Optical Networking, Redefined.
June 2, 2022

ESG: Enhancing Sustainability Internally & Through Our Supply Chain

Climate change affects all of us.

From severe storms to rising sea levels, climate change is shaping not only how we live our personal lives, but also how we do business. In recent years, business leaders have begun to realize that climate change will undoubtedly challenge the logistics of how they operate, especially around supply chains. A sea level rise of even a few feet could impact the integrity of infrastructure like airports, railways, sea ports, highways and other infrastructure. As a result, the corporate world is increasingly taking tangible steps to reduce carbon footprint and improve sustainability – all with an aim to mitigate the pace of climate change.

Here at Precision OT, sustainability is part and parcel of our daily operations. We’re excited to see that environmental concerns have become a focal point for our industry. As a provider of optical networking solutions, we believe we have an important role to play in optimizing our carbon footprint, and that this role encompasses everything we do from our daily internal operations to how we work with our supply chain partners. Here’s what we mean.

Growing Sustainably: Good Behavior Begins at Home

As we’ve talked about before, we’re growing – fast. In fact, the pace of our year over year growth led us to move to new, larger facilities both in New York and the United Kingdom. At 43,000 square feet, our New York facility now boasts a production area almost three times as large as our former one. Already, our US and EMEA teams are establishing baseline data on our operations within both facilities, which we will leverage to understand better how we can optimize our footprints in each. That said, our new buildings take environmental sustainability into account on a holistic level. From low energy LED light bulbs and low-flow toilets to energy-efficient appliances and an internal recycling program, we believe in operating as sustainably as we can.

As a transceiver company, however, our carbon footprint is already small to begin with. While we do create customized and lab-tested optics, which require production capabilities, the substantial transformation of our product comes from our software side. We code all the uncoded transceivers we receive to make them compatible both with our customers’ routers and switches as well as optical equipment from other NEMs. Our technology, compatibility and interoperability transform the transceivers we receive into user-friendly parts for our customers.

Yet, even with this already-reduced footprint, we operate with sustainability in mind. The cardboard and other materials we use to pack our customers’ orders leverage recyclable material. As well, we’re continuously evaluating new materials to see if they might be even more environmentally friendly than the ones we currently use. If we have any damaged parts, we send them to other companies that specialize in reclaiming the precious metals within. Sustainability is an ongoing process, but an important one especially as the industry at large looks to fiber as the foundation for a greener internet. With such a core role to play, it’s important to our team that we do our part to reduce our footprint as much as possible.

Maximizing Sustainability Within Our Supply Chain

Pursuing sustainability isn’t just an in-house focus for us. It’s also something we apply in relation to our supply chain. First, we vet all our suppliers according to a strict set of criteria that includes various ESG metrics. One of the key things we look for is an ISO 14001 certification, an international standard that outlines what an appropriate environmental management system should include. Looking for vendors that are ISO 14001-certified helps us contribute to the creation of an environmentally sustainable telecommunications ecosystem in which everyone is doing their part to use resources efficiently and reduce waste. 

A large part of supply chain management from an environmental perspective lies in order forecasting. Appropriate forecasting can help reduce the number of shipments needed to Precision OT facilities. In turn, this reduces the amount of fuel burned and greenhouse gasses emitted. It’s far better to keep shipments as bundled together as possible in order to get what we need in one large order versus many smaller ones. Of course, it’s always difficult to predict the future, but we try to plan far in advance – anywhere from 12 to 18 months ahead.

We often talk about how we always have a large inventory of optical transceivers (and other equipment) on hand, offering fast delivery of cutting-edge technology. Only through robust forecasting can we do this and with the added benefit of improving the sustainability of our supply chain operations. Of course, sometimes our customers will need equipment relatively quickly, in which case, we’ll have to expedite a purchase. Often, however, because of our solid relationships with our vendors and a robust planning model, we’re able to wait a bit longer so we can place multiple orders at once in order to optimize the sustainability of our operations. 

A Commitment to Promoting Environmental Sustainability

At the end of the day, no matter what line of business one is in, the bottom line matters. However, it’s become increasingly clear that minding the bottom line goes hand-in-glove with sustainability. By minimizing our carbon footprint, we’ve been able to improve the efficiency of our operations both internally and within our supply chain. But we’ll never sit back and believe our job is done. Sustainability is something that we’re committed to optimizing on an ongoing basis. That’s good not only for the health of our company but also for the health of the ecosystem we all depend on.