Bill O’Donnell – Director of Product Management, Amphenol Broadband Solutions (www.amphenolbroadband.com)
Responsible players in the broadband industry have been working across all facets of their businesses to implement practices that increase sustainability while ideally, raising the bottom line. Obvious areas for improvement initiatives include reducing energy consumption as well as diminishing emissions from motor vehicles and facilities. Also, waste reduction through recycling or alternative operational methodologies can have a positive environmental impact. Each of these presents an opportunity for the suppliers to Service Providers to make an impactful contribution to the industry’s sustainability efforts.
Each year hundreds of thousands of the cable reels used to package and transport service cables end up in dumpsters, destined to add to landfills and creating avoidable waste. For our industry, these empty reels soon should only serve as a historical reminder of the waste once generated by traditional packaging.
Yet, cable packaging serves several key purposes, and therefore cannot simply be eliminated. Cable reels and other packaging serve to protect and preserve cable in a way that maintains its usefulness right through and until the last few feet are used. Also, the reels hold cables in bulk and therefore make it available for multiple runs before a replacement is needed. Finally, these reels package the cable in a quantity that is easily transported and handled by a service technician in the bag carried onto the job site.
In looking at sustainability, quite often it makes sense to ask the question, “How can this task be performed in a simpler way?” While technician service bags are not a new concept on the market, eliminating the “disposable” cable reel that is used inside of them, is. By re-engineering the service bag, and combining it with a unique, far less wasteful cable packaging process, waste can be virtually eliminated. Innovative Generation II technician service bags allow the technician to load a fresh spool of cable without having to replace the reel located in the bag.
Most everyone is familiar with the theory referred to as The Butterfly Effect: which states that the power to cause a hurricane in China might begin with a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. While the elimination of a small cable reel that weighs less than two pounds and holds 500’ of service cable may not seem significant on its own, when one considers the millions of feet of service cable that are deployed annually, this one small change in practice will have a huge effect on our environment.
Responsible suppliers will continue to explore new ways to simplify with an eye towards sustainability.