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Sustainability

(last updated 240131)

1. Introduction

Unisynk was started with a will to change the wasteful culture that surrounds tech accessories and electronics. We design and build everything from scratch and are involved in every part of the design and production process. Simply put, we make sure that the end product lasts longer and maintains performance over time.

To this day, Unisynk is still a founder-led company and we are constantly working on that same original mission and finding new ways to prolong the lifespan of our products. We believe that people deserve great things and that great products can enable you to do your best work and live your best life.

Is it contradictory to make more products in order to decrease e-waste? Yes, but we make them better so that you can buy fewer. We want you to be more intentional about your purchases, to get only what you need, nothing more, nothing less.

2. Product philosophy

As a product centric business we believe that it is our responsibility to create products that have a long product life and that serve a real purpose. By ensuring that our products are used and can be used for a long time, we minimize over consumption and unnecessary e-waste both on our end and the customer’s.

Unisynk products are engineered to stand the test of time. Through functional design, material use, production methods and component choices we create products that can last several generations of devices. In order to create products that meet our standards we build everything from scratch and control every part of the value chain.

3. Our sustainability work

Sustainability is at the heart of everything that we do and a guiding pillar in the growth and development of our business. However, the shape of our sustainability work may shift, expand and change as time passes and as our business evolves. Based on where we come from, what we do and where we are today we have identified four main areas where we see ourselves making the most impact.

  • Products
  • Production
  • Packaging
  • Logistics

3.1 Products

3.1.1 Engineering, materials and components

Quality in all parts

Durability is at the core of the product development process. By selecting high quality materials and components we can significantly increase the durability and longevity of a product. Here are some examples of measures that have been taken in this area.

  • We aim to use recycled materials as long as it does not compromise the performance, safety or durability of our products. For example our newer hubs and docking stations are built with recycled plastic (97.5% recycled PCR ABS) housing.
  • We choose well established suppliers for our components. For example we use microchips by well renowned maker Realtek.
  • We always use real and genuine materials. For example choosing real metals over coated plastic will ensure that the products age nicely.
  • Where possible we increase the thickness of the material in order to reduce failure due to physical force and to increase the longevity of the product.
  • Our car holders are built with fiberglass reinforced polyamide – an exceptionally hard, tough and stable material.
  • Our wireless charging pads are coated with spray paint cured with UV light which makes the surface resistant to scratches.

3.1.2 Product design

Timeless design that serves a purpose

We steer clear of trendy design and instead adhere to a timeless and sleek aesthetic. Our aim is to make products that are appealing to the end user regardless of the current trends and thereby prolong the product life.

Durable by design

We use design and engineering to increase the durability and longevity of our products. For example we use grooved aluminum surfaces on our USB-C hubs, docking stations and adapters to improve heat dissipation which improves the performance of the product as well as its longevity. Another example is our newest generation of chargers where we’ve switched from silicon to GaN as it produces less heat and thereby makes the charger more energy efficient and durable.

Universal technology

Our products are built with both backwards and forwards compatibility to work with as many brands and models of devices as possible. That way the user is able to switch the brand or model of their main device but continue their use of Unisynk accessories. This means fewer unnecessary purchases, unused products and less e-waste.

Future proofing

We always aim to maximize performance by using the latest technology, as long as it does not affect the user experience or the durability of the product. By choosing to integrate newer technologies we prepare our products for what is to come, making them relevant for several future generations of devices.

3.1.3 Testing

Third party testing

All of Unisynk’s products adhere to current regulations. For instance Unisynk products fulfill both the REACH directive and the RoHS directive. All Unisynk products are CE marked as well as tested and certified for compliance.

All of our power accessories are third party certified by TÜV/GS. This entails quarterly quality controls where each product is reviewed down to component level to confirm that it only contains certified components. This ensures quality compliance of our production over time. In addition to this, the quality control also entails a drop test, a heat test, and making sure that general safety regulations are followed.

All our car chargers are EU certified for use in automotives with an E-mark.

Bend testing of cables and accelerated thermal testing of electronics are other examples of tests that are performed to ensure a long product life.

MTBF

MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) is an engineering method that predicts the average lifespan of a product measured in numbers of hours of constant use. The higher the MTBF, the better the probability of a long product lifespan. MTBF analysis is always performed on our products to quickly resolve any lifetime issues and to ensure that materials are selected to be at the top in robustness. Our range of wall chargers have up to MTBF 130K which means that they are built to withstand on average up to 130 000 hours of non-stop charging which equates to 14.8 years.

3.1.4 Support and returns

Returns

Our return rate is below 1%, compared to the 9% average return rate in Sweden. Minimizing return rate is key to avoid unnecessary shipping and reducing the amount of products ending up as e-waste or unused by the customer. We are continuously working on maintaining a low return rate by providing accurate and accessible product and usage information pre-purchase, as well as improving the quality and ease-of-use of our products. Any returned products are analyzed by our team to identify areas of improvement with regards to quality, performance, matching customer needs and more.

Support

An easy to access and knowledgeable support function is of high importance to reduce unnecessary returns, unused products and to prolong the lifespan of our products. Other than advising customers in the pre-purchase stage, we place high priority on after sales support. In addition to helping the user with troubleshooting and problem solving, we also provide firmware updates for our computing products in order to prolong their lifespan and improve their performance. For mechanical products such as our car holders, spare parts are available to purchase at a small cost at our online store.

We support right-to-repair and have started to adjust construction and build for our electronics to enable easy repairs. We believe that a smooth return and repair process has the power to change the customer’s mindset towards a more sustainable and long term approach, rather than viewing electronics as “throwaway” consumables.

3.2 Production

Our range of car holders are produced locally in Stockholm, Sweden. The rest of our product range is produced in Cambodia, China and Taiwan in order to stay close to the production of microchips. We are regularly monitoring the possibility of moving more of our production to Sweden or Europe to minimize the environmental effects of shipping.

One of our largest suppliers who produce the majority of our chargers, run their production exclusively with solar power. We are currently in the process of reviewing and reevaluating all of our suppliers on several sustainability parameters.

3.3 Packaging

The majority of our product packaging consists of cardboard boxes with compostable hangers. Some of our packaging also contains plastic and metal (magnets). Packaging size is adjusted to product size in order to waste as little material as possible. The inner packaging keeps the product in place and protects it, but is also printed with a quickstart guide and any important product information. Thereby we eliminate the need for a printed manual while aiding the customer in understanding the product.

Bulk packaging

When shipping larger batches of products business to business, we use minimal product packaging to be able to ship in bulk and to save on space and unnecessary packaging material.

Continuous development of packaging

Since starting out we have consistently been conscious of creating packaging that is environmentally friendly and recyclable. However, we have gradually removed and changed certain elements in order to improve our packaging from a sustainability perspective. For instance, we have started to remove all magnets from our packaging, as well as tried different types of hangers in cardboard and compostable materials. The next generation of product packaging which will be implemented during 2024, will consist solely of recyclable 100 percent FSC certified paper. We are also reviewing the information that is displayed on the packaging in order to help the customer make a more sustainable purchase but also to encourage recycling.

3.4 Logistics

Shipping is an area with high potential when it comes to reducing the environmental effects of our business. As previously mentioned we have chosen to produce our assortment of car holders locally in Sweden and we are monitoring the possibility to expand this part of our production. As the majority of our resellers are located in the Nordics this heavily reduces the environmental impact of our freight.

The remainder of our product assortment is produced in Asia. 44% of our freight is conducted by air and 56% by sea. However, 96% of our CO2 emissions are caused by air freight. For this reason we are taking steps to reduce air freight and in the long run eliminate it completely.

Climate compensation

Although we acknowledge that climate compensation is not a perfect solution, it is temporarily better than nothing. Therefore, all of our shipping (both historical and ongoing) is climate compensated through the UN Project 6328 National Solar Power Development Programme in India. The project generates solar power that is supplied to the grid system of India, as well as provides free elementary education to 400+ girls.

4. Certifications

FTI
EL-kretsen
CE
ROHS
REACH
Energy Level VI

5. Contact us

We are passionate about sustainability but humble to the fact that there is always room for improvement. If you have any further feedback, questions or input we would love to hear from you.

Gustaf Johansson
Sustainability & Sales
gustaf@uncr.se

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