Sustainability

Sustainability has been a part
of our vision from the start

MAFI and sustainability

MAFI – founded in Sweden in 1992 and now with a presence in the Americas, Europe, Africa-Middle East and Asia — is an international leader in the design and development of mounting solutions. Our global position comes with global responsibilities. While our core business is in the telecom industry, we have recently expanded into solar energy.

Sustainability has been a part of our vision from the start, and considering the current climate crisis and environmental concerns, we have made our ambitions more focused. Our long-term environmental commitment is aligned with the Paris Agreement of keeping the earth’s temperature rise below 1.5˚C.

MAFI has set measurable goals in order to halve its emissions by 2030 and minimize its overall environmental impact. Our corporate decisions are guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), doing our part to operate in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner. –

Our immediate aim is an all-electric vehicle fleet, our own solar power, and recycling programs. But perhaps where we find our most crucial sustainable advantage is right where we started – with sustainably sourced steel.

Why we act

Climate change is already causing severe harm to societies and the global economy. We are taking unacceptable risks with Earth’s life support systems if global average temperatures continue to rise. The UN 1.5°C ambition means to return to pre-industrial levels as soon as possible. The urgency is real and business as usual is not an option.

Robert Lyttbacka, CEO Mafi Group says, “At MAFI, production and design choices are made with a great deal of thought to life cycle thinking, longevity, quality, production methods, health and economy. Complying with environmental laws, regulations, and other requirements are but a minimal requirement for us.”

At MAFI Group, it’s natural to behave ethically in all aspects of business. To set good examples in the way we act towards each other, as employees, and the way we treat our business partners, suppliers and customers. We always respect laws and regulations wherever we do business.

Beyond that, sustainability is a big part of everything we do. In essence, we work with both an internal and external perspective, where the internal covers what we can do to reduce our own impact and the external covers what we can do to reduce our value chain emissions.

Recycleable steel

Let’s begin with the value chain emissions, which represent a larger share of our emissions. Here, our target is to reach net zero by 2040 and a first halving by 2030. This target is closely linked to SDGs 7 (affordable and clean energy), 9 (sustainable industrialization), and 13 (climate action). From our perspective, this affects purchased raw materials, products and services, transport and product use.

In our product development, we only use recyclable material for our main components, to strengthen our position towards SDG 12 of sustainable production. MAFI has chosen galvanized steel over other metals or raw materials since galvanized steel can be recycled any number of times, without limitation. Optional materials lose their capabilities after three to five recycling repetitions. 

Per Tägtström, Chief Technical Officer at Mafi Group, says “One primary reason for working with galvanized steel is that it is fully recyclable without losing in quality and strength. If steel was not 100 percent recyclable, we would not be using it. We are also looking forward to the opportunity to start working with fossil-free steel from Sweden in a not-too-distant future.”

Steel has other advantages. Steel is less likely to warp or bend from weight, force, or heat. These resistant properties make it one of the most durable industrial materials. With zinc-based galvanizing, adding a high level of corrosion resistance, steel has an extremely long lifetime, adding to its sustainability.

In the not-too-distant future, MAFI is keeping a close eye on adding fossil-free steel to our raw material base.

Another goal is to reduce the steel content of our products by 5% by the year 2023. Alternatively, to increase the performance of existing products by the same 5% without an increase in raw material consumption. We see three main ways to reach the goal: 1) Higher focus on scrap reduction already in early design stages. 2) Increase the use of high strength steel, thereby enabling thinner gauge material. 3) Continue the light solution design work already started by MAFI.

Regional production

MAFI is a global company operating on local markets. Since each market has its own characteristics, MAFI has created four regions to keep us local on a global market: Europe, the Americas, Africa/Middle East, and Asia.

They have in common to source as much as possible of its production regionally, as long as those materials can be produced sustainably.

A present requirement is that all regions must source at least 60% of its production from within its region. The average percentage of local production for MAFI Group will grow during 2023 following upcoming production changes.

Transportation

Being local on a global market, MAFI wants to reduce the environmental footprint through minimizing financially and environmentally costly transportation. Steel is inherently heavy and bulky. With carefully selected production sites in almost every MAFI region, we manage to reduce our environmental footprint, both in terms of choosing the most sustainable sources, and in terms of reducing shipping.

Still, logistics remains a factor and we are doing all that we can to choose the most sustainable alternatives. One method is to replace some shipping by sea with rail transport. Another is to evaluate our last mile deliveries with electric-based alternatives. We are also looking into facilitating drop shipments directly to our customers from regional production sites.

Reduced and fossil-free electricity use

Now, when we look at our internal measures to reduce our own direct emissions, we have identified several areas with available improvements. Our electricity consumption is a major one. We aim for fossil free energy usage when it comes to our facilities and work environment. We have already invested in environmentally friendly heating, and we measure energy consumption in real-time.

MAFI Europe is considerable larger than the other regional sites, and it has experienced substantial growth since 2018. Staff numbers have almost tripled, and the facilities have grown by a factor of four in size. So, let’s look closer at the European site since it will lead the way when it comes to cutting electricity consumption and moving towards fossil-free electricity.

We’ve made major investments in energy-efficient offices and warehouses in order to cut electricity consumption. Since MAFI is currently in the process of switching to an all-electric vehicle fleet, there has been an unavoidable increase in the need for electricity. If these EV chargers are taken out of the equation, the electricity consumption will be cut in half when MAFI finalizes the investment in solar energy panels and local energy storage by the end of 2024.

Business travel

MAFI’s car fleet is currently undergoing a transition from fossil fuels to fully electric. All company cars will be electric by 2023. Up until then, our fleet was dominated by hybrid vehicles. This change will have a decisive effect on our internal carbon emissions.

Historically, MAFI has had a fleet of fossil fuel cars. The decision to own a fully electric company vehicle fleet was taken in 2020, using hybrid vehicles during a transition period.

According to plan, all fossil fuel cars and pickups have been changed to EV and/or hybrids. MAFI is on plan with the transfer to EV:s for all company cars.

Although the recent pandemic was a terrible event, it did bring with it a high level of acceptance for digital meetings. This has reduced business travel around the globe, and also for us at MAFI. Our intention is to keep prioritizing digital meetings whenever possible.

We also use digital tools that help our customers optimize their solutions without the need for physical travel.

Measureability

As a company, MAFI has always worked with sustainability in mind. The positive effects have always been there, but the work with measurability has unfortunately lagged. However, that work is now highly prioritized, and more and more data is being collected and compared.