The 21st century has dealt with issues such as the environment with great attention. There are decades and more decades of neglect with our planet and today this has taken a terrible toll in several areas. And companies like Acer have shown that being sustainable is much more than just releasing 'recyclable' products.

In an exclusive interview, Adriana Lemos, Product Manager at acer Brazil, spoke about what it means to be sustainable, the challenges that Acer faces in this environment, among other technology issues and the coming years. Check it out below.

1. What is sustainability for Acer?

At Acer, sustainability is an essential pillar that guides all our actions. Our conviction is that technology and environmental responsibility can perfectly coexist. Thus, we adopt a comprehensive approach to sustainability, which aims not only to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, products and services, but also to promote the social and economic well-being of the communities where we are present.

We work tirelessly towards sustainability through a variety of initiatives. This includes optimizing energy and resource consumption in our manufacturing operations, designing more energy-efficient and longer-lasting products, fostering ethical and responsible business practices at all stages of the supply chain, and supporting active in social programs and projects that have a positive impact on global communities. We are committed to leading the technology industry towards a more sustainable future for all.

Read too: Interview | Samsung talks about the challenges of being sustainable

2. Does Acer work, in addition to its products, as a sustainable company?

Globally, Acer implements a variety of strategies aimed at minimizing the environmental impact of its operations. This includes promoting sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, creating energy-efficient products with sustainable materials, and running recycling programs.

In 2017, the company introduced the Humanity Project, a global initiative with the purpose of encouraging the responsibility of both the company and individuals, with the aim of contributing to the well-being of society and the planet. This endeavor prioritizes collaboration with partners engaged in social causes.

In addition to Project Humanity, Acer operates the Earthion program, through which it works closely with suppliers and partners to embed eco-conscious practices throughout the supply chain. This program covers aspects such as energy, product design, packaging, production, logistics and recycling. Earthion is guided by a belief in the ability of its participants to collaborate to generate a beneficial impact on the environment.

3. What are the sustainability challenges?

Sustainability brings complex challenges such as climate change, scarcity of natural resources, increasing e-waste, responsible manufacturing practices, sustainable innovation and awareness. Acer addresses these challenges through reducing emissions, efficient use of resources, recycling, ethical partnerships, innovative products and education. There will always be challenges, but it's important to keep in mind how we're going to deal with them.

4. When Acer says its products are sustainable, does it also put its technology partners to manufacturing?

Yes, when Acer claims its products are sustainable, that also applies to its technology and manufacturing partners. Sustainability in a supply chain encompasses not only the final products, but also the manufacturing processes, materials used, packaging, logistics and much more.

Acer and its suppliers work together to provide customers with valuable products and services; these suppliers are our most important partners. In addition to economic value, we also focus on social and environmental value, building on a foundation of respect for human rights and the environment and working diligently towards a sustainable supply chain. With a solid foundation of cooperation and through Acer's Responsible Supply Chain Management mechanism, we jointly share our responsibilities to society and the environment alongside our supply chain.

At the heart of Acer's responsible supply chain management is the idea of putting people first. As such, we strive to protect the rights and health of the workforce and provide safe workplaces. We have established a complete system of labor rights in supply chain and environmental management, including risk assessments, on-site audits and education and training for suppliers, as well as focused supply chain training for Acer employees in positions related to supplier management.

5. Where else is Acer working on sustainability?

While I have already mentioned some projects and initiatives before, it is relevant to add that Acer is committed to the RE100 initiative, having set the target of ensuring that 100% of its energy comes from renewable sources by 2035, and of achieving net carbon emissions zero by 2050. The action plan to achieve this neutrality encompasses three main pillars: operations, products and services, and supply chain.

Adherence to Science Based Targets (SBT) is also an integral part of our efforts, with an ambitious target to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. Acer defined its mission and launched the “Earthion” initiative, a platform that unites the collaborative efforts of our employees and supply chain partners, thereby expanding the reach of our sustainable activities. The term “Earthion” arises from the combination of the words “earth” and “mission”.

The concrete manifestation of this approach is evidenced in the Aspire Vero notebook, the company's first product to adopt a sustainability approach based on the Earthion platform. Additionally, we introduced the Acerpure Pro Vero air purifier, which incorporates 35% of post-consumer recycled materials into its structure, contributing to a reduction of up to 20% in CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process. The use of water-based inks and recyclable packaging also reinforces our commitment to further minimize the carbon footprint associated with this product.

6. 2023 has not been a good year for technology companies, especially in terms of materials for manufacturing their products. How has Acer been handling this?

Since the first half of 2020, Acer, like other technology companies, has faced challenges due to disruptions in its supply chain. However, Acer product inventory levels are now at a reasonably comfortable level and we are looking forward to the coming months.

7. How does Acer see the next decade for technology launches? Will we have more integrated products with less carbon consumption in general?

Acer envisions the next decade as a period filled with innovation and challenges when it comes to technological advances. The company maintains a solid commitment to encourage continuous innovation and to align its proposals with the values of sustainability and environmental responsibility. For years to come, the trend points towards deeper integration between products, with technological devices being designed to work together more harmoniously and effectively.

To drive carbon reduction, Acer has introduced an internal carbon pricing mechanism to ensure that various departments and operating bases actively carry out more carbon reduction actions. The mechanism also serves as an evaluation basis for the company's introduction of innovative low-carbon solutions, such as nature-based solutions, hydrogen energy technology, carbon negative technology and other projects. We hope that through the internal carbon pricing mechanism, we will be able to accelerate the upgrade to high-efficiency equipment and the electrification of official vehicles at operational bases, to realize Acer's low-carbon transformation and achieve zero-carbon targets. .

Acer also conducts carbon footprint analyzes and life cycle assessments of its products to ensure they are in line with our zero carbon targets.

8. What was the importance of linking Acer's name to sustainability?

In order to maintain our momentum and ensure long-term sustainability, Acer is continually adapting to industry developments and changing lifestyles. We are driving innovation in our established businesses, as well as in eco-conscious designs and solutions. Simultaneously, we are expanding several pillars of our business activity.

Associating the Acer name with sustainability represents a fundamental step for us, as it reflects our commitment to promoting responsible business practices and our contribution to a more sustainable future.

9. When we talk about sustainability, many people only remember the environment, but they forget that being sustainable is also the way we live, therefore, not only throwing garbage in the street, but also what we buy and our mental health. Does Acer already work this internally with its employees and does it have projects with other companies, NGOs, etc., that speak and work on mental health and the way of life?

Yes, we are aware, for sure. In this regard, we can highlight our daily work with employees in this regard and our award as one of the Best Employers in the World by Forbes and Best Companies Friend of Women in 2022. In terms of partnerships, we can mention the institutions Lar Pequeno Cidadão and E-Donkeys . We always try to be close to the Brazilian community. This is something we hope to grow more and more.

10. What other Acer products are directly linked to sustainability?

In terms of products, one of the ongoing strategies involves progressively increasing the use of post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR), notably in the Vero line, with a view to reducing dependence on virgin plastics. Additionally, the company is exploring the use of sustainable materials from renewable sources and with low environmental impact, such as metal and glass.

In the packaging segment, Acer is committed to mitigating the environmental impact, opting for recyclable materials, such as paper and cardboard, and adopting the reduction of packaging dimensions to minimize the generation of material waste.

It is important to point out that the Vero line has, in addition to notebooks, an air purifier and even a projector. We also intend to adopt recycled materials in other lines. Proof of this is that the company has incorporated recycled materials from the ocean into the Ocean Touchpad of the Swift Go 14 notebooks.

11. What new challenges does Acer see for the brand?

Like any company, Acer faces a number of challenges along its journey. The constant search for technological innovation is imperative to keep our products and solutions competitive in a scenario characterized by rapid changes. Growing environmental awareness requires the adoption of sustainable business practices, such as improving energy efficiency and incorporating recyclable materials. In a highly competitive global market, Acer must also look for ways to stand out and offer different propositions to customers.

Additionally, changing lifestyles and consumer needs require continuous adaptation of our products and services. Cybersecurity and the preservation of privacy are essential challenges in an increasingly technology-dependent world. We also need to tune in to digital transformation, embracing solutions such as cloud-based services and IoT (Internet of Things).

Undoubtedly, geopolitical challenges, trade regulations and economic instabilities can also impact our quest for global expansion. Finally, stakeholder expectations regarding corporate social responsibility practices, such as promoting sustainability and generating a positive impact on society, also play a key role in Acer's strategy.

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