Green signage: durable & reliable technology is the mainstay of sustainability
In an interview with Invidis’ founder, Florian Rotberg, Bernd Eberhardt, managing director of Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe GmbH, explains that our achievement is so much more than pioneering ecological production processes and eco product features.
The mainstay of our sustainable approach is the durable long-life of our products, backed by our repair, reuse and recycle initiatives.
We are very proud to receive this award for our display solutions which last longer, are easy to recycle, and can even be refurbished to further extend the life cycle.
Whilst the electronics industry will always face challenges when it comes to the fight against climate change - carbon-neutrality will most likely never be entirely achievable - there is much that can be done to limit its impact on the planet.
Aspects of environmental protection and sustainability are playing an increasingly important role in purchasing decisions. Customers are looking for brands or business partners who take their responsibility seriously.
AV technology and sustainability can and should go hand in hand.
Choosing quality is the most significant thing we can do for sustainability
The last century has seen a societal attitude which is inherently wasteful with an increase in the production of non-durable or disposable goods. This consumerism is now widely criticised as we become increasingly aware of its impact on the planet.
Our industry has been slow to react to this change in society and many manufacturers are still producing products with a very short 1- or 2-year life cycle with no thought to recycling or sustainable waste management.
At Sharp/NEC, reliability and durability is fundamental to our brand credibility. We take pride in the quality of our products and are trusted in the industry as a quality manufacturer.
Choosing quality is the most significant thing we can do for sustainability; the longer the life cycle, the less we consume, reducing exploitation of natural resources and limiting waste.
© Georg Roussos
This quote describing the durability of our products is typical from our customers:
We have used NEC monitors for well over 9 years, 12 hours a day, with no problems and they are still working.
Extending the life cycle through repair and refurbishment
For many manufacturers who are solely focused on their P&L, the idea of extending the life of its products would be ludicrous. Our approach is very different, centered around the customer, not the sale. By offering support for the repair and refurbishment of our products, we are providing the greatest possible added value whilst helping our customers to achieve their sustainability goals.
Our digital cinema projectors for example already have a proven long life cycle of 10 years or more. Sharp/NEC introduced a Prism Refurbishment Program to extend the peak performance of cinema projection to maximise the lifecycle and provide greater value to cinema operators. Even projectors which are out of warranty are included for a fast and cost-effective cleaning, repair and refurbishment process.
dvLED service program
dvLED technology is becoming more and more predominant as the technology of choice for large digital surfaces. It offers an extraordinarily long lifetime of over 10 years which is remarkable.
Many manufacturers are focused on the sale, but as a long-term technology partner, Sharp/NEC is driven to ensure its customers enjoy the best possible experience over the entire lifetime of its products.
We have developed a comprehensive, tailored service program to accompany our LED products to ensure our customers gain all the long-life advantages that LED promises.
Global service program
Sharp/NEC was the first in the industry to support customers globally. Our global service and support program enables digital signage integrators to repair or replace displays in any market, regardless of where they were purchased. The repair will be managed by a local service provider, not shipped to a centralised repair centre.
To this day, it is common in the industry to return products for RMA to the country where they were purchased, this shipping process increases the environmental impact whilst defective products are disposed of before their typical period of use.
The key role that extending the life of an electronic device plays in reducing its environmental impact has been recognised through more stringent ecodesign rules, a major element of the new EU Energy Label.
The availability of spare parts and the recyclability of a product is taken into account.
Returning materials to the cycle
Before we bring a product to market, right from the point of conception, we are thinking about the entire lifecycle, including how that product will be recycled once it is no longer fit for purpose.
Sharp/NEC uses recycled materials for all its products and avoids hazardous substances. Our large format displays, at 97.4%, are almost entirely recyclable, which is remarkable in our industry.
We predominantly use metal housings and components for our large format displays and LED modules, a material that plays a decisive role in both durability and safety.
Metal naturally dissipates heat from heat-sensitive electronic components to enhance longevity. Many of our competitors chose plastic or polycarbonate. Unlike plastic, metal can be 100% recycled and returned to the cycle again and again.
Reducing energy consumption
Green signage is not only about how a product is produced, but also how it is used, and for how long it is used. More than 80% of the CO2 footprint of a display is created during usage, so improving the energy efficiency is our greatest lever in reducing the impact on the environment.
A built-in Ambient Light Sensor assists in setting the appropriate brightness level of the display, automatically adjusting according to the ambient light conditions, whilst the Human Sensor detects the presence of the user and powers up/down accordingly to optimise power usage.
Our displays have an on-off scheduling function enabling them to power up or down at pre-determined times. On a larger scale, our free NaViSet Administrator software enables IT personnel to manage their large estate of displays more efficiently, centrally setting usage schedules and preempting maintenance requirements to reduce the draw on resources.
All Sharp/NEC displays are shipped in an energy-saving preset because, in our experience, the end user rarely makes any adjustment to the factory setting.
Open and modular approach
In partnership with Intel, NEC was instrumental in the industry adoption of the OPS slot and its recent successor, the SDM, for embedded computing. Built-in media players consume less energy because they share power with the screen.
In addition, the computing power of our products can be upgraded and individually adapted according to the customers’ changing needs without having to replace the entire display.
Sharp NEC is a green signage role model
Every year, invidis presents awards to the top place winners of its yearbook rankings. In recognition of its efforts to provide sustainable display solutions and a long product life cycle, invidis has awarded Sharp/NEC with the Green Signage Award 2021.
invidis consulting GmbH based in Munich, Germany is a global consulting company for digital transformation – from back-office processes to customer-side digital touch points.