By Peter Lo Curzio

What about the carbon footprint in the fiber optic cable industry?

What about the carbon footprint in the fiber optic cable industry?

Why is it important to raise awareness about the carbon footprint within the fiber optic cable industry? The answer is quite easy, because there’s always room for improvement. A case study was performed to investigate the carbon footprint of a specific fiber optic micro cable and to learn what potential there is to reduce environmental impact within the area.

Comprehensive usage of broadband communication

To cal­culate the environmental impact on a spe­cific product, like a fiber optic cable, might seem to be pointless. However, if we look into the perspective that fiber optic cables make the backbone of our modern soci­ety, enabling broadband communications to everyone and everywhere, this should definitely be a focus area.

Fiber optic micro cables – a small player in a huge field

A case study was performed on a specific fiber optic micro cable with the purpose to study one typical high-vol­ume product, analyze a life cycle assessment model, apply criticism and modifications, and finally use the model to evaluate a wider range of products. Life cycle assessment calculates the environmental impacts of a product or system during its entire life cycle, including all phases from commodities extraction to waste management. When we have a clear view of the actual carbon footprint on products during their whole life cycle, product development can focus their efforts in providing new products or set of prod­ucts (systems) with improved environmental properties.

To assess the carbon footprint of a product, an inventory of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from all the activities for the production of a product is needed. It in­cludes, for example, energy consumption in the production line and transportation of raw materials. Commonly, international methodologies based on GHG Protocol and ISO 14064 are applied for assessing carbon emission performance.

Understanding carbon footprint in the fiber cable industry – a case study

In this specific case study, the carbon footprint of fiber optic micro cables produced by Hexatronic Cables and Interconnect Systems (Hexatronic) has been calculated. The scope of the study is cradle-to-gate from raw material to the finished product.

Accordingly, the research questions of this study are:

  1. What is the total carbon footprint of a micro cable?
  2. Which processes have substantial contributions to the total carbon footprint?
  3. What are improvement strategies and mitigation measures?

Download the case study “Understanding carbon footprint in the cable industry” to gain a broader understanding within the area. Welcome to join the journey towards low carbon footprint for fiber optic networks!

Download the case study

Download the case study

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Peter Lo Curzio
Product Manager with 25 years’ experience in fiber optic technology. Initially starting at Ericsson R&D, he has pioneered in the field of fiber optic access networks and has a vast experience form virtually all areas related to fiber access. Peter is a specialist in passive fiber access network systems and FTTH.


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