Collaboration in the pursuit of CO2 reduction for ONEPOLE

Collin Faraway

Freelance Journalist


Sustainable car use is undoubtedly about renewable energy as fuel, but in the broader context, it involves much more than just electricity. Therefore, the manufacturers of the ONEPOLE charging pole, initially a product with good sustainability values, continue their improvement efforts - and now, much has been achieved! 



Comprehensive Sustainability


Optimal sustainability can only be achieved by considering everything from function and production to social sustainability, logistics, and recycling. The ONEPOLE charging pole can be used by all charging station manufacturers and Charge Point Operators (CPO) and is accessible to everyone who charges vehicles. In addition, the manufacturers have reduced all unnecessary material usage and choose recyclable raw materials, preferably recycled to the greatest extent possible.



Local Supplier


Nevertheless, there is no reason to stop there. For everything good can be made better. This guides the improvement work of the ONEPOLE manufacturers. The charging pole is developed in close dialogue with knowledgeable and demanding stakeholders and is produced at the Alustrax workshop in Kristiansand. Alustrax AS is fully owned by Q-Light AS, which manufactures the ONEPOLE product line. The production company specializes in processing aluminum plates and profiles, emphasizing high quality, customization, and swift delivery from drawing to the finished product.



Equal Access for All


"Swift delivery from drawing to finished product" also characterizes the collaboration around ONEPOLE. The charging pole is developed by Q-Light AS, a Norwegian company with a team of professionals possessing high expertise and extensive experience in the electrical industry. Designers started with the premise that the electrical content of the pole is fundamentally essential. The pole itself, with accessories, is then developed around the electronics, with installers and users in mind as the guiding principles.


"ONEPOLE is universal and modular. This uniqueness, coupled with sustainability, allows anyone needing to charge their vehicle to use ONEPOLE. Any charger can be mounted on the pole, making it accessible to all charging providers. In the event of a charger replacement, a simple bracket can be easily swapped without further modifications, providing significant savings for wholesalers and installers," as explained by Radmila Govertsen, the product manager at Q-Light.



An Endless Improvement Cycle


The modular nature of ONEPOLE means you never have to purchase more than necessary. If ONEPOLE is to be installed in a garage, it doesn't need a roof. If it's to stand outside, it requires protection, and that can be purchased separately.


"We are committed to providing customers with opportunities to make sustainable choices. To avoid unnecessary waste, we don't deliver more than they need," she explains. As the product manager, Radmila Govertsen receives feedback from customers and is responsible for what she calls a never-ending improvement project. For her, the effort towards increased sustainability began when she assumed her position at the end of last summer.



Going the Extra Mile in Emission Cutting Measures


As a company, Q-Light aims to be responsible, curious, and energetic. The mission is to develop assembly-friendly products and comprehensive solutions, fostering innovation and competitiveness.


"When it comes to sustainability, our vision and values align seamlessly with the work we carry out. The effort for sustainability doesn't begin with material choice but with the design itself. We design smarter, using only the necessary amount of material for function, quality, and longevity," describes Govertsen.



Elevating Sustainability with Hydro CIRCAL


When Radmila Govertsen assumed her position in August 2023, developers had already begun considering whether they could further reduce the total CO2 emissions of the product by choosing a different raw material. While aluminum was a good material choice for ONEPOLE products, was it possible to enhance sustainability even more?


"This is where Alustrax comes in. They are highly professional in terms of materials and production. In collaboration with them, we decided to use Hydro CIRCAL as the raw material. It was already in production before Christmas," she says enthusiastically, highlighting the swift transition from material evaluation to actual use in production.



Recycling with Significant Impact


Recycled aluminum requires significantly less energy to produce than extracting new aluminum. It helps conserve resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and minimize impacts on ecosystems. Hydro CIRCAL is a premium aluminum series, containing at least 75 percent recycled consumer scrap, supplied by reputable Hydro. 


The recycled aluminum comes from facades, dismantled old windows, and more. The production process is fully traceable, and the product is certified by an independent third party.


"It moves quickly from conception to realization. CIRCAL is as good a material as what we used before, and it has reduced the CO2 emissions from 77 kg to 24 kg per pole. Reuse also means we reduce the need for new aluminum, and it costs only a few more kroner per kilo of raw material. We have accepted that cost, based on our social responsibility," explains Govertsen.



Alignment with Increasing Consumer Preferences


"Hydro CIRCAL is considered a good alternative to standard aluminum because of its environmental benefits. The high proportion of recycled consumer scrap reduces the need for primary aluminum production. Choosing Hydro CIRCAL supports a more sustainable and circular approach to the use of aluminum," elaborates Thomas B. Svendsen, Sustainability Manager at supplier Hydro Extrusion Norway AS.


"ONEPOLE's decision to use Hydro CIRCAL reflects a commitment to sustainability. By opting for recycled aluminum, ONEPOLE contributes to lower environmental impact, reduced energy consumption, and a smaller carbon footprint in its product production. This decision aligns with the growing consumer preferences for eco-friendly products. Moreover, Hydro CIRCAL 's use can strengthen ONEPOLE's brand image and appeal to environmentally conscious customers who prioritize sustainable choices. Therefore, this could potentially be advantageous for ONEPOLE in terms of market positioning and customer loyalty," emphasizes Thomas B. Svendsen.


Improvement at Every Stage


You export to entire Europe. How can it be more sustainable to send Norwegian-produced poles there, rather than customers in the Netherlands and Germany choosing charging poles from a local manufacturer?


– "ONEPOLE is designed for optimal sustainability, efficiency, and reuse, produced using renewable hydropower in Norway. It's unique. Additionally, we've put a lot of effort into designing the products in a way that allows us to fit the most products per pallet. An example of this is the work on developing a new design for the pole foundation, making it flat-packable on pallets. Moreover, we are actively exploring partnerships to transport our products southward, utilizing trucks returning with other goods destined for the Norwegian market. With this strategic approach, we integrate reuse into our logistical operations," states Radmila Govertsen, displaying enthusiasm and dedication.


What does sustainability mean to you?


– "Much more than CO2 emissions! We work for better resource utilization and recycling at every stage. In addition, there's corporate responsibility and social accountability as a manufacturer. Our goal is to create products that last for many years. Aluminum is so recyclable that when ONEPOLE completes its life - ideally with good maintenance, it should last 'forever' - but say it gets driven over and damaged, then the pole is also recyclable," emphasizes the product manager at Q-Light.



Challenging the Suppliers


Terje Larsen, the CEO of Alustrax, shares Q-Light's goal.


– "When recycled aluminum is used, only 5 percent of the energy is used compared to the production of primary aluminum. It's unnecessary to extract new raw materials from the earth when we can recycle scrap. This is a goal we are working towards, and we have taken a big step in the right direction. The availability of recycled aluminum of the right quality is limited, but the market is rapidly evolving. Using recycled material as much as possible is a responsibility we take on and constantly challenge our suppliers. And even though we've already achieved good results, we won't rest. We will continue the hunt for CO2 reduction."


"Can customers be confident that this is not just greenwashing?"


– "Our suppliers document the material’s properties. We only deal with large Norwegian reputable players who have full control over their value chain through all stages. This ensures transparency and activities related to the environment and working conditions in the countries where aluminum is extracted, and these activities are followed up in a way that we could not have managed on our own if we had used suppliers directly in third countries. This is important to us," answers the CEO of the company producing ONEPOLE.


"Now ONEPOLE is exported to several countries. How can such a sustainable and green product from Norway compete in the EU?"


– "Much of it has to do with what Norway does in aluminum and metal manufacturing, done with abundant access to renewable power. Another crucial factor is that ONEPOLE is customer-tailored and designed in close and constructive collaboration between the designers and us in the production company. We have significant opportunities for customer customization as production is flexible and closely linked to design and technical aspects, qualities that customers highly value. The charging poles have high quality and are produced efficiently. It provides market advantages that make them competitive abroad as well."


Green charging pole


Recycled aluminium


Reduction in CO2 emissions for a composite pole


Min 525tonn

Estimated CO2 reduction for 2024



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Radmila Govertsen

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