Sustainable development through our products
Braun invests in world-leading design to create innovative, hi-tech, quality products which improve the lives of our consumers around the world. An important part of this is to ensure that the appliances we produce and market empower consumers to reduce their own environmental impact.
In addition to the below outlined efforts, we do this implicitly through our highest quality standards in development and production: Our products stand for outstanding longevity, they are innovated and manufactured to last for many years - this in itself significantly reduces their environmental footprint, as it requires less raw materials, less packaging, less logistics and less need for recycling.
In 2009, we began the rollout of our major global initiative to reduce the amount of packaging around our appliances and shrink the overall size of the packaged product. This redesign means that we can use less non-renewable material, like plastics, which in turn reduces consumer waste. The smaller packaging (up to 65% less volume) means that we can transport up to 167% more packs per shipping pallet. Every year, that means shipping 3,000 fewer truckloads, using 1,000,000 litres less fuel, and releasing 2,800 tons less CO2.
To build on this we are finalising a comprehensive lifecycle assessment of our core products in association with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, USA, to understand the key drivers of the environmental footprint throughout the life-cycle stages and to establish where we can further develop sustainable solutions. Science-based decisions will enable us to make a meaningful, sustainable contribution to protect the resources of our world.
Our products are not only becoming more durable and long-lasting, but we have introduced innovations such as the SmartPlug for the Braun electric shaver Series 7 and the Braun Silk-épil Xpressive epilators which reduces energy consumption by 35% and, in 2007, was awarded the international EnergyStar seal of approval for high energy efficiency.
We also led the industry in the move from NiCD batteries to the less toxic and higher capacity NiMH version, as well as introducing efficient lithium-ion cells to many products.
As well as designing evermore sustainable products we are also taking action to improve the end-of-life footprint of our products. Encouraging recycling is extremely important to us and we spearheaded the efforts of our industry to set up the joint venture company “European Recycling Platform” (ERP) in 2002. This is a partnership between several electronics manufacturers to create an efficient system for take-back and recycling under the EU WEEE Directive. Not only does this improve the efficiency of recycling but the costs saved by joining forces with other companies means that Braun can invest even more in sustainable product innovation. Since it started in August 2005, ERP has collected and recycled more than 850,000 tons of used electronic appliances in 11 countries and the process will be extended to accelerate the recovery of resources, including all batteries used in our appliances.