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UNIROSS Study on the Environmental Impact of ... - Battery Logic

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Contents

ong>UNIROSSong> ong>Studyong> on the

Environmental Impact of Batteries

1. The use of the term “disposable” batteries

throughout this document refers to “disposable

alkaline” batteries.

Carried out in 2007, the ong>UNIROSSong> study constitutes the first worldwide

study comparing disposable batteries 1 with Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.

Performed by Bio Intelligence Service for ong>UNIROSSong>, this study was based

on a comparative life cycle analysis between disposable batteries and

rechargeable batteries. It showed that, for a given quantity of energy

produced (1 kWh), rechargeable batteries have up to 32 times less impact

on the environment than disposable batteries.

Results of the study: Environmental impact of disposable

batteries compared with rechargeable batteries:

Results show rechargeables win hands down....................p. 1

I. Results of the study: rechargeable batteries are

a big winner in environmental protectiont .................................................... p. 1

II. Methodology.................................................................................................. p. 3

III. Partners ........................................................................................................ p. 5

The market: The rechargeable battery market: Expansion in

use and growth

A profitable context .......................................................................................... p. 6

Rechargeable battery: Rechargeable batteries, responsible

consumption ................................................................ p. 8

I. Disposable battery, rechargeable battery, what changes? .............................. p. 8

II. ong>UNIROSSong> recommendations for optimum use

of rechargeable batteries .................................................................................. p. 9

ong>UNIROSSong>: ong>UNIROSSong>, technological innovation

at the service of environmental responsibility.............. p. 10

I. ong>UNIROSSong> in a word ........................................................................................ p. 10

II. ong>UNIROSSong>, an eco-citizen company committed

to protecting the environment ...................................................................... p. 11

III. ong>UNIROSSong> and its management .................................................................. p. 12


Printed on recycled paper

FOCUS

Results of the study 1

Environmental impact of disposable batteries

compared with rechargeable batteries:

Results show rechargeables win

hands down

The results of

the study

show that, for

equivalent energy

production (1 kWh),

rechargeable

batteries can, on

average, generate up

to 32 times less

impact on the

environment than

disposable batteries

All rights reserved – 2007 – Uniross

Source: Uniross study carried out by Bio Intelligence Service

ong>UNIROSSong>, European leader in rechargeable batteries, has carried out the first worldwide

study on the comparative environmental impact of rechargeable and disposable

batteries. This study, performed by Bio Intelligence Service for ong>UNIROSSong>, gave highly

convincing results.

I Results of the study: rechargeable batteries are

a big winner in environmental protection

1. Rechargeable batteries: up to 32 times less impact on the

environment than disposable batteries

The ong>UNIROSSong> study focuses on 11 indicators of potential impacts on the environment. The

challenge of these indicators is to express the environmental impact of the product

throughout its life cycle.

The main origins of environmental impact are:

for rechargeable batteries: the production and use phases (charge cycles);

for disposable batteries: mainly the production phase (between 70 and 100%).

In a context in which consumers are increasingly attentive to modes of consumption which

combine performances and responsibility, rechargeable batteries have come to be seen as a

veritable alternative to disposable batteries.

Battery impact on 5 key indicators

Bio Intelligence Service adopted the 5 main environmental impact indicators with the

widest scope out of the total of 11 studied. The 5 indicators are: consumption of natural

resources, global warming, ozone pollution, air acidification and water pollution.


FOCUS

Results of the study 2

If we replaced

all of the

disposable batteries

in Europe…

Replacing disposable

batteries with rechargeable

batteries would avoid

producing 99,000 metric

tonnes of waste in Europe

and 330,000 metric tonnes

worldwide.

All rights reserved – 2007 – Uniross

Source: Uniross study carried out by Bio Intelligence Service

For 1 kWh of energy produced, rechargeable batteries have:

23 times less potential impact on non-renewable natural resources

This indicator translates the decreasing availability of natural resources. Rechargeable

batteries consume up to 23 times less non-renewable natural resources (fossil and mineral)

than disposable batteries. To provide the same amount of energy, more disposable batteries

are needed than rechargeable batteries. This implies a greater consumption of natural

resources.

28 times less potential impact on global warming

Climate change means an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s surface caused by

an increase in the greenhouse gas effect.

Rechargeable batteries have up to 28 times less impact on climate warming than disposable

batteries. This ratio can mainly be explained by the impact caused when manufacturing

disposable batteries and distributing them (transportation in trucks and the related greenhouse

gas emissions).

30 times less potential impact on air pollution (ozone pollution)

Photochemical oxidation is responsible for peaks of ozone and emissions of compounds toxic to

man. Rechargeable batteries have up to 30 times less impact on ozone pollution than disposable

batteries.

9 times less potential impact on air acidification

The air acidification indicator consists in the accumulation of acidifying substances in the

atmosphere particules. Deposited in ecosystems by rain, they have a strong impact on soil and

ecosystems. Rechargeable batteries have up to 9 times less impact on air acidification than

disposable batteries.

12 times less potential impact on water pollution

The sedimentary ecotoxicity indicator evaluates potential toxic risks due to the emission of

chemicals into aquatic ecosystems. Rechargeable batteries have up to 12 times less potential

toxic risks for fresh water and sea water sediments.

2. Significantly reduced waste

One of the additional benefits of rechargeable batteries lies in the reduction of waste.

Less waste :

The study drew up a list of raw materials used for each type of battery (disposable and

rechargeable), taking into account all of the materials used.

Results :

Less paper packaging for the rechargeable solution: to obtain 1 kWh of energy, one pack of

rechargeable batteries is enough whereas it takes 93 packs with disposable batteries.

Fewer batteries to be recycled: a sustainable solution for managing dead batteries and organising

the recycling system.


Printed on recycled paper

Results of the study 3

All rights reserved – 2007 – Uniross

Source: Uniross study carried out by Bio Intelligence Service

Equivalences

In terms of

The impact of a rechargeable

battery is equal to :

Reference

units

Equivalence

in disposable batteries:

Consumption of nonrenewable

natural resources

1 k kg of petroleum extracted v 19

Climate change 16 k km driven by car v 457

Photochemical oxidation 73 k km driven by car v 2 320

Air acidification 2 122 k km driven by car v 19 812

Sedimentary ecotoxicity 227 k mg of mercury emitted into the water v 2 731

If all of the disposable batteries in Europe were replaced with rechargeable batteries, it would avoid:

In terms of

Consumption of non-renewable

natural resources

II Methodology

1. Life cycle analysis

Avoiding an impact Avoiding an impact

corresponding to X Europeans / year corresponding to

106 000 210 900 tonnes of petroleum extracted

If we replace all disposable batteries If we replace all disposable batteries in Europe

in Europe with rechargeable ones, with rechargeable ones, we would avoid

we would avoid the impact that an impact on the consumption of non-renewable

106,000 Europeans have on the consumption natural resources that is comparable

of non-renewable natural resources. to extracting 210,900 tons of petroleum.

Climate change 62 110 5 billion km driven by car

Photochemical oxidation 136 820 25 620 billion km driven by car

Air acidification 109 000 201 700 billion km driven by car

Sedimentary ecotoxicity 90 410 29 tonnes of mercury emitted into the water

The ong>UNIROSSong> study was based on the comparative Life Cycle Analysis method (LCA) for a

rechargeable battery and its equivalence in disposable batteries.

This in–depth analysis is used to evaluate the environmental impact of a product throughout its

life cycle:

Production of disposable batteries and rechargeable batteries (and the charger), including the

extraction of raw materials, production of the basic components and assembly of the product.

Sale in shops, to the end-user customer (transport, etc.). For disposable batteries, the study also

takes into account the repetition of this step in the analysis of the life cycle.

Use phase: this represents energy consumption when recharging rechargeable batteries.

End of life: this covers waste collection and treatment (recycling, incineration or burial).

The life cycle of a disposable battery is much shorter than that of a rechargeable battery; thus, to

obtain the same quantity of energy, i.e. 1 kWh (unit adopted for the study), the consumer must

repeat his purchase several times. The manufacturer must produce more batteries which would

generate more pollution and use more natural resources. Lastly, the life cycle also entails the

emission of greenhouse gases from the transport and distribution of the products.

On the basis of this life cycle analysis, a rechargeable battery eco-profile was created. The

eco-profile is the product’s “environmental identity card”.


Results of the study 4

All rights reserved – 2007 – Uniross

Source: Uniross study carried out by Bio Intelligence Service

Battery Life Cycle Diagram

Diagram with legend for the LCA according to the eco-profile.

2. Representative environmental impact indicators

To be able to express the environmental impact of the battery throughout its life cycle, 11

indicators were selected. Thanks to their effectiveness and overall readability, 5 indicators were

adopted to constitute the eco-profile.

The 5 indicators:

Consumption of non-renewable natural resources;

Climate change;

Photochemical oxidation;

Air acidification;

Sedimentary ecotoxicity.

A basic scenario

The basic scenario chosen and validated by ong>UNIROSSong> and the critical review by the Fraunhofer

Institute was the following:

A typical European user,

Nominal battery capacity: 2500mAh,

Rechargeable batteries provide 90% of their nominal capacity with each use,

Life expectancy for a rechargeable battery: 0.9 kWh of energy supplied throughout all

charge/discharge cycles,

Rechargeable batteries are charged with the ong>UNIROSSong> Sprint 1h charger,

The battery charger is unplugged after each use,

Frequent use and little self-discharge (daily use in an MP3 player),

25% of the batteries are recycled, 75% are collected in household waste.

The functional unit chosen for this study was 1 kWh of energy supplied.

Two scenarios were used:

A 2500mAh Ni-MH rechargeable battery and its charger,

A 2500mAh alkaline battery.


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Results of the study 5

All rights reserved – 2007 – Uniross

Source: Uniross study carried out by Bio Intelligence Service

III Partners

Presentation of Bio Intelligence Service

Founded in 1989, Bio Intelligence Service is one of the best known specialists in Europe for

studies and consulting in the field of product environment and health information.

A pioneer in the field of life cycle analysis, Bio Intelligence Service now offers public and private

decision-makers, a wide range of services in the field of quantifying the environmental impact of

products and eco-design. Their mission is highly varied, ranging from environmental evaluation,

to the design and realisation of environmental labelling of products.

This study was carried out by Bio Intelligence Service on behalf of ong>UNIROSSong>

Critical review by the Fraunhofer Institute (IZM)

The Fraunhofer Institute is recognised internationally in the development of future technologies

applied to the electronics sector. The Fraunhofer Institute has strong technical expertise in this

sector, including eco-design procedures. The Institute carries out many research and

development projects with industries, notably in the following fields:

Integrated system technologies,

Materials and Reliability,

Design and sustainable development.


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FOCUS

FOCUS

The market 6

The rechargeable battery market:

Expansion in use and growth

We have more

and more

battery-operated

devices today:

18 devices per household

in Europe in 2002

23 devices per household

in Europe in 2006

80 %

of consumers

say they are ready to use

rechargeables*

* Focus group research 2006

1. Manufacturer’s data

2. In France, UK, Germany and Italy

Today, almost every household use batteries. For example, 83% of the European

regularly use batteries: this represents a total of 12 batteries per person per year that

are bought and can then be thrown away 1 .

Faced with this explosion in needs and expectations amongst responsible consumers,

rechargeable batteries offer an alternative for the future vs. disposable batteries.

With a growth in volume of 20% between 2005 and 2006, the European market for

rechargeable batteries is exploding. Innovation and responsibility now defines this

particularly dynamic market, with a search for high-performance products which are

more environmentally friendly.

A profitable context

1. Multiplying uses

Animated toys, electronic games, multiple remote controls, MP3 players or household

equipment: the use of batteries is increasing in the everyday life of European

households. While disposable batteries still account for the large majority,

rechargeable energy solutions (chargers and rechargeable batteries) constitute a fast

growing segment.

ong>UNIROSSong> rechargeable batteries meet the needs of the European people in terms of

energy consumption: extended use, practicality (always available at home) and

financial savings (the purchase of rechargeable batteries and a charger pays for itself

after 5 uses). Lastly, rechargeable batteries provide real performance, notably thanks

to the latest technological evolutions: since a rechargeable battery enables people

take 5 times more photographs with a digital camera, for example, than a disposable

battery.

2. Environmental sensitivity

At a time when the environmental sensitivity of the European no longer needs

proving and the public authorities are stressing the need for a change in our

behaviour, the choice of rechargeable batteries constitutes a simple, responsible

alternative for everyday consumption. The results of the ong>UNIROSSong> study show that the

environmental impact of rechargeable batteries is up to 32 times less than that of

disposable batteries, throughout their life cycle.


The market 7

1. Manufacturer’s data

3. An exploding market

FOCUS

In 2006, 40 billion disposable batteries were sold worldwide.

In 2006, the rechargeable battery market in Europe accounted for 92 million units2. It

is currently undergoing remarkable growth.

Consequently, rechargeable batteries are taking their place in major consumer retail

outlets and specialised outlets.

Key figures on the growth of rechargeable batteries

between 2005 and 2006 1

EUROPE

The rechargeable market vs. disposable batteries:

+ 20 % in volume

+ 10 % in value


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Rechargeable batteries 8

Rechargeable batteries,

responsible consumption

Component

sheets

Electrolyte

Ions

Positive electrode

The results of the ong>UNIROSSong> study show the very clear environmental advantages of

rechargeable batteries compared with disposable batteries, for the same performance.

How do rechargeable batteries work? How can their use be optimised and how can we

reduce their impact on the environment? ong>UNIROSSong> proposes a quick user’s manual.

I Disposable battery, rechargeable battery,

what changes?

There are two types of batteries:

Single-use batteries, called disposable batteries, which contain a quantity of energy

that is not renewable and which have a single life cycle, since they are thrown away

after each use.

Rechargeable batteries can be recharged using a charger. They have a multiple life

cycle and are recharged after each use.

What happens inside a rechargeable battery?

A rechargeable battery is made up of various sheets of components superposed and rolled

up like the tobacco leaves in a cigar. At each extremity of the rechargeable battery, two

electrodes are connected through an ionically conductive solution called an electrolyte.

From chemical energy to electric energy

Each time it is recharged, a rechargeable battery transforms electric energy into

chemical energy. When a device needs energy, the rechargeable battery converts

the chemical energy back into electric energy.

This is where there is a radical difference between disposable batteries and

rechargeable batteries: whereas the former finish their life cycle and are thrown

F

away or head for recycling, the latter can be recharged hundreds of times with

chargers.

What is the capacity of a rechargeable battery?

The capacity of a rechargeable battery is the quantity of energy that it

can store, and release to power a device. It is expressed in mAh

(milliampere-hour).

The greater the capacity (mAh), the longer the battery will last before

needing to be recharged.

Today, research has made it possible to develop rechargeable batteries

with a capacity of 800mAh up to 2700mAh for an R6 format.

Negative electrode


FOCUS FOCUS

Rechargeable batteries 9

And recycling

batteries?

Only 25% of batteries are actually

recycled, the other 75% being thrown

away into household waste without

sorting. Recycling systems are being

organised, but managing batteries at

the end of their lifetime continues to

be a major challenge for battery

manufacturers.

Reducing the number of batteries at

the end of their lifetime, by using

rechargeable batteries, will provide a

solution to this serious, complex

environmental challenge.

Environmental

and financial

benefits

The purchase of rechargeable

batteries and a charger pays for itself

after the fifth recharge. This equates

to buying 5 packs of disposal

batteries, whereas the rechargeable

battery can be reused more than a

hundred times: environmentally

friendly as well as making substantial

savings!

II How can we reduce environmental impact

as much as possible?

ong>UNIROSSong> recommendations for optimum

use of rechargeable batteries

ong>UNIROSSong> proposes a guide to best practices for the use of a rechargeable battery for

consumers, in order to make the most of the technological and environmental

performances of rechargeable batteries.

Maximising the useful lifetime of rechargeable batteries

A rechargeable battery can be used several hundred times, so long as certain very

simple rules of use are followed:

Avoid using at high temperatures,

Use the charger regularly,

Avoid overcharging the rechargeable battery

Reducing energy consumption during the use phase

As a manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, ong>UNIROSSong> is involved in managing its

products at the end of their lifetime and stresses the crucial importance of recycling

them.

Recycling saves raw materials and avoids releasing metals into the environment.

Collecting disposable and rechargeable batteries makes it possible to recycle some

58,000 metric tonnes of metals and to avoid emissions equal to 44 tonnes of

emissions into water.

Recycling rechargeable batteries at the end of their life

As a manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, ong>UNIROSSong> is involved in managing its

products at the end of their lifetime and stresses the crucial importance of recycling

them.

Recycling saves raw materials and avoids releasing metals into the environment.

Collecting disposable and rechargeable batteries makes it possible to recycle some

58,000 metric tonnes of metals and to avoid emissions equal to 44 tonnes of

emissions into water.


Printed on recycled paper

ong>UNIROSSong> 10

ong>UNIROSSong>, technological innovation

at the service of environmental

responsibility

The ong>UNIROSSong> Group, leader in rechargeable energy solutions, offers eco-responsible

products for consumers, industrials and professionals, combining performance and

high environmental quality while providing financial advantages to the end user.

Emblematic of the new environment economy, with the strength of 25% annual

growth over the past 5 years, ong>UNIROSSong> asserts itself as a company that is committed

both environmentally and socially.

Discover a green success story with a promising future

I ong>UNIROSSong> in a word

1. A French and international success story

Founded in Bristol in 1968, ong>UNIROSSong> was purchased in 1992 by Saft, an Alcatel

subsidiary. In 2001, Christophe Gurtner, President of ong>UNIROSSong>, and 10 Managers

bought the company from Saft and moved its head offices to France. Since 2002,

ong>UNIROSSong> has been developing worldwide: the company now has 14 subsidiaries

across all the continents

Market international development

2002: Creation of ong>UNIROSSong> Hong-Kong

2003: Creation of ong>UNIROSSong> Batteries Corp, in Boston

Creation of ong>UNIROSSong> Shanghai

Creation of Zhongshan ong>UNIROSSong> Industry Co Ltd, in Xiaolan

Purchase of ong>UNIROSSong> Batteries (PTY) Ltd, in Pretoria

2005: Creation of ong>UNIROSSong> in Australia

2006: Acquisition of NABC, North American Battery

Acquisition of Multiplier Industries Corp. (United States)

2007: Creation of ong>UNIROSSong> India

Creation of ong>UNIROSSong> Iberic


FOCUS

ong>UNIROSSong> 11

All about

ong>UNIROSSong>

www.uniross.com

2. The dynamics of the leader

Since 1968, ong>UNIROSSong> has been the specialist in rechargeable energy: design,

production and distribution of dedicated batteries, rechargeable batteries and

chargers for photographic equipment, camcorders, MP3 players, toys and many other

applications.

Today, ong>UNIROSSong> is one of the world leaders and a recognised specialist in

rechargeable equipment (No. 1 in Europe, No. 1 in India and No. 1 in South Africa).

In July 2006, ong>UNIROSSong> was listed on Euronext Paris’ Stock Exchange.

With an estimated turnover of 100 million euros for the 2007-2008 fiscal year,

ong>UNIROSSong> employs 750 people around the world. ong>UNIROSSong> products are distributed in

80 countries worldwide.

3. A product offering for consumers, industrials and

professionals

ong>UNIROSSong> offers solutions for consumers: the rechargeable batteries and

chargers that can be found in 3 retail circuits (Supermarkets, DIY Superstores

and Specialised Superstores).

ong>UNIROSSong> also designs energy solutions (batteries and chargers) for industrial

portable applications (robotics, electronic payment terminals, lighting, e-bikes,

etc).

ong>UNIROSSong> offers replacement energy solutions (batteries and chargers) for

portable equipment for professional use (scanners, all types of transceivers).

The ong>UNIROSSong> group is No. 1 in North America.

II ong>UNIROSSong>, an eco-citizen company

committed to protecting

the environment

Above and beyond its products, ong>UNIROSSong> is committed to sustainable development

and is helping to make progress in reflections on these challenges.

1. RECHARGE, European Association in Brussels

ong>UNIROSSong> is committed to protecting the environment and is a co-founder of the

European association, RECHARGE, whose purpose is to promote the use of

rechargeable batteries and to increase the rate of battery collection and recycling

(disposable and rechargeable) when they reach the end of their lifetime.


Printed on recycled paper

ong>UNIROSSong> 12

2. WWF-ong>UNIROSSong> partnership: expertise at the service of

environmental responsibility

Because batteries are a real environmental challenge every day, the WWF, a

worldwide organisation for the protection of nature, and ong>UNIROSSong> signed a 3-year

partnership agreement in May 2006.

This partnership covers Africa and 40 countries in Europe. Its objective is to introduce

public awareness on:

the ecological advantages of Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride) rechargeable batteries

and chargers.

the need to recycle them.

The partnership has already instigated the launch of ong>UNIROSSong> rechargeable batteries

and chargers with the WWF logo. Furthermore, ong>UNIROSSong> has committed to providing

financial support to the WWF to encourage the implementation of actions for

protecting the environment.

3. The ong>UNIROSSong> Circle for Sustainable Development in Action:

federating mobilisation

Created at the initiative of Christophe Gurtner, CEO of ong>UNIROSSong>, the ong>UNIROSSong> Circle is

both a place for meetings and exchanges and a think tank focusing on action. This

Circle’s aim is to increase awareness among decision-makers for the implementation

of concrete actions to promote sustainable development.

At quarterly breakfast meetings, the ong>UNIROSSong> Circle welcomes speakers, recognised

for their skills on the topic of sustainable development, for in-depth discussions and

forming innovative, effective partnerships.

III ong>UNIROSSong> and its management

1. Christophe Gurtner: Chief Executive Officer

A graduate of ISC, Christophe Gurtner began his career at Saft, in the field of batteries

and chargers. After being in charge of marketing lithium batteries at the German

subsidiary, he held the positions of Export Zone Manager for Northern and Southern

Europe, for Africa and the Middle East, then moved to the sales department for France

in the portable battery division, before being named General Manager of Saft in

Germany.

Then, in 1998, Saft entrusted him with the creation of a division covering all of the

groups assets in the field of rechargeable batteries for the consumer market:

ong>UNIROSSong> and a division based in the United States.


FOCUS

FOCUS

ong>UNIROSSong> 13

For more on

rechargeable

batteries

www.rechargeonslaplanete.com

Contact ong>UNIROSSong>

Carole Courtin

+33 (0)1 60 95 49 88

carole.courtin@uniross.com

In 2000, he was put in charge of selling ong>UNIROSSong>. With his 13 years of experience in

the battery field and a desire to undertake his own project, he managed to convince

the Saft management to accept an LBO. He asked 10 supervisors who had joined the

company in the previous 2 years to take part in the LBO. Christophe Gurtner is now

the CEO of the ong>UNIROSSong> Group and the majority shareholder..

2. Jérôme Valentin : Chief Operating Officer

Engineering graduate from the Ecole Centrale in Lyon, with a Master’s in Electronics

from the University of Salford (UK) and a Master’s in Management from ESC-Paris,

Jerome Valentin, 48, started his career at the Saft group.

He then joined the Tyco Group, where he successively held positions as Director of

Marketing & Sales for Europe and Regional Director in Singapore. He then headed the

Energy Division of the Tyco Electronics Group before joining the Schindler Group.

Back from Asia, where he held the position of Executive Vice President for the

Schindler Group, he returned to the business sector in which he had started his

career.

Jerome Valentin holds the position of Chief Operating Officer of the ong>UNIROSSong> Group.

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