As a global leader in the pro audio industry, and as part of the wider Focusrite Group, environmental sustainability is a major opportunity for us to demonstrate climate leadership and values, define good environmental practice, and benefit from an opportunity to meaningfully engage with our staff, customers, and the wider audio community.
Our Ongoing Commitment
We are serious about building the long-term foundations for progress and with Andy Land, Head of Sustainability for Focusrite Group we are building our timeline towards a net zero future, while also aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
We are joining the growing community of leaders committed to taking bold, strategic action on climate change aligned to the United Nations Paris Agreement, the international framework for “Limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”. We are committed to creating and fostering a sustainable ethos — demonstrating and amplifying good practice while inspiring our employees, customers, and partners to action.
Our approach to environmental sustainability extends to our complete operation, aiming to embed us within the circular economy, requiring collaboration with the entirety of our value chain and beyond.
We believe the only way to make sure we’re doing the right thing is to look at our products in detail across the whole lifecycle, starting with production – then logistics, energy consumption and end of life treatment.
It’s going to take time, but we’re aiming to map the lifecycle of every product, and it’s got to be detailed. We’re not taking shortcuts: we’re checking raw materials right down to the last component to understand the materials we use and categorising and cross-referencing against conversion factors to work out metrics such as equivalent carbon dioxide emissions. This same approach applies to the rest of the lifecycle, even calculating the energy consumption of the lighting in the warehouse before a unit is sold.
Through this detailed work, we’re starting to uncover the environmental hot spots in our products, and it has shown how the use of our products can vary the footprint significantly.
From our research we know that a significant proportion of a product’s environmental impact is in its upfront production, and in particular the raw materials we choose, so providing a route to extend the life of any product is an essential part of reducing our overall footprint.
Throughout our history we have always made high-quality products that stand the test of time, and not become redundant after a few years. Not only do we manufacture long lasting products, but we also make them easy to service and we guarantee spare parts availability for a minimum of 7 years after the product’s discontinuation.
On average our passive loudspeakers will last for at least ten years, with many of our loudspeakers of the last two decades still in healthy operation, and there are still examples of product working that were manufactured from the 1970s.
Through the work we’re doing now to analyse our products down to the last component, we’ll be uncovering a range of ways that we can actively reduce our environmental footprint, and make our designs as sustainable as possible.
Our Work So Far
With so much data becoming available to us on our environmental footprint, we can narrow down to specific initiatives and take action to have the most significant impact. With this information we will take decisions on sourcing and testing recycled materials that do not affect the quality or performance of the given product but will reduce their environmental impact.
Moving forward, therefore, we will start to make changes to existing product and take all these learnings into new product development as well.
Paying It Back, As Well As Forward
It’s well known that forests are among the most important carbon sinks on the planet, and they also harbour enormous levels of biodiversity. Unfortunately, global forests are continuing to decline due to increased settlement, agriculture, logging and mining. If this continues, not only will huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions be released, but entire ecosystems can collapse, leading to existential risks to humans as air, land and water quality can rapidly degrade. Entire regions will eventually become uninhabitable if there isn’t change.
We’re doing what we can to help reverse this, collaborating with the experts at Ecologi and their trusted partners to plant 50,000 new native trees as part of wider afforestation projects that will transform the local landscape, increase biodiversity, improve resilience to climate change, and over time as these trees mature they will sequester carbon within the soil to fight global heating.
If you’d like to see where our trees are growing, you can see more detail on our Ecologi profile by clicking HERE
Unplugged Bug – Eco-Friendly Live Events
Martin Audio has teamed up with Belair Technology and The Bug Club to deliver the ultimate eco-friendly VW Pop-Up DJ Booth.
The custom built Martin Audio sound system runs entirely on renewables thanks to Belair’s rack mounted Power Tower. The Power Tower is a clean and modern rechargeable battery-powered replacement for noisy and polluting generators and with its easy to use operation combined with silent running and zero emissions delivers the perfect ‘off-grid’ solution.
We are keen to examine the sustainability aspect of live events and believe through this initiative we can gather key data and insight that can help to not only further improve these types of events but also scale up to bigger initiatives.
Product Packaging and Recycling
Because the nature of our products are primarily large and heavy and in order to safely transport to customers around the world, robust packaging is required.
Presently, all of our cardboard boxes are made from corrugated board, which being made of paper, is recyclable and indeed is widely recycled.
We recently removed expanded polystyrene from packaging, but we are still using a mix of other materials including polyethylene foam and polyester foams. While these can be re-processed and are suitable for use in Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities, they are far from ideal. We have, therefore, initiated a project to review size, efficiency and composition of our packaging to reduce their environmental impact and improve recyclability, and a goal of removing single use plastic forms a part of this.
We also reduce waste through recycling of card, metal and plastics, at a facility just 200m away from our main UK office.
When it comes to users disposing of any materials in a responsible manner, recommended practices can be found on our dedicated recycling page here.
Using Energy Efficiently
In conjunction with our electronics, we are always looking to improve the acoustic efficiency and therefore reduce the energy required by our loudspeakers. A long product life span means most energy is consumed during usage, so we can make the biggest difference with acoustic and electronic efficiency improvements.
Designing products that require less energy is one of the major ways we can lower our environmental impact, and puts us in the best position to benefit from electricity grids around the world decarbonising over time.
We’ve recently signed a ten year lease to our UK headquarters and manufacturing plant enabling us to significantly invest in updating the building with a view to our growth but also energy efficiency.
This will go alongside our ongoing efforts to reduce waste through recycling of card, metal and plastics, at a facility just 200m away from our office.