“Let’s play sustainable music!”
From Frédéric Brun, co-founder and CEO
Arturia is polluting too much.
It’s a fact that we must acknowledge.
As a manufacturer of musical instruments and audio equipment, we use electronic components, printed circuit boards, metal, wood, plastic, cardboard boxes,… all of which bear significant impact on our planet.
In addition, we sell our products in 80 countries, which means that they travel all sorts of distances before landing in the hands of our customers. This, without a doubt, produces carbon emissions.
In order to do all this, we are a team of dedicated professionals, handling product design, development, marketing, quality, service, etc. Most of the time (if health restrictions allow), we commute to the office, we also use computers and paper, maintain servers and post on social networks. All this also contributes to our carbon footprint.
So, what can we do about it?
First, measure and understand.
This is what we started doing in 2020-with more ambition, courage, and accuracy than ever before. This work was led by independent consulting firm UTOPIES, a company that provided us with meaningful benchmarks and clear conclusions.
Taking into account every part of every product, every mile these products travel, every minute we have spent developing them; but also the impact from the factories and their suppliers; our own emissions produced by our office, from the electricity we use to the online advertisements we run; even the time during which our products are used by our customers, and the carbon impact of these uses whatever they are. We took stock of, and measured, all these factors, to come to a clear understanding of our overall impact. Yes, this was no small feat…
Now how can we progress?
We have set seven pillars for our environmental project:
- Eco-design our products to lower their carbon intensity
- Limit carbon intensive modes of transport for distributing our products to customers
- Reuse production tooling
- Engage our suppliers in a low carbon approach
- Implement an internal energy saving policy
- Set up a low carbon approach for our marketing communications
- Collect and recycle Arturia products at the end of their life
In each of these categories we have defined three to five key actions. We have identified the most efficient, useful and impactful actions possible, with the aim of reducing our carbon footprint by 6% (at constant turnover) each year.
We are involving our suppliers -several of them have their own social and environmental responsibility plans, by the way-, our designers, the team, everyone.
Here are just three examples of our first steps
towards achieving this goal:
From 2022, some of our products will be made from recyclable plastic.
Our new generation of KeyLabs Essential was conceived with the aim of reducing PCB (printed circuit board) surfaces by 18% compared to the previous design.
We have started removing everything that is not essential: inner plastic bags, stickers, etc. Our boxes are made from crafted cardboard with a colour sleeve printed on recyclable paper.
We are trying to implement meaningful actions, which are not always the most visible ones.
As we are continuously working on improving quality, we are also, for all products, extending the warranty to five years. This is the visible part of a strategy aiming to perpetuate the use of our products over time. So that we don’t generate waste of fine instruments that could continue to be used for many more years.
We are consistently working toward offering more updates and extensions. This way, our hardware grows over time, and stays relevant. We maintain software on new operating systems and update them regularly to make sure they stay up-to-date.
We have naturally-and this process was facilitated by Covid-reduced business trips and commuting. We are also supporting commuting by bike by paying 0,25€/km.
All of this is not easy, frankly speaking. But it’s certainly necessary.
Clearly, we will continue to have an impact on our planet, just like many human activities do. But we’d like, as we grow, to reduce this impact to the minimum. So that we can be proud of our work, not only when we see our instruments on stage or receive positive emails at the support desk, but also when we look back and consider the overall picture._Frédéric Brun
Let’s tackle the climate crisis
In the last few years, the vast majority of countries across the globe have come to the consensus that we are facing a climate emergency, and that we must act collectively to avoid dangerous climate change. This means limiting global warming to 1.5°C, as outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
In 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the internationally accepted authority on climate science, sent a strong message that climate change was accelerating. In other words, more needed to be done to reduce emissions worldwide, and quickly.
Where do we start, we hear you ask. Individuals must take on a quarter of the climate effort required, through lifestyle changes such as using more public transport instead of their car or reducing the quantity of meat in their diet. The remaining three-quarters is down to governments, and companies – which includes us at Arturia! (source : Carbone4).
That’s why we’re taking our responsibility seriously. We know we are part of a polluting industry, so we’re being totally transparent about how much carbon we emit and the measures we are implementing to reduce our footprint.
As our customers, we are counting on you to use our products in the best and most responsible way possible too. According to an online survey we conducted in 2021, 54% of our customers do not unplug their midi controller from their computer between uses. This, for example, is a simple way to start – make sure to unplug your devices between uses to save energy!
Where our carbon comes from
The first step on our climate journey was to understand our impact. We reached out to UTOPIES, the leading independent sustainability consulting firm in France with plenty of expertise in calculating carbon footprints. They explained that our carbon impact is made up of direct and indirect emissions which cover the following three scopes:
- Scope 1 - direct emmisions by our facilities or vehicles
- Scope 2 - indirect emissions related to the use of electricity and heat that we purchase
- Scope 3 - all other indirect emissions related to our value chain: from the raw materials required to manufacture our products and packaging, the electricity used and waste produced in our factories and warehouses, to the transportation of finished products to warehouses and points of sale, even the electricity used by our customers whilst using our products and finally, their end of life
Despite representing the largest share of emissions for most companies, scope 3 is often overlooked and rarely measured. At Arturia, we want to do things properly. This means covering all three scopes in order to obtain the most realistic picture of how much carbon we actually emit, and to help us reduce our impact on the planet to the minimum. We were right to do so – the results of our carbon audit showed that a whopping 99% of Arturia’s carbon emissions come from scope 3.
10 100 tonnes of CO2eq.
That’s how much carbon Arturia emitted in 2019-2020 to achieve everything described in the process above, across scopes 1, 2 and 3. To put this into perspective, this is the same amount of carbon emitted to manufacture, transport, use and process the end of life of 158,000 iPhone 13s (source: Apple). It’s also the same quantity to do the same for 743,000 pairs of trainers (source: MIT).
These 10 100 tonnes of CO2eq come from the following sources of emissions:
As with all studies, there is always room for improvement. We value transparency, and want to lead by example by being clear on what was excluded from the scope of study, due to limited data:
- Emissions related to the transportation of raw materials between their place of origin and the factories where Arturia products are manufactured.
- Emissions related to packaging if this was different from the packaging leaving the factory.
- Emissions related to the final kilometers travelled by customers (or by products to reach customers).
Whilst we couldn’t measure these aspects this time around, we aim to improve our method year on year, always guided by experts who know best.
How we’re reducing our emissions
Our carbon footprint study was just the starting point for our environmental transition.
By identifying our major sources of emissions, we have gained clarity and purpose: we know what to aim for, where we must prioritise our efforts and how we will get there.
Concretely, this means reducing our carbon emissions by 6% at constant turnover each year.
To achieve this target, we will implement seven actions covering three main areas of focus for 2021-2022:
Raw materials account for the biggest chunk of our carbon footprint – 55.4% to be exact. It’s no surprise, then, that a big part of our action plan is to reduce emissions related to what goes into our products by rethinking our designs. Manufacturing also represents 13.4%, so we’re taking a good look at how to make our production less carbon intensive. We’re also working with our suppliers to bring down their carbon footprint.
- Embed eco-design thinking in R&D and product management teams
- Use recycled and low carbon materials in our products and packaging
01.Eco-design our products to lower their carbon intensity
- Standardise mechanical design in order to reuse the tooling
02.Reuse production tooling
- Collaborate with our suppliers to help them reduce their emissions, for example by reducing their packaging
03.Engage our suppliers in a low carbon approach
Leading by example means we have to challenge our everyday habits too. We’re coming up with nifty ways to make our offices more sustainable, as well as how our employees get there.
- Reduce water and electricity consumption
- Implement a selective waste sorting system
- Company mobility plan:
- We are supporting commuting by bike by paying €0.25/km (up to €200/year) and reimbursing 50% of our employees’ public transport passes
04.Implement an internal energy saving policy
Finally, we’re involving our customers. You didn’t honestly think we’d forget you, did you?
- Reduce emissive transport and relocate logistic centres as close as possible to our customers
05.Limit carbon intensive modes of transport for distributing our products to customers
- Develop less carbon intensive goodies
- Publish an annual carbon footprint report and action plan
06.Set up a low carbon approach for our marketing communications
- Establish partnerships for the collection and recycling of our products
07.Collect and recycle Arturia products at the end of their life
Let's have fun and play sustainable music
As we progress on this journey towards offering our customers more sustainable products, we promise to keep you informed, share with you our new targets and update you on exactly how we are reducing our carbon footprint.
We hope this inspires you to do your bit in the fight against climate change. Let's all take our share of responsibility!
Stay tuned for our success stories which we will publish regularly below.