Other environmental aspects in the company
Swisscom distinguishes between the use of short-life and long-life materials, and is committed to reducing the environmental impact of short-life materials, in particular paper. Swisscom uses recycled paper with the “Blue Angel” environmental label. Swisscom also used this high-quality recycled paper for the new simple billing during the year under review. For advertising or print media, Swisscom only uses paper with the FSC seal (Forest Stewardship Council). The company significantly reduced paper consumption by switching to bimonthly customer invoicing, simple billing and paperless online billing. For printouts at its offices, Swisscom introduced “follow-me printing”, which helped to reduce paper consumption. Swisscom also used 34 g/m2 paper with the “Blue Angel” environmental label for telephone directories. Paper consumption for telephone directories is on the decline as significantly fewer directories are being printed.
|Office (copiers, printers)||Blue Angel||143||130||137|
|Print media||FSC Seal||3,498||3,225||2,333 3|
|Bills and envelopes||FSC Seal||456||424||232|
|Phone directories||Blue Angel||662 2||2,945||2,699|
|Total paper consumption||4,759||7,449||5,401 3|
1 75% in 2014, 100% previous years
2 Telephones directories outside perimeter Swisscom (shift to LTV and takeover of LTV by Swisscom in 2014)
3 Packaging in the amount of 635 tons included
Cables, optical fibres and wooden poles
Network construction necessitates the use of long-life materials such as cables and optical fibres. In 2015, Swisscom used the following materials in its fixed network: optical fibres, copper pairs and eco-friendly polyethylene piping. Copper is increasingly being replaced by optical fibre or only used in certain situations. The amount of copper used can vary from year to year,, as the table shows. Swisscom also installed wooden telephone poles which are treated with copper and chromium-containing preservatives. In 2015, it introduced a new process for inspecting the poles. Under this process, only deficient poles are replaced during renovations, which explains the reduction in the number of poles in 2015. Three partner companies guarantee these telephone poles are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way at the end of their useful life.
|in km, tonnes or number||Unit||2013||2014||2015|
|Plastic pipes PE||km||745||810||734|
|Plastic pipes PE 1||Tons||716||774||725|
|Telephone poles (wood)||Number of items||6,659||8,789||7,502|
1 converted from plastic pipes, respectively copper pairs.
Water used for cooling therefore accounts for significantly less than Swisscom’s total water consumption.
Cooling systems and cooling agents
Swisscom is in the process of replacing all compression cooling systems that use cooling agents at its telephone exchanges with the advanced Mistral cooling system. Mistral cools telecommunications equipment throughout the entire year using only fresh air and does not require any cooling agents whatsoever. Around 85% of Swisscom’s telephone exchanges have already been retrofitted with Mistral. Swisscom is also increasingly cooling its transmitter and mobile base stations without the use of compression cooling systems. Compression cooling systems with cooling agents are only in operation in data centres, with Swisscom checking regularly that they are free of leaks. Cooling agent emissions in the year under review were determined on the basis of a refill volume of 202 kg (prior year: 88 kg). It has a global warming potential (GWP) of 503 tonnes CO2 equivalent (prior year: 221) and no ozone-depleting potential (ODP, 0 kg R-11 equivalent). Swisscom requires the use of natural cooling agents for the conversion or development of data centre cooling systems. If no other option is available, Swisscom uses cooling agents with a very low global warming potential. For the first time in Switzerland, Swisscom used a heat pump with the HFO-1234ze working fluid at its operation building in Zurich-Herdern. This working fluid has a very low greenhouse gas potential (GWP = 6).See
Batteries and emergency power systems
Swisscom services must also be available in the event of power outages. In order to facilitate this, the company has installed batteries and emergency power systems at telecommunications buildings and data centres. Swisscom regularly reviews the prescribed security measures in the battery rooms to prevent any possible danger to the environment through the use of batteries. At the end of their useful life, Swisscom has the batteries disposed of and recycled in an environmentally friendly manner. The emergency power systems are only used during power outages and for a few hours during annual test runs. The necessary fuel consumption is included in the overall figure of the fuel consumption of Swisscom.
Swisscom continues to send TV set-top boxes as parcel post. This measure and the smaller size of the boxes have reduced shipping volumes by 52% and shipping weight by 16%. The sophisticated packaging design dispenses entirely with foam inserts without affecting the protective function of the packaging itself.
Swisscom minimises the volume of waste it produces by carefully selecting materials and extending the useful life of products. A contract is in place with the Swiss Waste Exchange for the disposal and recycling of waste. Special waste is disposed of by authorised companies in accordance with legal requirements. Waste is sorted into 23 different types, which fall under the four main categories of recycling, household and operational waste disposed of in waste incineration plants, and special waste. In order to recycle old materials from the network infrastructure, Swisscom introduced a uniform process in 2015 and issued a corresponding directive, which strengthens transparency along the entire disposal chain. Leftover cables and building materials are sorted on site and disposed of directly. The volume of household waste is calculated by multiplying the number of full-time equivalent employees at Swisscom in Switzerland by the average annual Swiss consumption of 80 kg per FTE.
|In tonnes||2013||2014||2015||2015 in %|
|Domestic waste disposal in incineration plants||1,356||1,443||1,505||29.4|
|Operational waste disposal in incineration plants||235||404||1,944||38.0|
Swisscom also uses recycled materials: the individual locations use recycled paper and the head office uses rain water and district heating from the nearby purification plant. Swisscom also reuses routers where possible.
Soil and biodiversity
- Swisscom Broadcast Ltd transmitter stations: Six stations are on the edge of protected areas of national significance (moor landscapes, water and migratory bird reserves, Ramsar and Emerald sites), and two (0.4%) are in these protected areas.
- Swisscom Ltd base stations: 63 mobile radio base stations (1%) are in protected areas, two of them in the Swiss National Park.
Swisscom supports a number of partners who work to protect the soil and biodiversity. This support takes the form of financial assistance as well as assistance through the personal efforts of Swisscom employees on site during Nature Days. These Nature Days are part of the corporate volunteering programme “Give & Grow”. In 2015, Swisscom employees clocked up a total of 940 volunteer days for nature and landscape conservation. Swisscom also provides technical services to support the Swiss National Park.
Other air emissions
Besides CO2 emissions, burning fossil fuels for heating and transport also produces NOx and SO2. These emissions are calculated using the relevant conversion factors and depend on the amount of vehicle fuel and heating fuel consumed. Swisscom is reducing NOx- and SO2 emissions by continually optimising heating boilers and drive motors. The emissions are listed in the table of environmental performance indicators, on page 34.