A sustainable value chain
INVISIO’s sustainability work runs throughout the value chain and covers a broad spectrum of areas. Among the most important are assuring the function and quality of the finished products, establishing the optimum sustainable product specification and principles for how INVISIO does business. As regards INVISIO’s overall environmental and climate footprint, this is deemed to be limited and not of a significant nature.
Product development is one of INVISIO’s key processes. The direct sustainability-related impact, environmental as well as social, in the product development phase is limited. All the greater is the possibility of influencing aspects later in the value chain, such as function, quality, user-friendliness and environmental impact – both in production and after the product has reached the end of its life cycle.
The inputs that can have the greatest impact are decisions taken when drawing up a production specification for a new or updated product. This includes decisions on choice of material and production method. Here INVISIO endeavors to choose the most environmentally friendly material possible, which minimizes risks related to production, use and scrapping. The elements of drawing up the product specification that have a bearing on production itself take place in collaboration with the intended contract manufacturer. This collaboration ensures both a good final result and an environmentally friendly production method.
Close cooperation with customers
An important feature of product development is the interaction with customers. Product development is often based on an actual problem experienced by one or several customers that they have raised with INVISIO. Customers are often involved in the evaluation of prototypes for new products. The close collaboration with key customers in the work of development is one of INVISIO’s strongest competitive advantages and the reason that the company’s products are found at the forefront of technology.
INVISIO’s strategy as regards production is based on long-term and deep partnerships with leading established contract manufacturers. INVISIO consciously chooses to only work with established partners that share INVISIO’s view of quality, sustainability, work environment and business ethics. Crucial to the choice of supplier, apart from the above and quality and price factors, is that they comply with requirements of REACH1) , ROHS2) and WEEE3).
INVISIO currently engages four European contract manufacturers, which together account for about 80 per cent of INVISIO’s production. The relative proximity to the suppliers facilitates continual and close collaboration on sustainability issues.
All major suppliers have signed INVISIO’s Code of Conduct for suppliers and its anti corruption policy. Contract manufacturers and important suppliers are regularly and systematically inspected by INVISIO. The inspections cover a number of different areas, including product quality, production methods, work environment and the training received by employees to enable them to perform quality work. A working group with representatives from the company’s Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Quality Assurance functions is responsible for assessing, approving and continually evaluating the suppliers. Written reports are drawn up and any non-conformances with agreements are discussed with the manufacturer, and where necessary a period of grace is granted to take corrective measures.
1) REACH, (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals), is an EU Regulation applicable to production and safe use of chemicals.
2) RoHS, (Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances) is an EU Directive that prohibits or restricts the use of certain heavy metals and flame retardants in electrical and electronic products.
3) WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) is an EU Directive for the treatment of electric and electronic waste.
At the last review in 2019, there were no cases of discrimination, lack of right to freedom of association and collective agreements, child labor, forced labor, young workers exposed to hazardous work or other noncompliance with human rights. Due to the pandemic, no regular reviews were carried out in 2020.
Limited environmental impact
INVISIO has consciously chosen as far as possible to purchase components from suppliers in Europe and the USA, since this creates the conditions for more effective collaboration regarding quality and sustainability aspects.
The Finnish listed company Scanfil is one of INVISIO’s major contract manufacturers. In that the products are relatively small and not manufactured in large series, the production processes are not particularly energy consuming. Nor do they entail any significant
emissions to water or air. Scanfil provides a detailed account of its environmental work, for example on its website and in the company’s annual report.
INVISIO’s overall environmental impact related to the products themselves is not deemed to be significant.
The input components of the products mainly consist of plastic and metals that are traditionally used in the manufacture of products containing electronics. The products do not contain any “conflict minerals”.
The plastic in current products is made from virgin raw material. Together with its existing partners INVISIO has evaluated the possibility of using recycled plastic instead. However, this has not met INVISIO’s requirements concerning quality and function.
Only a few of INVISIO’s products contain batteries. Instead, they are powered from the sound source, usually a radio.
Marketing and sales
INVISIO’s products are classified as personal protective equipment and customers are mainly public agencies and institutions.
Sales are mainly through INVISIO’s own personnel based in Denmark, France, the USA, England, Italy and Thailand, but also through distribution partners. As of 2017 partners are required to confirm compliance with the principles of INVISIO’s Code of Conduct and anti- corruption policy. Sales activities and training operations involve travel and this is probably where INVISIO’s main environmental impact lies. At the end of 2020, the company’s sales and training unit consisted of 45 people, whose travel is both by air and road. Due to the pandemic, business travel decreased considerably in 2020. Physical meetings were to a great extent replaced by digital meetings. INVISIO predicts that the digital meetings will become more common, even when the pandemic is over.
Use and end-of-use
Environmental impact in connection with use of the systems is virtually non-existent. Only a few of INVISIO’s products contain batteries. The systems are instead powered by electricity from the sound source, which is usually a radio.
INVISIO is subject to producer responsibility. This includes responsibility for collecting, recycling and treating the waste that arises when the product has reached the end of its life.
INVISIO has procedures in place to make this possible, but in practice it is usually dealt with by the customers themselves. It is unusual for end-of-life and scrapped products to be returned to INVISIO. It is also unclear whether there are any environmental gains from such a procedure, as it often involves long-distance transport.
In its agreement with the Swedish Police INVISIO has undertaken to offer a recycling system.
Sustainability requirements for functionality and length of life of INVISIO’s products are extremely high. The solutions must function at all times and for many years. They must withstand damp and water and be usable at all temperatures, from intense heat to extreme cold. The products must also be designed for simple and intuitive operation by users at high stress levels.
Clear and well-developed processes throughout the value chain ensure that the products are safe, of high quality and con- form to current requirements from customers, public agencies and certifying bodies.
The products are certified by competent authorities. They are compliant with a large number of international standards refer- ring to electro-magnetic radiation (including the EMC Regulation and various national and military standards. In addition, checks are made on compliance with regulations on the use of chemicals and hazardous substances (REACH and RoHS) and European regulations for electronic waste (the WEEE Directive). The company’s hearing protection is also checked against most European, Australian and American standards.