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 its 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 has significantly reduced paper consumption by switching to bimonthly customer invoicing, simple billing and paperless online billing. For printouts at its offices, Swisscom has introduced “follow-me printing”, which has helped to reduce paper consumption. Swisscom also uses 34 g/m2 and 38 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) (80 g/m2= 5 g/sheet)||Blue Angel||130||137||92|
|Print media||FSC Seal||3,225||2,333||2,209 3|
|Bills and envelopes (envelopes = 6 g/pce)||FSC Seal||672.4||575.1||415.6|
|Phone directories||Blue Angel||2,945 2||2,699||2,414|
|Total paper consumption||7,449||5,401||5,130 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 770 tons included
Cables, optical fibres and telephone masts
Swisscom also installed wooden telephone masts which are treated with copper and chromium-containing preservatives. In 2015, it introduced a new process for inspecting the telephone masts, whereby only deficient telephone masts are replaced during renovations. This process radically reduced the number of telephone masts installed in both 2015 and 2016, as fewer masts were classified as rotten than in previous years. Three partner companies guarantee these telephone masts are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way at the end of their useful life.
|in km, tonnes or number||Unit||2014||2015||2016|
|Plastic pipes PE||km||810||734||492|
|Plastic pipes PE 1||Tons||774||725||438|
|Telephone poles (wood)||Number of items||8,789||7,502||3,515|
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 93% of Swisscom’s telephone exchanges have been retrofitted with Mistral. Swisscom is also increasingly cooling its transmitter and mobile base stations without the use of compression cooling systems. It now only operates compression cooling systems with cooling agents in data centres and in telecommunication control rooms, which Swisscom regularly checks are free of leaks. Cooling agent emissions in the year under review were determined on the basis of a refill volume of 182 kg (prior year: 202 kg). They have a global warming potential (GWP) of 220 tonnes CO2-equivalent (prior year: 503) 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, it uses cooling agents with a very low global warming potential. In 2015, Swisscom became the first company in Switzerland to install a heat pump using HFO-1234ze working fluid at its operation building in Zurich Herdern. This working fluid has a very low greenhouse gas potential (GWP = 6). 2016 also saw Swisscom retrofit facilities in Ticino to make them compatible with the new working fluid.See
Batteries and emergency power systems
Swisscom services must 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 danger to the environment through the use of batteries. At the end of their useful life, it 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 and routers as parcel post. The packaging used has been changed, with recycled material being chosen over virgin fibres. According to information provided by the manufacturer, this change results in a reduction of up to 60% in the amount of electricity consumed during manufacture, a reduction of up to 70% in water consumed as well as a drop in CO2 emissions and waste.
which fall under the four main categories of recycling, household and operational waste disposed of in waste incineration plants, and special waste in accordance with the Federal Ordinance on Handling Waste (VeVA) – fluorescent lighting tubes with waste code 20 01 21, refrigerants with waste code 14 06 01, used oil with waste code 13 03 07, glycol water with waste code 16 01 15 and batteries with waste code 16 06 01 / 16 06 98. Leftover cables and building materials are sorted on site and disposed of directly. The volume of household waste was calculated by extrapolating the actual figures recorded in 2016 at six major locations throughout Switzerland, i.e. by multiplying the number of full-time equivalent employees at Swisscom in Switzerland by the average calculated volume of 40 kg per FTE.
|In tonnes||2014||2015||2016||2016 in %|
|Domestic waste disposal in incineration plants||1,443||1,505||750||10.8%|
|Operational waste disposal in incineration plants||404||1,944||2,596||37.3%|
The “Recycling” category in the table above comprises the following materials: metals (copper, iron, aluminium), paper and cardboard, plastics (PET, PE, PP) and toner cartridges. Swisscom has introduced a directive governing the recycling of network infrastructure materials. Since 2015, Swisscom has adopted a uniform process that strengthens transparency along the entire disposal chain. It 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. At the new Minergie-P-Eco® business park in Ittigen Ey 10, recycled concrete has been used wherever possible. The business park received the Watt D’Or – an award from the Federal Office for Energy – at the beginning of 2016.
Soil and biodiversity
- Swisscom Broadcast Ltd transmitter stations: Five SBC locations are situated in Emerald areas, two locations are on the edge of an Emerald area or on the edge of moorlands. One other location stands in moorlands (protected areas of national significance).
- Swisscom Ltd base stations: 77 mobile radio base stations (prior year: 63) (1.5% of the 5,200 base stations) are located in the protected areas indicated above, two of which are 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 2016, Swisscom employees clocked up a total of 1,007 volunteer days (prior year: 940) for nature and landscape conservation. Swisscom also provides technical services to support the Swiss National Park. To protect biodiversity, Swisscom established a population of bees (Apis mellifera) on the site of its head office in 2016.
Other air emissions
Besides CO2 emissions, burning fossil fuels for heating and transport also produces NOx and SO2. These emissions are determined 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 36.