Design better, produce better

Preserve the environment, reduce natural resources consumption, use non-polluting materials, facilitate product recycling: Nexans takes all these considerations into account, from the design of its products to the operation of its production sites


Optimized designs

environment benne RipsNexans develops its products to meet customers’ needs with a minimal impact on the environment over the entire product cycle, and to facilitate disposal when materials have reached the end of their useful lives.

This includes eliminating lead stabilizers in PVC sheaths, halogens, and solvents, selecting non-polluting materials that are more easily recyclable, and designing systems in such a way that components requiring special handling can be easily removed.

In-depth research is performed to ensure the durability and resistance of its products in challenging environments, such as large depths, extreme climates, humidity, corrosion, flames, etc. Over 60 people are dedicated to researching the polymers, plastics, and composites that go into cable insulation and sheaths.

The Group also strives to use manufacturing processes that consume less energy and raw materials while still maintaining the highest levels of quality, in order to reduce scraps, satisfy customers, and build customer loyalty.

To help identify the best cable design techniques available, Nexans’ product developers use EIME (Environmental Information & Management Explorer) software to compare the environmental characteristics of various options, including suppliers in the process. In addition, an Environment intranet is available which compiles all the necessary information about the Group’s environmental organization and procedures, and enables sites to share best practices.


Strict environmental management

Environment respectNexans’ environmental and safety policy is outlined in a Risk Management Charter signed by the Chairman. It calls for a thorough analysis of the risks related to the Group’s products and manufacturing processes, as well as employee training on good environmental practices and a continuous improvement program incorporating production plant audits.

The environmental policy and its prescribed activities are steered by the Corporate Industrial Management team, which reports directly to the Strategic Operations Department. A Group Environmental Manual describes all the procedures, performance targets, emergency plans, and tools available at each site. The guidelines and objectives apply to everyone. Plants’ best environmental practices are listed by theme on a dedicated intranet webpage.


Close monitoring of site performance

environment grenailleThe Group’s sites are monitored through an Environmental Survey based on ISO 14001 standards and regularly updated. The survey is sent to site environment and safety managers every year, and reviews all the key elements of responsible environmental behavior, classified under 12 themes. The site is then ranked between 1 (excellent) and 4 (immediate corrective action required) on every element, according to a scoring grid updated annually and validated by the Group’s Environment Committee comprised of representatives from the Corporate Industrial, Strategic Operations, Purchasing, Legal, and Communications departments. This evaluation process allows Nexans to make an inventory of the investments made to improve environmental performance. In 2005, 79 sites participated in the continuous improvement program, and 98% were evaluated.


In-depth audits

Environment auditSince 2003, Nexans has been implementing an EHP, “Environnement Hautement Protégé” (Highly Protected Environment) label program to address the specific environmental risks posed by the Group’s operations. The program includes a series of environmental audits conducted by a company that specializes in this area; approximately 25 sites are audited every year.

By the end of 2005, a total of 62 sites had been audited (27 in 2005) and 33 had been awarded the EHP label (17 in 2005). The sites that were not awarded the label received a list of recommendations, and have since undertaken corrective actions. These actions are included in the plants’ 3-year plans. In addition, 32 Nexans sites are ISO 14001 certified.




Energy (GWh)
- of which electricity

Water (thousand m3)
Solvents (tons)
Copper (tons)
Aluminium (tons)
Number of concerned sites (change in scope in 2005)



Waste (tons)
- of which special waste
Number of concerned sites (change in scope in 2005)

The main impact of Nexans’ activities

Activity Resources used Actions taken as of end 2005
Copper and aluminum metallurgy
  • Natural gas for casting
  • Water for steam and cooling
  • 95% of wastewater is recycled.
  • Copper dust emissions have been reduced.

Copper power and telecom cables

  • Electricity for conductor annealing
  • Water/oil emulsions to lubricate wire drawing
  • Cooling water
  • A limited amount of solvents used for marking inks
  • Used lubricants are filtered, processed, and recycled.
  • Emissions are purified with vacuum filters.
  • Cooling water is recycled.
  • Solvents are stored in dedicated cabinets and emissions are purified in fume hoods.
Winding wires
  • Energy for varnish baking
  • Cooling water
  • Solvents in enameling varnish
  • Non-significant business since 2005.
  • Solvent emissions have been reduced by using dedicated equipment.
  • The environmental impact remains contained.


New investments in 2005

Soil protection, water management, and hazardous fluids management are all priorities for Nexans.
The Group is particularly focused on phasing out single-wall underground storage tanks. Retaining liquids in storage and usage zones is another area undergoing constant improvement, with secured premises and dedicated areas, and the construction of special buildings, cabinets, and holding vats.
New investments were made in wastewater treatment in 2005, and the Group’s efforts also included systems to contain fire extinction water so that it does not spill over into the water network.

In 2005, investments in gas emissions and air treatment were completed at plants in France, Italy, Norway, and Korea. These included ventilation systems, filters, fume hoods, and other measures.

With regards to energy, several sites carried out reviews to identify ways to reduce energy consumption. Old fuel boilers and electrical heaters are being systematically replaced by cleaner and more energy-efficient natural gas systems. In 2005, upgrades were completed in Germany, Sweden, and Canada. Finally, Nexans has committed to disposing of its PCB (pyralene) transformers between now and 2010. These are located mostly in France; 8 were replaced during the year.


In 2005, environmentally responsible investments
(2.9 million euros) were made in:

  • soil, air, and water protection
  • energy savings
  • waste reduction
  • noise reduction
  • the elimination of PCB transformers

* Pyralene transformers.