Translations

FAIR METER - fair smart electricity meter produced on sustainable and circular economy principles.

4. Environment

Green design

Context

Iskraemeco is a manufacturer of electricity meters and a smart metering solution provider. The company was founded in 1945 and is based in Kranj, Slovenia. Iskraemeco has production facilities in Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Egypt. We have a worldwide customer base and a global partner support network. Iskraemeco produces over 2 million electricity meter per year and is the second largest provider in EMEA, comprising Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Iskraemeco is part of the United Nations Global Compact initiative, a network of like-minded entities that act in accordance with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Sustainability is integrated in the company strategy and involves all departments and processes in the business.

The Fair Meter concept is a wholesome approach to sustainability and circularity and involves all departments and processes in the company. To support the concept, a three-tier sustainability strategy was designed that focuses on internal processes, our supply chain and partnerships. This project is aimed at incorporating sustainability and circular economy practices on the product as well as on the process level in the company. At the same time, there is a focus on driving “change” (understanding and implementation of sustainability and circular economy principles) with suppliers and customers. By introducing a fully transparent supply chain the company will be able to plan its development and support its suppliers` development when it comes to using recycled materials and component production.

Objectives

Within the Fair Meter project, Iskraemeco is devoted to: 

  • a 3 % reduction of energy and water required to produce the product on a yearly basis.
  • reducing CO2 emission by introducing more efficient production processes and technologies. 
  • improving waste management.
  • increasing the amount of recyclable material in the end product.
  • trace the material to their sources.
  • having control over scarce material usage.
  • a 3TG (use of conflict material) free supply chain.
  • proactively creating responsible working conditions for employees and improving health and safety measures.
  • proactively creating responsible working conditions for people involved in the supply chain (implementing audits, Fair Labour Association principles, ILO compliance, cooperating with NGOs on the subject). 
  • integrate eco-design/circular economy principles (Life-Cycle, use less materials, product flexibility, adaptability, upgradability, recyclability, material innovations, smart packaging & logistic).

APPROACH

The Fair Meter project is focused on implementing sustainable practices in the production of fair electricity meters, including material and social aspects. The aim is to ensure that the products are fair in all aspects. The fair meter project addresses all four major issues that the electronic industry is facing today - labour standards, use of conflict materials (3TG), material scarcity, e-waste and energy efficiency. 

After developing the Fair Meter concept, Iskraemeco devised a three-pillar sustainability strategy that involves the introduction of sustainable development in the company, in its supply chain and in partner relationships. This has been coupled with an approach to innovation incorporating systems thinking; resulting in the development of an innovative modular smart meter platform, enabling seamless integration of next generation smart metering functions into the smart grid concept. The platform addresses key challenges customers face during their transition into a smart grid environment, while supporting and improving the operation of their smart meters. In the aspects of development, the company have added sustainability principles; the meter, AM550, that was developed in line with the Fair Meter principle is lighter, smaller and more energy efficient. Iskraemeco adjusted the packaging of the meter as well. Compared to previous products it is minimised in size and consequently has smaller impact on the environment. With lean production they produce the meter with minimal waste. The lice-cycle of the meter is 20 years, the device is updatable, upgradable, modular and recyclable at the end of its life-cycle. 

In order to achieve the above, education of all sectors in the company was needed, but an even more  important aspect within the project is spreading the awareness among customers and other stakeholders. This approach is revolutionising the way used to tackle sustainability and circularity issues in metering and the electronic industry in general. To take responsible actions on a local, national level, as well as internationally, the company is actively involved in improving its environmental and social footprint. Cooperation has a significant role – major impact can be reached through close transfer of knowledge and collaboration. Up to now, Iskraemeco has invested 0,5 million euros to the project. Iskraemeco has one of the largest R&D departments in the industry in Europe. It encompasses more than 100 people and a large majority of them were working on the project at some point in time, on the supply chain, sales, marketing, technology and production. For the purposes of the project, Iskraemeco employed a professional in the field of sustainability to lead the project. 

CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE

Iskraemeco`s current market share is 18 %. With the Fair Meter project, the company managed to increase the market share for 3 %. 

Due to the Fair Meter project the company employed 150 new employees from the start of the project. 

As part of the project Iskraemeco plan to increase its profit for Euros 30 million until 2020 (30 % growth). 

Awards and recognitions received include:

  • the Environmental Award for the Best International Environmental Partnership in 2016 (awarded by the largest media house in Slovenia).
  • nomination for the European Business Awards for the Environment.
  • a Golden Award for the Best Innovation of the year in 2017 in Slovenia (smart meter).
  • a Golden Award for the Best Innovation of the year in 2018 (Fair Meter concept).

Benefits

As part of the process, the company measures the consumption of water, energy and calculate its CO2 footprint. Iskraemeco have decreased all three for approximately 25% from 2013 to 2016. In 2017, the structure of the production changed to more complex products, consumption of electricity decreased slightly and CO2 footprint stayed the same, which is a good result. The company achieved 85 % transparency of the supply chain to date. The meters can be recycled after they are no longer in use. Their average life-cycle is up to 20 years and they are upgradeable for future utility requirements. Currently we are investigating all possibilities to introduce 100% recycled plastics in the meter cover. 

Workforce
800
Country
Slovenia

Contact

Nataša Hartman MARCOM Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mise à jour le 24/10/2018

Creative Commons Attribution This work by Réseau Alliances – World Forum Lille is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.