Superior Essex International LP is an industry leader in the manufacture of optical fiber and copper communications cable products and accessories used to interconnect enterprises, campuses, and communities worldwide. Product lines include Premises and Outside Plant (OSP) copper and fiber data cables, Wireless and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) coaxial cables and accessories, and Fire Alarm and Security (FAS) cables. With over eighty years serving the communications industry and related distribution markets, our legacy demonstrates our commitments to producing high-quality products and providing reliable customer service. As a critical component of our business, we strive to ensure our operations are conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, and through these efforts, to make a positive change in the industries and communities we serve.
At Superior Essex we believe in the International Living Future Institute’s mission and vision of a world that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. This is a vision of an amazing world and Superior Essex’s vision and mission as a company is in complete alignment with this. With products that are produced and deployed around the globe, Superior Essex is committed to understanding how those products interact with human health and the environment, and ensuring that those interactions are positive. We remain dedicated to these efforts by recognizing the value sustainability brings to the customers, industries and communities we serve because we operate with an understanding that the products which interconnect the world must also respect it.
We have chosen to pursue the LPC certification as a means of demonstrating our commitment to this vision as well as product transparency and continuing to foster sustainable manufacturing practices and product development within our industry. The LPC certification is a means by which we can be more involved in the green building community and continue to open up new business opportunities in that market space. Superior Essex wanted to achieve Living Product Challenge certification to validate our leading sustainability practices as the standard itself ultimately is an assessment of our sustainability program to date.
The product selected for the LPC is our Category 6+ Low Smoke Halogen Free copper communications cable. This product is primarily used as a means of transmitting communications throughout the built environment. It is the first product of its type to be completely free of RED-List ingredients and to receive UL’s Low Smoke Halogen Free designation. It is also the first product of its type to be manufactured in a Zero Waste to Landfill facility, and to offer Environmental Product Declarations and Health Product Declarations that disclose the environmental and health impacts of its material ingredients and manufacturing process.
To certify this product required a rigorous investigation into and detailed reporting of the material compounds that make up each component of the final product, from the copper core to the outer jacketing.
The Superior Essex Hoisington manufacturing facility is located in Hoisington, Kansas. The manufacturing facility seeks to responsibly utilize resources, including energy, water, and waste. The closed-loop water system has a particularly positive impact on the surrounding ecosystem as the pond used in the closed-loop system is home to fish and supports other wildlife. Diverting 100% of waste also reduces the facility’s impact on nearby landfills.
01. RESPONSIBLE PLACE IMPERATIVE
The Superior Essex Hoisington manufacturing facility, located in Hoisington, Kansas, is located in the central grassland region, which features a variety of ecosystems including temperate grasslands, savannas and shrub lands, and harbors several endangered species of flora and bees. Originally built in 1974 to produce copper wire and cable, the facility has gradually expanded its production capacity to include a variety of copper communications cables. Several measures were taken to ensure the facility has a limited environmental impact on the surrounding environment. These include implementing a closed-loop water system that recycles or reuses 100% of the water required during the extrusion process, as well as robust materials recycling and waste diversion programs that ensure 100% of the waste created during manufacturing is either recycled or reused. As a result of these efforts, the Hoisington facility became the first zero waste to landfill cable manufacturing facility in 2014, and continues to maintain that status today.
02. HABITAT EXCHANGE
We chose to donate a percentage of all sales of our CAT 6+ LSHF product to 1% for the Planet. This organization seeks to support environmental solutions by providing financial donations, volunteer time, in-kind donations, and other shared-value collaborations between businesses and individuals. We chose this organization because of its wide area of effect and its large network of individuals, non-profits and private enterprises that are collaborating to make positive change.
04. WATER FOOTPRINT IMPERATIVE
The Superior Essex Hoisington, KS facility maintains its closed-loop water system, reducing impact and supporting local ecosystems.
|On site water annual use:||1.90E-03 (Gallons/ft production)|
|Cradle-to-gate water footprint:||3.70E-03 m3 /1M|
At Superior Essex, we whole-heartedly believe in having transparent healthy materials that reduce our carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels. By transmitting both power and data within a single cable through our PoE technology, it interconnects all of a building’s smart technologies – such as lighting, indoor climate, network and security – creating a single, seamless, integrated building management system that enables greater operational efficiency and up to 97% energy efficiency. In addition to our energy efficiency advancements and lower operational carbon footprint of our products, we have set some new and exciting goals for energy reductions through our updated LEED v4.1 Action Plan:
- We will do a complete LED retrofit of our facility by the end of Q2 in 2022.
- We will increase the HVAC efficiency by the end of Q4 in 2020 (multiple steps involved and happy to provide more detail if needed).
- We will install more efficient hold/cold water isolation to prevent carryover from the isolated systems we currently have by Q3 in 2021.
- We will remove air wipes that are stacked or doubled, as they use twice the amount of air, to increase the air wipe and filler line efficiency by Q2 of 2021.
These efforts, along with our commitment to continue to reduce the operational and embodied carbon of our products and technologies, helps us to efficiently reduce the use of and reliance on fossil fuels.
06. ENERGY FOOTPRINT IMPERATIVE (CORE)
Becoming net positive energy was one of the first things we wanted to do as a manufacturing facility, but as it goes with sustainability, we really had to weigh the pros and cons. Ultimately, we decided that focusing on becoming a zero waste facility, as well as reducing the embodied carbon of our products would have a bigger impact and better ROI. First, we looked at wind energy, but our facility is just a few miles from a nationally recognized wetlands area and we were informed that it would have serious consequences for the wildlife there –especially the birds, as it is a migratory bird flyway. Next, we looked at solar power, but the ROI was much too slow. It would have taken more than 11 years to start seeing a return on our investment. Lastly, because most of the geothermal power lies in the western states and Hawaii (closer to the earth’s surface), it was decided that it would be much too expensive (and have quite an impact on the environment from drilling and creating a new geothermal plant) to power our facility with geothermal energy.
Our solution was to find other ways to reduce our carbon impact. One of those ways was becoming GreenCircle certified Zero Waste to Landfill. Since 2014, we have diverted over 24 million pounds of waste and we focus intensively on sustainable manufacturing and the reuse and repurposing of materials. Additionally, we are committed to our LCA and embodied carbon process that enables us to optimize our impact reduction and green project goals in all aspects.
|On-site energy annual use:||6.12E-02 MJ/ft production|
|Average cradle-to-gate footprint:||8.14 MJ|
HEALTH + HAPPINESS PETAL
The Category 6+ LSHF product is primarily used as a means of transmitting communications throughout the built environment. It is the first product of its type to be completely free of RED-List ingredients and to receive UL’s Low Smoke Halogen Free designation. It is also the first product of its type to be manufactured in a Zero Waste to Landfill facility, and to offer Environmental Product Declarations and Health Product Declarations that disclose the environmental and health impacts of its material ingredients and manufacturing process.
08. RED LIST IMPERATIVE (CORE)
The CAT 6+ LSHF product has achieved transparency via HPD, and has been tested to ensure it is free of Red List chemicals. This was used as a strategy in lieu of supplier compliance. The RL-019 Innovative Materials Inventory exception was used in this case.
11. RESPONSIBLE INDUSTRY IMPERATIVE (CORE)
Superior Essex ensures that the product packaging uses FSC-certified wood products.
13. NET POSITIVE WASTE IMPERATIVE
Superior Essex has a waste diversion program that ensures 100% of the waste created during manufacturing is either recycled or reused. As a result of these efforts, the Hoisington facility became the first zero waste to landfill cable manufacturing facility in 2014, and continues to maintain that status today.
|Final percentages diverted from landfill:|
|Paper and Cardboard:||100%|
|Soil and Biomass:||Not found in material streams|
|All others, combined weighted average:||100%|
15. ETHICAL SUPPLY CHAIN IMPERATIVE (CORE)
We chose to donate a percentage of all sales of our Cat 6+ LSHF product to 1% for the Planet. This organization seeks to support environmental solutions by providing financial donations, volunteer time, in-kind donations, and other shared-value collaborations between businesses and individuals. We chose this organization because of its wide area of effect and its large network of individuals, non-profits and private enterprises that are collaborating to make positive change. We also conducted a social risk analysis to understand the most critical risks for USA, Japan, and India. Interestingly, these were all in the category of “labor rights and decent work”. We were then able to share the details of a possible certification to address those risks with our suppliers.
16. EQUITABLE INVESTMENT IMPERATIVE
We chose to donate a percentage of all sales of our Cat 6+ LSHF product to 1% for the Planet. This organization seeks to support environmental solutions by providing financial donations, volunteer time, in-kind donations, and other shared-value collaborations between businesses and individuals. We chose this organization because of its wide area of effect and its large network of individuals, non-profits and private enterprises that are collaborating to make positive change.
Increasingly, its customers and end-users are also considering the health and environmental impacts of the products that surround them. As product-conscious markets continue to grow, manufacturers are tasked with striking a balance between product performance, reliability and sustainability. To meet these needs, Superior Essex has developed cable products that break the mold of traditional communications cabling and helps building designers and managers meet and maintain their sustainability objectives.
Typically, communications cabling relies on PVC components to meet industry standard-performance requirements. Superior Essex, however, has innovated new materials and product designs that not only avoid RED-list ingredients altogether, but also guarantees that the end-users can build reliable networks that will continue to perform well into the future. This includes a PVC-free CAT 6A cable with an FEP jacket, as well as a PVC-free, Low Smoke Halogen Free (LSHF) PowerWise® 4-pair Power-over-Ethernet (4PPoE) cable. Additionally, these products are manufactured in its Zero Waste to Landfill facility and are largely recyclable, ensuring these products have a limited environmental impact.
At each stage of its life cycle, Superior Essex communications cabling not only brings us closer to each other, but fundamentally represents and supports the basic imperatives of sustainability—to nurture our relationship with nature, to respect the environment in which our products live, and to maintain a clean, healthy environment for future generations.
19. INSPIRATION + EDUCATION IMPERATIVE
LPC PAGE URL:
20. BEAUTY + SPIRIT IMPERATIVE
Superior Essex has designed our products with this specific ColorTip® Identification in response to consistent and constant feedback from our customers. Though we have not engaged in a direct formal survey on beauty (as our product isn’t’ inherently made to be beautiful), we believe ease of use in installation with this Superior Essex specific coloring is beautiful. It also increases the safety of our customers and their installers by clearly providing instruction on which wire to connect to where with the ColorTip® Identification methodology. In addition to obtaining feedback from our customers who demand of this color specific identification, Superior Essex has installed over 750,000 feet of the CAT 6 LSHF product to date and we have yet to hear feedback from our customers on issues with this product. We have received similar feedback on our XP and PowerWise cable products. This, to us, means our products are working as they should, are durable, and our ColorTip® Identification is helping our customers to install our products correctly the first time, reducing materials to landfill, as well as additional labor and expenses. This, to us, as well as to our customers, is beautiful.