With the publicity surrounding the recent COP 26 climate summit, we thought it was an appropriate moment to reflect on our responsibilities in making Genelec a truly sustainable brand.
Our focus on running a sustainable, environmentally responsible business began with our founder Ilpo Martikainen long before he launched the company in 1978 with Topi Partanen.
Ilpo had grown up on a farm in his native Finland, so was familiar with the annual cycle of seeding, fertilising, weeding and harvesting, and he saw first-hand how the country’s huge timber industry constantly replenished its forests to ensure that the business was sustainable.
Additionally, that tree cover absorbs huge amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, so maintaining it was not only sensible business but was also kind to the environment. Ilpo himself became actively involved in tree planting programs each year and his understanding of running a company in a holistic, sustainable way became embedded in his thinking.
Built to last
For that reason, all Genelec loudspeaker products from the original S30 onwards are built to last, even in tough, demanding professional environments – and coupled with a commitment to long term technical and spare parts support, we are still able to service and repair loudspeakers after many decades of use.
Fast forwarding to 2008, we entered a previously unwritten part of the company’s philosophy and heritage directly into our strategy, namely that “environmental issues are just as important as sound quality and profitability.”
Since then, our efforts to follow this path have been unwavering. The heating of the Genelec factory transitioned from oil to renewable energy some years ago, and our most recent factory expansion in 2019 now brings solar energy to the mix courtesy of over 450 roof-mounted solar panels which will supply 30% of our annual power.
This decision to continue developing and manufacturing all our products under the same roof means that we can guarantee the use of environmentally efficient solutions, and this has helped us to view productivity from a new and far more healthy perspective.
The use of recycled materials in our loudspeakers has also been a long term commitment. More than 80% of our professional two-way loudspeaker products use recycled aluminium, saving 95% of the energy required to produce the material compared with virgin aluminium, and after much research into the use of composites in injection moulding, we started a program in 2009 to develop loudspeaker enclosures which comprised of at least 50% mouldable wood fibres – which are recyclable and do not require painting.
Genelec Managing Director Siamak Naghian explains that:
“Though every action has its environmental footprint, so every action taken to improve sustainability and to reduce that footprint is a step towards reducing the impact of our industry on our environment. The conservation of natural resources does not stop with the use of recyclable natural materials, it continues throughout our efforts to create new innovations that will enrich the lives of our users. Genelec is committed to the pursuit of its ethical goals both now and in the future, when we believe that sustainability and profitability will go hand in hand.”
For more information on Genelec’s sustainability principles, visit www.genelec.com