We have established clear rules and structures to firmly embed the principle of closed product cycles (see diagram below) in our company. Thanks above all to our focus on emissions reduction, energy efficiency, recyclability, and reliability, our products deliver exceptional customer value.
Closed product cycle
Research and development
Eco-friendly product development
We define the fundamental technical properties of a product early on at the initial design stage. On this basis, in the subsequent development phase we then define a series of environmental criteria that govern, for example, our choice of materials, energy efficiency standards, component life span, recyclability, and low-impact disposal. Our Group-wide policy of "environmentally sound and recycling-conscious product development" and the associated checklist provide not only a binding standard but also a compilation of best practices. This takes into account the entire range of international statutory provisions and standards.
Product carbon footprint
Another step towards the goal of optimizing our products from an environmental perspective involves conducting and evaluating environmental impact tests, e.g., by calculating individual product carbon footprints. The environmental impact of each product is analyzed over its entire life cycle (production, use, and disposal) and presented in terms of climate-damaging CO2 emissions. These analyses give use precise information about which elements of a product have to be altered in order to optimize its environmental footprint. In our view, the process of determining, evaluating, and incorporating these aspects results in improved products.
For this reason, in fiscal 2014/2015 we set up a central carbon footprint unit at our Competence Center Environmental. Its role is to measure the carbon footprint of our entire product portfolio, analyze the results, and feed them into our production system. This helps us to build sustainability into our products at the early development stage.
Over the same period, we analyzed the carbon footprints of our information terminals and reverse vending systems in order to firmly establish the concept of product carbon footprints in our day-to-day operations.
In fiscal 2015/2016 our Competence Center Environmental received a large number of inquiries from customers about the environmental impact of our products. This shows that the issue is of growing importance not only to companies. We see this as confirmation that we are on the right path; we have now started work on analyses of other products, including one of our checkout systems.
Energy calculator to facilitate comparisons of electricity, costs, and emissions
The energy calculator for our retail products is the ideal way for our customers to work out the total cost of ownership (TCO). It consists of a database that can simply be adapted to work with new models. The first step is to enter the basic operating data in the consumption profile, i.e., the device's operating times and idle mode, the corresponding price of electricity per kilowatt hour, and a CO2 rating for the country in question.
Once these settings have been entered, the user can compare systems with different features. The tool calculates each product's costs, electricity consumption, and emissions, either on a yearly basis or for the entire period of deployment. As well as comparing various systems and components, it can be used to test the impact of switching to different operating modes (e.g., whether to close the device down overnight or leave it in idle mode), to identify potential cost savings (when, where, and how?), and to measure the resulting environmental footprints. As you can see, the energy calculator used by our sales teams is a very handy tool. We also make it available to our customers so that they can perform their own calculations. This gives them a better idea of their energy use and its consequences and helps them to select the most appropriate device.
Defining the specifications for individual components
The calculator works out:
- electricity consumption
- energy costs
- carbon footprint for each year and over the product's entire life cycle
Procurement and production
Avoiding hazardous substances
Based on international and legally binding rules, e.g., REACH and RoHS (for details, see below and the section entitled Category management), we have drawn up specific lists with the aim of reducing and avoiding certain materials. These lists are incorporated into the contracts we sign with our suppliers. All our suppliers are obliged to observe and comply with these rules. In taking this approach, we exceed the minimum statutory requirements relating to product safety, as the aforementioned lists also include substances that are not prohibited by law but are nevertheless considered to be of concern, e.g., "substances of very high concern."
By consistently avoiding substances that are of concern or hazardous in our products, we are able to prevent pollutants from entering the environment. At the same time, we are protecting the health of our employees during the production process and improving the recyclability of our products.
Selection of relevant international standards and guidelines for Wincor Nixdorf
REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Compliance with restrictions relating to substances in products; EU regulation on the use of chemical substances
RoHS stands for Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Compliance with restrictions relating to substances in electrical equipment and in electronic assemblies
EU-WEEE stands for: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive In particular, the return of used electrical equipment, eco-compliant processing of such equipment, and definition of targets relating to product recovery rates
Conserving resources through recycled plastics
In our last Sustainability Report we examined a new form of recycled plastic that we played a key role in developing. The material's technical properties are comparable to those of new plastic and therefore meet all our strict quality requirements. It also had to fulfill numerous criteria set by the organization Underwriters Laboratories (UL) since this is a prerequisite for use in our products.
The main advantage of using recycled plastics is that a significant proportion of the energy can be saved in comparison to the conventional manufacture of new products based on crude oil. This leads to a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. In addition, it helps to minimize the rate of waste, as recycled plastics can pass through more than one life cycle. Therefore, hardly any raw materials associated with new product manufacture are required – a valuable saving of resources. As a pioneer in our industry, we are now a standard-bearer when it comes to showing that quality and the environment complement each other rather than being mutually exclusive.
Our long-term objective is to expand the use of this recycled material as much as possible in our products. That will help us to maintain our progress towards the five-year target we set ourselves in last year's report of replacing 20% of the plastics used in our products with recycled plastics.
Further details of this strategy will emerge as we establish a joint product portfolio with Diebold. Using recycled plastics is one way of harnessing the potential for greater sustainability referred to above. With this in mind, we check the suitability of such materials right at the beginning of the product life cycle, i.e., at the product development stage. If we are satisfied, we then push ahead and keep them under review.
Operations at client companies
Reducing paper consumption
Wherever possible, we endeavor to reduce our consumption of paper and therefore save the resources needed to make it. One way in which we achieve this is by making all the manuals for our solutions available to customers in digital form. Paper copies are supplied only if specifically requested. Our service engineers use only the manuals provided on our company intranet. This avoids the need for a huge amount of printed material. For example, each year we send out thousands of digital copies of the file containing our operating manual for the CINEO C4060 product, which comes to around 500 pages. By delivering it in this form, we save about 3.5 kg of CO2 emissions per manual on the paper production process alone (source: www.initiative-papier.de).
One example of Wincor Nixdorf's drive to produce more energy-efficient systems is the BEETLE /M POS line – our best-selling modular checkout system. Over the last ten years we have reduced the amount of energy required to operate the system by two-thirds. At the same time we have improved the performance of the individual systems several times over. This was achieved by maintaining a clear focus on the use of advanced and energy-efficient technologies, e.g.,
- low-energy processors
- 80PLUS power supply units
- solid state disks instead of conventional hard disks
- standby/sleep functions
Chart showing energy consumption for the BEETLE /M POS line from 2005 - 2016
Another example of energy efficiency is our CINEO C2550 ATM. Thanks to technical improvements in the PC platform, we have reduced the device's energy consumption by approximately 34% over the last five years. Over the same period the performance of the PC has improved substantially.
Chart showing energy consumption for the CINEO C2550 in idle* mode
User-friendly energy-saving mode
ATMs and other self-service systems often remain operational 24 hours a day. However, statistical analysis of usage data shows that at some sites they are not actually used during certain periods. In response to these findings, the latest version of Wincor Nixdorf's PC/E Server 2.4 automatically enters energy-saving mode if it remains unused.
One Wincor PC designed to save energy
Another example of how we have optimized the energy efficiency of our products is the new PC platform One Wincor PC, which is based on the fourth generation of Core i processors (Haswell) supplied by Intel. The new PC platform is used in both banking (EPC_5G) and retail products (BEETLE /M-III) and can deliver energy savings of up to 35% depending on the field of application. With regard to our banking products, another advantage is the platform's optional upgrade capability. This means that systems already in operation can be retrofitted with the new PC platform. For each of our CINEO, ProCash xe / xe USB, ProConsult, ProInfo, and ProPrint systems, this translates into a potential electricity saving of up to 35%.
Use of LED technology
All of the latest Wincor Nixdorf products are equipped with state-of-the-art LED lighting technology – from the LED back-light in the display and LED spot lighting to LED edge lighting. This form of lighting offers significant benefits in the field. It considerably reduces the power draw associated with lighting, while also extending the service life from 30,000 to 100,000 hours. Simply by installing modern LED technology instead of fluorescent tubes for background lighting, it is possible for example to reduce energy consumption by around 30%. As well as saving energy and therefore money, this reduces the need for raw materials. Furthermore, since LEDs last longer, it also reduces downtime and the need for servicing. The benefits are felt not only by our customers but also by the environment.
Servicing and repairs
Protection against unauthorized access
Reducing service engineer callouts
To achieve the best possible economic and environmental benefits for our customers and the environment at a service level, too, we take various measures to avoid or reduce the number of engineer callouts. Thanks to the clear technical layout of the entire system and consistent labeling of all components, for example, any faults can be rectified by our customers themselves, thus avoiding the need to call out an engineer. In the area of IT operations, we offer customers the option of linking their systems to our support resources via our state-of-the-art online services platform. We can then identify events and errors by undertaking automatic and preventive remote maintenance measures via an online connection, and often remedy them before they result in a system failure. We are already capable of resolving a large proportion of such faults remotely, i.e., by analyzing and electronically rectifying faults from a remote location via an online platform. Moreover, our own service desks enable us to clarify and resolve any further issues customers wish to discuss by phone. What is more, through our remote software maintenance service, we are able to upload and monitor new applications on their behalf via an automatic software distributor.
Smart network for engineer callouts
If an engineer is still required, we make every effort to ensure that the callout process is efficient. To ensure that our engineers always have access to the right service parts, we have set up a global logistics network with numerous local supply centers. This means our engineers can be on site very quickly with the required replacement parts. It also avoids the need to ship those parts over long distances and therefore saves fuel and reduces CO2 emissions. Furthermore, by maintaining a high proportion of reworkable service parts and a global repair network, we are able to reduce the need for new parts by a significant margin.
We are also taking steps to optimize our engineer callouts. In the Czech Republic, for example, the controller is responsible according to ISO 50001 for sending out the nearest available service engineer. This approach has both environmental and economic benefits.
Most of the vehicles driven by our engineers are equipped with environmentally-friendly technology. In Germany, all our vehicles run on diesel engines fitted with particulate filters. Furthermore, in 2013 we began the process of replacing our existing vehicle fleet for service engineers in Germany (a total of 319 vehicles) with new, more environmentally-friendly models. The CO2 emissions of our new vehicles are between 99-104 g/km, relatively low compared to the range of 119-124 g/km for older vehicles. By 2015/2016 we had already replaced 288 vehicles, around 92% of our total fleet. We plan to complete this process for all our service engineer vehicles in Germany over the course of 2017.
Recycling and remarketing
Reuse of Wincor Nixdorf products
Given the growing scarcity of commodities and goods, and thus the greater expense associated with such items, our aim is to reuse existing products wherever possible. Where required, (old) models returned by our customers are refurbished and remarketed. Additionally, specific modules can be extracted from used products as replacement parts for existing customer devices (Reuse; see section entitled Remarketing Concept). A key prerequisite for the recyclability of products is the optimal choice of materials at the manufacturing stage. This is achieved by only using standard plastics and generally avoiding any composites, such as metal-plastic compounds, which would prevent optimal recycling. Our proven product recovery rate (materials and energy used) lies at over 95%. Operating in accordance with the national provisions of the European WEEE Regulation (see above table under "Avoiding substances of concern"), we accept used equipment back at the end of its service life and arrange for it to be recycled.