Big steps to a smaller footprint

As both an engineer and a father, coming up with ways I can help create a sustainable future and low carbon society is a daily priority for me.

At ABB I’m lucky to be surrounded by a team of passionate R&D innovators. Together we’ve been making some major advancements in this area.

Impact of recycled plastic

Because innovation is a core part or our company DNA, we’re continually analysing and testing our entire product portfolio for how we can replace materials with sustainable alternatives. One of the biggest impacts we can have in preserving resources and reducing our CO2 footprint is by using recycled plastic.  

Hundreds of millions of electrical installation products containing plastics are sold in Europe every year. These are extremely high-volume products and the R&D team in Porvoo, Finland, are innovators in using more sustainable materials.

Last year we were the first company to replace the lids of flush mounted boxes with recycled rather than new plastic. This change to the manufacturing material for this item alone reduced the carbon footprint by more than 34,000 kilos. That small innovation in the Nordic market, to a product weighing around 5 grams, reduced carbon emissions equivalent to driving an average EU car around the world seven times. It also saved over 2 million litres of water.

But of course we don’t stop there. We’ve now introduced recycled plastic to other elements of the mounted boxes anticipated to extend the consolidated footprint reduction to over 50,000 kilos by the end of year. And we’ll continue to explore ways to incorporate sustainable materials across our solutions and bring them to new markets.

Collaborating to innovate

ABB’s product portfolio is diverse and covers a wide range of performance requirements. Our focus is on where we can use materials that are better for our planet. This is a daily challenge that inspires our diverse R&D team to push innovation to its limits.

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About the author

Duško Davidović

Duško Davidović is a Global Product Manager of Installation Materials in ABB’s Electrification business. Duško leads roadmap strategy, management and execution, and having recently completed external training for Sustainability strategy, he is now involved in the process of setting up the Circular Economy strategy for ABB’s Smart Buildings Division. Prior to joining ABB, Dusko spent 12 years in various management roles at Schneider Electric, where he was primarily responsible for strategy and business development across regional markets. Duško has a master's degree in power engineering from the University of Belgrade, Serbia and lives in Stockholm, Sweden.
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