Flex Power Modules' environmental responsibility

With the world currently gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems logical for many to think about the other huge threat facing the human race – global climate change – and what can be learnt now to help prepare for tomorrow. Like a pandemic, climate change can be planned for in advance, which is why Flex Power Modules is renewing its focus on environmental responsibility, continuing its mission to help protect the planet for future generations.

Flex Power Modules has witnessed a groundswell of customers keen to identify technology partners able to demonstrate robust environmental credentials.

‘We have a renewed commitment to build a healthier, cleaner, more resource-efficient world, aiming for the environmental and social change that makes all of our stakeholders proud, including customers,’ explains Mattias Jansson, General Manager, Flex Power Modules and Flex Electronics Shanghai. ‘At this worrying time for everyone, it is vital that we continue our collaborations with customers, partners and other businesses to increase efforts to promote a more sustainable future.’

As a worldwide leader in power modules, an area where the company can make a clear difference is product design. Indeed, since 2000 the company has adopted a ‘Design for Environment’ (DfE) policy in all product development projects. This initiative includes restrictions on hazardous substances – such as lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chrome – in line with RoHS and REACH directives.

Flex Power Modules’ DfE policy also drives the design and development of high-efficiency DC/DC power modules that decrease the energy consumption of end-user equipment, resulting in lower environmental impact. This approach not only affects energy bills, but the design, dimensioning and cost of other system parts, such as cooling fans and air-conditioning units, heatsinks, real-estate requirements, power supplies, and battery back-up capacity. Taking such a path contributes to lower total cost of ownership for the end user and a more resource-efficient society.

In terms of its operations, Flex Power Modules is accredited to ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001, with the latter relating to a family of standards for environmental management. Notably, the company has a green management team in place and runs a comprehensive energy management programme. For instance, over the past year, electricity consumed by lighting systems has reduced by approximately 20%, while an electric shuttle bus scheme at certain sites encourages employees to leave their cars at home. As a further example, Flex Power Modules is decreasing the cost of electricity to the grid via its kaizen activities.

The company also has a clear and renewed focus on decreasing CO2 emissions and water consumption, as well as initiatives to minimise waste, and manage and dispose of waste/scrap in compliance with legal, social, environmental and ethical requirements. Some sites have already achieved zero waste to landfill.

‘For any companies actively looking to reduce or offset their carbon footprint, they will find a very able partner in Flex Power Modules,’ concludes Mr Jansson. ‘We have been engaged in this area for some time and, with our renewed focus, will continue driving our environmental initiatives. We will further advance commitments, policies and goals that can drive sustainability across our company, from both a product design and an operations perspective.’