Intelligent CIO LATAM Issue 11 - Page 64

INTELLIGENT BRANDS // Cabling

Sustainable fiber design can unlock a more ecological economy

Alain Bertaina , Business Development and Product Strategy Director Telecom Business at Prysmian Group , tells us how making sustainability a key consideration in the design and production of fiber cables can have environmental benefits .

As many companies across the telecoms industry set out ambitious targets to reduce their contributions to climate change , focusing on the development of sustainable fiber networks will allow global operators to play their part towards realizing a greener society .

Making sustainability a key consideration in the design and production of fiber cables will accelerate the shift towards a more environmental , ecological and circular economy by reducing the CO 2 emissions that are released into the atmosphere .
As the impact of climate change becomes more severe , the fiber optic industry has a significant role to play and it is important that across the board , companies are raising their standards when it comes to circularity .
Role of sustainable design trends
Meeting the growing broadband demands requires effective , highcapacity networks , and fiber has been proven to be more energy efficient than its rivals . Its enhanced stability , reliability and long lifespan means that its impact on the environment is decreased , but still provides benefits for operators for years to come . However , the design and production processes can have a huge impact on the sustainability of fiber .
Another trend is the use of recycled materials , which can lead to a reduction in CO 2 emissions . In one instance , using 100 % germanium for optical fiber production can result in annual company
CO 2 emissions being reduced by an incredible 60 %. This is the equivalent to removing circa 6,800 combustion-engine cars off the roads . Storage , product packaging and waste should all be monitored by companies on a global scale to ensure they are making sustainable changes across the entire production process .
The smaller , the better
Cables are becoming smaller while still offering a high performance , leading to a direct positive impact on CO 2 emissions . If the diameter of a cable is reduced , the volume of material used will also decrease .
Not only does this have an impact on the overall CO 2 footprint during production , but it also has a knock-on effect on the rest of the supply chain . Smaller cables means that more can fit into a drum , with fewer drums needed per shipment . This therefore lowers the number of carbon emissions during transport , as less vehicles are needed .
A recent trial by Prysmian Group found that 11,000 connections required six fewer full freight transports than if the conventional cable and duct system had been used . The research also showed a 31 % saving on CO 2 emissions , highlighting just how significant design features can be . p
Alain Bertaina , Business Development and Product Strategy Director Telecom
Business at Prysmian Group
When it comes to designing a fiber cable that is both sustainable and high performing , technological advances mean it is now possible to have the best of both worlds . By following greener design trends , significant progress can be undertaken . This includes increasing the weight of the fiber preforms .
By doing so , this allows for a reduction in both the percentage of unusable glass and the set-up time during the process . The melting of glass at the beginning of the process , which consumes energy , can be carried out less frequently with larger preforms and as such , reduces the overall amount of energy consumption .
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