Logitech's Prakash Arunkundrum, Head of Global Operations and Sustainability, recently participated in New York Climate Week to discuss the company's long-term vision of sustainability, current initiatives, as well as goals now and into the future for both Logitech and the technology industry as a whole.
In a session with the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), sitting alongside Ulrika Modéer (Assistant Secretary General & Director of Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy at the UNDP), Arunkundrum illustrated not only Logitech's technology, but how it's operating with sustainability in mind, as well as setting absolute carbon reduction goals.
The technology impact
Unlike products that don't use energy, where the majority or even 100% of the emissions generated are emitted during production, technology products face a unique challenge in that they generate emissions simply by being plugged in.
"One of the biggest things in technology is that you use a lot of energy when you use them during your daily use. The best way to impact this is to have a grid that itself is clean… 27% of our emissions globally are from consumer use-phase, which is when you're plugged in and using your mice, keyboard or other devices. While we are making our sensors more efficient… but really driving [sustainability] is about making the grid clean."
Arunkundrum shared that this is both a private sector and public problem, as companies like Logitech can only do so much internally to mitigate its emissions. It's up to governments to "pave the way", creating policies that will help achieve greener businesses overall.
As Arunkundrum pointed out, the latest Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden has, and will continue to have, a strong positive impact on clean energy, particularly with the U.S. being the biggest market.
The Carbon Clarity Initiative
One of the foremost talking points Arunkundrum shared was Logitech's Carbon Clarity Initiative, the company's voluntary pledge to provide product life-cycle carbon impact labels on packaging.
"We think Carbon is the new calorie. We want consumers to be informed on how much their devices and personal technology products affect the environment. We are holding ourselves accountable to make sure that is addressed across future generations of products."
One of the key sustainability initiatives at Logitech is to not only be Net Zero, but to be Climate Positive by 2030, taking out more carbon than we create, and to do that across its entire supply chain.
This "carbon calorie" approach is unique in this industry, but Logitech is working with peers and competitors to help them do the same and ensure everyone is able to "compute" the lifestyle carbon value.
It's important that consumers remain aware of the carbon impact of the products they buy, as they deserve to make informed decisions about how these products affect the planet.
Arunkundrum pointed out that this initiative will hopefully catch on across all sectors, as we are now in a generation where planetary health and individual health should be treated as one and the same.
Accelerating Climate Action
In line with supporting clean energy bills, collaborating with others in the industry, and rethinking our own infrastructure, the ultimate key to expediting positive climate solutions ensures all our energy is clean.
"If you look at all the subsidies going into oil and gas, and diverted only a part of that to clean energy globally, you can see the emissions rate dropping down dramatically."
But as Arunkundrum points out, this needs to be done across all nations and sectors and in line with making dramatic changes, regeneration needs to be a part of the conversation going forward as well.
Having shared the stage with both Ulrika Modéer and Chris Kemper (CEO and founder of Palmetto), Arunkundrum echoed their sentiments that a re-engineering of all our approaches to product creation, energy emissions, and accountability would be decisive in facilitating worldwide net-zero economies.