation, and removal, as well as transportation and recycling program across the United States to ensure the batteries in its equipment are properly managed and recycled. The goal of this program is to enable customers to prevent potentially harmful chemicals from lead-acid batteries from entering the waste stream and instead making them available to be used again in new batteries. Alcatel-Lucent recycled 980.6 metric tons of lead-acid batteries from customers’ networks in 2014, resulting in the recovery of 686.4 metric tons of lead for use in the manufacture of new batteries.

Circular Economy Awards 2015

Circular Economy Awards 2015 image

Alcatel-Lucent was named a Circular Economy Pioneer at the inaugural Circular Economy Awards presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2015. The award acknowledges our achievements, leadership and innovation in product remanufacturing. Of particular note is the work of our Special Customer Operations (SCO) team, which for the past 24 years has disrupted the linear supply chain in favor of ‘circular’ solutions by remanufacturing displaced telecommunications equipment and providing it as a low-cost, eco-sustainable alternative to new equipment.

2014 achievement

5,583 metric tons (96%) of electronic waste was recycled or resold, 2% was treated by incineration and 2% was disposed of via secure landfill.

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