Dutch consultation starts on environmental impact of fibre optic industry

Dutch consultation starts on environmental impact of fibre optic industry

News |
By Nick Flaherty

Dutch trade association NLconnect is starting a consultation on passive and active components for fibre optic network components.

NLconnect is drawing up Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) of active components and passive materials in the fibre optic industry and has published two Product Category Rules (PCR) for consultation

Earlier this year, a working group under NLconnect drew up PCRs for active and passive fibre optic products, such as cables, ducts, closures, FTUs, fibre trays, modems, routers, ONTs, and switches. With the NLconnect PCRs, manufacturers and suppliers can map the environmental impact of commonly used products in the fibre optic and telecom industries in a standardized way and reduce emissions.

Both PCRs are a supplement to the EN 15804 standard (the European standard for the LCA-based environmental performance of construction products), the EN 50693 standard (the European standard for the LCA-based environmental performance of electrical of electronic and electrical equipment) and the Dutch PCR for construction products, “Bepalingsmethode milieuprestatie bouwwerken,” of the Dutch National Environmental Database Foundation (NMD). 

The PCRs are intended to function in The Netherlands under the national provisions. Complementary PCRs have recently been published on the NMD website, after approval by the NMD. This obliges parties to apply the PCRs and thus ensures a level playing field. NLconnect would like to have both PCRs recognized and published by the NMD. The public consultation is part of that application.

Interested parties can respond to the consultation at This page contains both PCRs and the format in which comments can be made. 

The PCRs will be available for consultation from June 21st 2024 to July 22nd 2024. After the consultation period, all responses will be carefully assessed and, if justified, incorporated into the final documents. After the consultation has been processed, any amendments will be published in a change sheet for information purposes.

The NLconnect PCRs form an essential building block in the further sustainability of the digital infrastructure. Manufacturers and suppliers can apply the calculation rules of the PCRs to data from previous or newly performed Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) of their products.

This makes it possible to draw up a standardized Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) per product or product group. This allows telecom companies to gain a better grip on scope 3 emissions caused by the entire life cycle of all products that a company purchases.

In parallel with national standardization, the trade association is working on official international standardization. To achieve this, NLconnect collaborates with the FttH Council Europe and is also in talks with the ITU. 


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