Withings is a French electronics manufacturer of products such as smartwatches, scales, heart, and blood pressure monitors. They’re committed to designing durable and low-carbon products that improve people’s health. In October 2021, they started tracking their carbon footprint and issued their first carbon report at the beginning of 2022.
“On top of improving the health of our customers, we want to contribute to global carbon neutrality first by reducing our carbon footprint, but also helping our users decrease theirs, by offering low-carbon products,” says François Regnier, Finance Director at Withings.
Eco-design, i.e. designing low-carbon products, is a complicated process. You need to get information on each stage of a product’s life cycle, from material sourcing to product disposal. Then it’s about testing alternatives to minimize the carbon footprint.
To get accurate measurements, you need high-quality emission factors at each step of your product’s journey. But finding these can be time-consuming and expensive depending on the emission factor databases involved (national and international, public and private, and all varying in scope).
On top of that, conducting a life cycle assessment can be beyond your immediate control, happening either upstream or downstream of your operations. This means gathering data on suppliers, which isn’t always available or of good quality.
"To improve our carbon footprint, we have to transition to low-carbon products. As an industrial company, it means changing our entire life cycle. Sweep enables us to track our entire supply chain across the life cycle stages of all our products," says Regnier.
For a company like Withings, where 85% of their emissions come from the products they sell, full visibility over their carbon data is crucial to creating durable products and achieving their sustainability objectives. With the help of Sweep, they can:
Get a complete overview of the emissions across their operations, value chain, and per product by collecting suppliers’ carbon data.
Identify emission hotspots in their product life cycle and strategically act on them, such as promoting maritime shipment instead of air freight.
Compare alternative materials and processes across each stage of a product’s life cycle to inform the development of low-carbon products. For example, they tested different materials to design the most climate-friendly packaging.
“Eco-designing products takes time: You have to test different materials and processes across all life cycle stages. The aim is to find the optimal configuration to create the most durable product with the smallest overall carbon footprint. Sweep helps us simulate these changes to inform the development of our low-carbon products and optimize our overall climate strategy,” says Regnier.
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