More and more companies are taking responsibility in terms of sustainable production, resource and climate protection. In the field of consumer electronics, however, sustainable design has so far been more of a goal than a reality. With a corresponding certification, Bang & Olufsen is now setting a new standard in the industry. The Danish audio brand’s Beosound Level portable Wi-Fi speaker has officially been awarded Cradle to Cradle Bronze status. The certification is awarded by the independent, non-profit organisation Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. To receive it, high standards must be met in the areas of sustainable design, recyclability of products and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. The Beosound Level is thus the first ever Cradle to Cradle certified consumer electronics product and one of the first products to meet the Institute’s new, more ambitious Version 4.0 standard, which takes into account, among other things, the product’s environmental risk and a higher standard of the company’s overall sustainable practices.
Mads Kogsgaard Hansen, the brand’s Senior Global Product Manager, cites Bang & Olufsen’s recent efforts to restore and revive old models of the famous Beogram 4000 turntables as the starting point for the Beosound Level with modularity and durability in mind. It has been developed using modular design principles. It is easy to maintain, care for and repair. B & O’s goal is to extend the life of the speaker well beyond the industry standard. Customers can replace the battery themselves, and service partners have easy access to key components for replacement when needed.
When the Beosound Level does reach the end of its useful life after many years of operation, it supports a resource-efficient recycling process. Because it is easy to disassemble and uses high quality materials that, together with the structural components, are made from high quality recycled polymers, the speaker helps to close material loops. “We are far from perfect, but we see that as part of the problem we are also part of the solution,” says Kogsgaard Hansen. “Basically, I hope others will follow, because we can’t change this trend alone.”
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