Bang & Olufsen x Sustainability
Our performance on longevity in 2021/22
2021/22 was a breakthrough year in terms of validating our modular and longevity approach to product development and design.
1. Certification for circularity and longevity Firstly, we delivered the world’s first ever consumer electronics product that has achieved certification according to the cradle-to-cradle certification for product circularity. The Beosound Level achieved this certification in September 2021. In May 2022 this contributed to the Beosound Level winning a prestigious iF design award in Berlin where the longevity and circularity attributes of the product was praised. To read more about the Beosound Level cradle-to-cradle (bronze) certification, please read here.
2. Services for longevity During Milan Design Week 2021 we presented an exhibition of our products demonstrating the possibility to design out waste, exemplified by an exploded view of a 1970’s Beogram 4000 Series turntable to illustrate modularity. By considering technological obsolescence and designing to accommodate technology changes, we can contribute to reversing the industry trend of electronic waste (e-waste).
As part of our Recreated Classics programme, we launched a new upgrade service kit. This makes it possible for everyone who owns a vintage Beogram turntable to have it restored and refurbished and connect it to modern speakers. This demonstrates how we can design products for longevity and make them relevant beyond the first lifecycle. By inspiring our customers to service, repair, and upgrade their audio products, they enjoy a lifetime of music with the products they love.
3. Software for longevity In January 2022, we celebrated 40 years of industry leading Multiroom audio by introducing Beolink Multiroom technology for our latest product platform. The software update provides connectivity between the past, present and future products from as far back as 1986 to today. The connectivity spans different technologies, including turntables, CD players, Mp3 media to the latest streaming media and music services. The update gives our customers the freedom to upgrade and expand their collections and ensures them a lifetime of music.
4. Processes for longevity and circularity Over the past year, we have worked to integrate the learning from the cradle-to-cradle certified® product standard into the business. This includes a framework for implementing necessary design principles to meet the requirements. On top of this, we have developed our own repairability performance assessment method. This is based on the French Repairability index being used to evaluate the relative repairability across brands and between electronic products. This assessment will help us create a baseline for understanding how our products perform. We are working with these insights to help us further improve the repairability of our products.
5. Education for longevity and circularity
To raise awareness and increase knowledge the importance of circularity and repairability, we created a training module for our employees and business partners on the cradle-to-cradle certification. The helps increase understanding of how the standard works, why it is important, and which circularity features enable the longevity of Beosound Level. The training has been taken by 74% of those eligible.
Read more about our longevity efforts and focus for 2022/23 here.