Brands that promote environmental sustainability


Safeguarding the environment is a major issue and concerns everyone. The world of hi-fi and home theater is no exception. Today, various measures are in place to encourage manufacturers to design more energy-efficient equipment. For example, the power consumption of an amplifier in standby mode must not exceed 0.5 watts and each television sold must be accompanied by its energy label and its reparability index. Besides these solutions, some manufacturers are taking the lead to go even further. Here’s a look at the brands that are committed to a more environmentally friendly way of manufacturing.

Visual with Sony TV in Sorplas chassis, Focal Vestia n°1 speaker with Slatefiber cone and B&O Beosound Level connected speaker
Like major hi-fi and home theater brands such as Sony, Focal and Bang & Olufsen, many players in the sector are committed to reducing their impact on the environment.

Recycled materials are on the rise

Obviously, the first element on which manufacturers can intervene concerns the choice of materials. More and more brands are striving to design hi-fi and home theater equipment using recycled and recyclable materials. As a result, leading manufacturers continue to design high quality audio and video equipment while trying to limit their impact on the environment.

Sony and Sorplas

Sony, an iconic brand appreciated as much for its 4K UHD TVs as for its projectors and soundbars, has developed Sorplas. This plastic material is made from recycled plastic bottles as well as CDs and DVDs. It is used as a chassis and allows the company to bypass the use of virgin plastic, which is more polluting to produce. Sorplas equips all Sony OLED TV and LED TV ranges, such as the Bravia X94K and Bravia X95K series, but also some cameras of the Japanese firm. In 4 years, the widespread use of Sorplas has allowed Sony to reduce the use of virgin plastic in the design of Bravia TVs by 60%.

Recycling and Sorplas creation diagram
For the chassis of some of its video equipment, Sony favors Sorplas, a material composed of 99% recycled materials resulting from a long research and development process.

Focal and the Slatefiber cone

As a recognized player in the hi-fi market, Focal also participates in this collective effort. The French company always strives to offer exceptional speakers, combining eco-responsibility and audio quality. Focal’s Utopia 2022 headphones feature a yoke made of recycled forged carbon, and the company has used the Slatefiber cone since 2019. The latter is made from non-woven recycled carbon fibers and thermoplastic polymer.

Detail view of Focal Slatefiber cone with recycled carbon
Exclusive to Focal, the Slatefiber cone is made from recycled carbon. Appearing as early as 2019, it now equips many of the brand’s speakers.

Proof that it is possible to combine ecology and audiophile qualities, the Slatefiber cone now equips most of Focal’s speakers, including the Vestia and Chora ranges, but also car speakers such as the PC 165 SF. This recycled carbon cone, which required more than 4 years of research and development, offers a dynamic and balanced sound.

Focal Festia range selection

Like all the cones designed by Focal, the Slatefiber cone is manufactured in the company’s French workshops (Saint-Étienne). As a result, the French hi-fi specialist is fully committed to a socially responsible process, combining “made in France” and environmental preservation.

Marshall, Google, JBL and A.bsolument also join the movement

Like Sony and Focal, other manufacturers are committed to a more environmentally friendly production process. For its part, JBL offers a portable Bluetooth speaker made mostly of recycled materials. The JBL GO 3 Eco has an innovative and environmentally friendly structure. The latter is made of 90% PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic, while the speaker grille is covered with 100% recycled fabric. Finally, the JBL GO 3 Eco adopts sustainable packaging made of FSC-certified paper, printed with soy ink.

JBL GO 3 Eco recycled speaker
The JBL GO 3 Eco speaker seeks to limit the use of virgin plastic by promoting a circular economy. An effective way to reduce the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process.

Released by Marshall in early 2023, the Middleton portable Bluetooth speaker is made of 30% plastic, 55% of which comes from recycling. Google also chose recycled plastic to create the housing of the Google Nest Hub 2nd generation smart speaker. The latter is made of 54% recycled plastic in order to limit the production of virgin plastic.

3/4 view of the Marshall Middleton portable Bluetooth speaker
Most of the plastic used in the Marshall Middleton portable Bluetooth speaker is recycled. A gesture for the environment that coexists perfectly with the audio quality of the speaker and its iconic design.

The French company A.bsolument, a specialist in retro devices adapted to modern technologies (Bluetooth, jack input, etc.), has launched its first mass-produced connected speaker. The Prodige model continues to carry the values of the brand based in Cébazat in the Puy-de-Dôme.

The Prodige connected speaker is made in France and designed using recycled materials. The aluminum chassis is recycled and processed in France. The paint that covers it is organic, and the wood that adorns the ends of the frame comes from a French eco-managed forest.

A.bsolument Prodige Bluetooth speaker with wood from an eco-managed forest and recycled aluminum
Manufacturer committed to sustainable development, A.bsolument has designed the Prodige connected speaker using recycled aluminum and wood sourced from an eco-managed forest in France.

Eco-responsible certifications and labels

Other manufacturers meet a design brief or use service providers that meet the validation criteria in order to benefit from a label or certification. These allow you to identify manufacturers who are committed to the preservation of the environment.

PEFC labels

For example, Vogel’s, a specialist in speaker, projector and television stands, offers ranges that combine ergonomics, robustness and elegance. For example, the company uses PEFC-certified wood with raw materials sourced from sustainably managed forests to create the Vogel’s TVS 3695 floor stand. This PEFC label tries to guarantee a wider protection of forests and the different ecosystems that depend on them. It attempts to ensure the regeneration of trees, the protection of wildlife and the banning of phytopharmaceutical products (herbicides, insecticides, etc.).

Presentation of the four PEFC certifications
There are 4 different PEFC labels that attest to the traceability and origin of the wood used to design equipment.

Cradle to Cradle certification

Bang & Olufsen became the first manufacturer to offer a Cradle to Cradle certified speaker in 2021 with the Beosound Level. Created in 2002, this certification focuses on the health impact of materials, their reuse, renewable energy, carbon management, water management and social equity. The Cradle to Cradle certification is based on a simple principle: waste must be fully and indefinitely reusable or environmentally neutral.

To meet the requirements of the Cradle to Cradle certification, the B&O Beosound Level speaker has a replaceable battery, like the Sonos Move. In addition, the connected speaker has a modular design in order to make it easier to repair and even recycle. Through this example, the Danish company affirms its commitment to the preservation of the environment. This is a subject on which the Scandinavian countries are a reference in Europe and throughout the world.

Cradle to Cradle label for the B&O Beosound Level connected speaker
In 2021, the Bang and Olufsen Beosound Level connected speaker became the first Cradle to Cradle certified speaker. This label rewards environmentally neutral designs.

Through these various examples, the world of hi-fi and home theater demonstrates its commitment to the preservation of the planet. Son-Vidé is also attentive to sustainability by offering reconditioned items. They have packaging or visual flaws, or are about to be discontinued in favor of a new line. These items work perfectly and are put on the market to avoid waste.

Reconditioned items

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