From its very first celebration in 1970, Earth Day
has annually called on us all to embrace goals and actions that minimize or reverse humankind’s impact on the planet. It has spurred us to rethink the ways in which we consume, process, and dispose of materials, plastics and natural resources. And it has inspired us to redouble our efforts to leave a better world for future generations.
Corporations have an important environmental role to play. Organizations like Digi have the opportunity to demonstrate the importance of environmental stewardship through our actions, and at the same time improve the efficiency of our operations. We can make a real difference for the environment in that process.
At Digi International, we believe that we all play a role in protecting the environment with green practices. And we strive to lead by our actions in many areas of our business.
Digi’s Green Commitment
Digi’s goal is to foster responsibility in daily operations and to meet or exceed the compliance requirements of all applicable environmental legislation and regulations as well as other voluntary measurements to which we subscribe. We promote the prevention of pollution and reduction of CO2 emissions, and continually work to improve the effectiveness of our environmental management systems in support of that goal. We have taken a range of proactive steps to meet this commitment. As we commemorate Earth Day 2021, let’s look at a few of Digi’s green initiatives.
Green Building Practices
We’re committed to a “reduce, reuse and recycle” program at our headquarters, satellite offices and production/distribution facilities.
When we moved into our new corporate headquarters in 2019, we took the opportunity to select a space and a design team that supported our goals for environmental responsibility.
Green building examples at our headquarters include:
- We chose a modern, sustainable building that follows LEED Gold design principles.
- Our HVAC system uses built-in intelligence to minimize energy consumption and maximize conservation
- Our offices are outfitted with sensors and smart lighting to turn lights off when not in use
Green Materials in Our Space Design
We worked with our space designers, Studio BV, to use green materials in the build-out of the two floors of our new corporate headquarters, which included high recycled material components in our carpets, upholstery fabrics, wood wall panels and acoustical panels.
We also used low VOC paints and coatings, and installed all LED lighting. Additionally, we built a stairway to connect our two floors to reduce the amount of elevator runs made between floors.
Reducing, Reusing and Recycling in Daily Operations
In our offices, we made a number of important additional changes in our daily operations when we moved to the new headquarters:
- We not only separate waste paper from trash, but we moved to communal trash and recycling so that each individual desk does not use a trash bag each day
- We switched from bottled beverages to beverage dispensers
- We moved from stocking paper products in our kitchens to providing dishes, stainless steel flatware and ceramic cups, and had dishwashers built in
Manufacturing and Distribution Practices
In our production and distribution facilities, we take great care to isolate and properly dispose of computer waste products. Third-party experts regularly remove these items that have metals or other potentially harmful chemicals and components for proper recycling and/or disposal.
Additionally, we work with our contract manufacturing facilities around the world to follow leading environmental practices – following the same environmental standards as our corporate offices.
Commitment to Environmental Standards
The following are some of the key standards and compliance requirements Digi maintains for compliance and environmental stewardship.
Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and REACH
We design and manufacture our products to minimize or eliminate the use of potentially toxic materials that previously were often found in the use of printed circuit boards, internal leads, or components such as capacitors and resistors. We aim to meet the European Union’s Restrictions on Hazardous Substances – specifically, EU RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU with amendment Directive 2015/863/EU, which sets thresholds for elements and compounds such as lead, mercury and cadmium.
Similarly, Digi International products are manufactured to comply with EU REACH regulation (EC) No 1907/2006. Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) as listed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) are not knowingly added to Digi International products.
The International Standards Organization’s ISO-14001 family of standards were issued to foster stronger management of environmental operations. ISO-14001 helps organizations reduce or eliminate processes that can harm the environment, meet stringent regulatory frameworks, and continuously improve their stewardship.
ISO 14001 compliance is based on our ability to document and follow written processes for how a product is produced, and is verified by independent auditors. We are proud to share that Digi International earned its ISO-14001:2015 certification in 2018.
One point of emphasis in our ISO-14001 audit is the use of transportation and shipping and our efforts to reduce our eco-footprint. We work closely with our contract manufacturers around the world as well as our customers to minimize needless shipping. For instance, we have made key adjustments in our supply chain to eliminate processes that resulted in components shipping from Asia to Minnesota and back again. Drop-shipments around the world also reduce the globe-trotting of these parts and products, saving everyone money, time, and fuel.
In a related move, we also work diligently to optimize our packaging – including shipping containers and recyclable packages – to eliminate waste and reduce fuel consumption.
It all adds up to a greener, smaller footprint.
In 2010, as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the U.S. enacted legislation that calls for publicly traded companies to disclose their use of certain minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold – commonly known as 3TG) or other derivatives mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and in adjoining countries, whose revenues may be used to directly or indirectly finance armed groups engaged in civil war. Colloquially, these are known as “conflict minerals.”
In full support of this legislation to eliminate the use of conflict minerals in our products, we have adopted OECD due diligence guidance for managing the conflict minerals supply chain. And we work with our suppliers to follow socially responsible policies that ensure materials supplied to Digi International are “DRC conflict-free.”
Digi International has no direct contact or control of smelters in our supply chain. Digi neither supports nor directly sources from smelters located in the DRC conflict zone. We rely on our suppliers for the accuracy of their smelter information.
Green Tech Is Growing, and Our Commitment Along with It
Ultimately, Earth Day isn’t about simply checking a few boxes and moving on. It’s a 365-day commitment to doing the right thing – for our customers, our employees, our investors, and our communities.
We are proud to say that Digi has dozens of customers that are building and deploying Green Technology solutions today – from smart city lighting to electric vehicle technology to wind and solar solutions, smart agriculture and more. See the Digi 2021 Green Tech Awards press release, which showcases some winning initiatives in six different Green Tech categories.
Our environmental page and our new Green Tech application page on Digi.com have more information for you, and we have a great new video showing how Green Tech connects. And to learn more about our broader commitment to corporate social responsibility, we invite you to sign up for the Digi newsletter, as we will continue to share announcements, blog posts and other collateral pertaining to Digi’s customer initiatives and our own Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts.