Making sustainability a core component of product development

The ongoing climate emergency requires urgent action, and every organisation has an important role to play in reducing carbon emissions and environmental damage. From changing the materials used in manufacture to improving what happens to products at the end of life, businesses need to take responsibility for their impact on the planet.

Logitech is a sustainable leader – in 2020 Logitech was the first tech company to begin adding carbon impact labelling to its products, and earlier this year it reached the milestone of having 65% of its mice and keyboards using post-consumer recycled plastics (PCR). As a company, Logitech considers the environmental impact of every part of the product lifecycle.

With this in mind, Robert O’Mahoney, Logitech’s Head of Sustainability, discusses three ways to improve the environmental impact of product development.

Recycling and circularity

Recycling plays a huge role in reducing environmental impact – and this needs to be factored in at the early stage of the product design process when key decisions are being made.

For example, Logitech’s in-house design and engineering teams map-out environmental impacts before they arise. We consider the full lifecycle of products and design for low carbon, low toxicity, and high recyclability (or circularity).

It’s also important to be aware of the latest laws and legislations to follow, and if a company’s wider supply chain is meeting the right standards. Logitech does this by monitoring evolving stewardship laws for electrical devices, packaging, and batteries worldwide, as well as carrying out robust due diligence to understand our legal obligations. We also communicate our expectations to business partners, and partner with Producer Responsibility Organisations to provide financial support and enable the development of effective recycling infrastructure.

As a result, Logitech has financed the recycling of more than 50,000 tons of electrical devices, batteries, and packaging worldwide since 2010.

The role of post-consumer recycled plastics

Another way to support the environment is to move away from single-use plastics. Recycling single-use plastics is a step, but the best alternative is to package products in a way that removes single-use plastic usage at source.

This is Logitech’s goal, and its post-consumer recycled plastics programme launched in 2019, transitioning its use of virgin plastic to recycled. In February 2022, we were thrilled to announce that we’re using post-consumer recycled plastic in 65% of all mice and keyboards, surpassing our original commitment made in 2020 to use 50% in the same time period. Adopting PCRs meant that in 2021 8,000 tonnes of virgin plastic was eliminated from Logitech products.

Carbon impact labelling

Allowing consumers to be informed about the carbon impact of the products they buy is also an important action on the road to greater sustainability.

In June 2020, Logitech announced that it would add carbon impact labelling to its product packaging and on the company website – with consideration of product manufacturing and its predicted lifecycle.

Taking a step further, Logitech also announced in 2021 that it is adopting a climate positive approach, and achieved carbon neutrality for all products manufactured in 2021. To go further, the company has also set itself on a path to net zero by 2030, and beyond that eventually to be climate positive, removing even more carbon than it creates through its total operations.

Logitech has seen first-hand how sustainability commitments resonate in sales and build better client relationships, at the same time as making a positive impact on the planet. By focusing on recycled materials and reducing carbon impact across the whole supply chain, it is possible to create quality products, without harming the environment.