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Scarlett Sustainability


At Focusrite, we recognise the climate emergency that we’re living through, and are taking steps to reduce our environmental footprint as much as possible. We’re committed to transparency, both on our progress and what our targets are.

We are aiming to have carbon neutral business operations in 2024, and carbon neutral products by 2030.

To read more about our approach to Environmental Sustainability, visit our PLC site.

Our Approach 

We believe the only way to make sure we’re doing the right thing is to look at our products in detail across the whole lifecycle, starting with production — then logistics, energy consumption, and end of life treatment. 

It’s going to take time, but we’re aiming to map the lifecycle of every product, and it’s got to be detailed. We’re not taking shortcuts: we’re checking raw materials right down to the last component to understand the materials we use and categorising and cross-referencing against conversion factors to work out metrics such as equivalent carbon dioxide emissions. This same approach is applied to the rest of the lifecycle, even calculating the energy consumption of the lighting in the warehouse before a unit is sold. 


This work has been extremely valuable at showing the environmental hot spots but is has also highlighted the variety of use cases, and how emissions can vary dramatically between them. 

Our work so far shows two major hot spots that we need to prioritise with all Focusrite products: the materials we choose and energy consumption. Within each there are actions to take, but many factors are outside our control so we need to tackle what we can now, and make sure we’re ready when external technology catches up with our ambition. 

Lifecycle of a Scarlett
Sustainability - Electronics

Upfront Raw Materials

At the highest level, there are only three major material categories in Focusrite products: metal, plastic, and electronics. Of these three categories, we can choose what metal and plastic goes into our products, but we rely on a few large suppliers for our electronics, so our influence here is limited. Here’s what we’re doing on these areas:





Focusrite Usage Examples 

Usually for the chassis of products, but also for fixings and internal brackets. 

Front panels, some chassis and switch caps. 

All PCBs and components. 


Metal requires high quantities of energy and resources to extract from the ground (and causes significant environmental damage in the process), but most metals we use are infinitely recyclable, so we’ve been actively looking for suppliers of recycled metal. 

Plastic production doesn’t produce the same levels of greenhouse gas emissions as metal, but it relies on fossil fuels as the raw material. We are looking into recycled and bio- based plastic options that retain the structural rigidity that we need, as recycled plastic usually ends up degraded through each recycling loop. 

Electronics are where we have the least control, but we can still reduce the amount of electronics to the minimum that achieves the target performance. We can also ensure that the products can be easily disassembled at the end of life so the valuable elements can be recovered. We also follow up with our suppliers regularly, checking on their progress to reduce their environmental impact through measures such as installing renewable energy and reducing resource consumption.

Ability to Influence 




GHG Emissions Impact 




Materials Sustainability

Our research shows that anywhere between 20-75% of a product’s total footprint is locked in with the materials we choose, so we’re exploring all opportunities to swap out materials for more sustainable options, starting with individual trial runs before scaling up to mass production volumes. 

Energy Consumption

Energy Consumption

The power our products consume is something we review in every design cycle. It is also inherently tied up with external factors — every country’s energy grid varies, so our customers power usage will be affected by the grid in their home country. All our products must draw power to operate, so our strategy here is to reduce consumption as much as possible so we are best placed to take advantage of the electricity supply decarbonising over time. 

Energy consumption is a difficult balancing act — new features often require more power. We’ve been working to optimise power consumption as much as possible for fixed sets of features and, in the last 10 years we’ve been able to benefit from improvements in power supply design. As the core functionality of Scarlett 2nd and 3rd Gen are the same, we optimised the power consumption to achieve a 20% improvement in power efficiency, while also improving audio performance. We’ve also moved from linear power supplies where efficiency could be around 60%, to switched-mode supplies which are at least 83% efficient — this same technology has been applied to our PCBs to maximise efficiency. Our work has made our products run cooler, which improves long term reliability and energy efficiency. 

Case Study: Scarlett 

Scarlett has been our best-selling range for over ten years, always easily recognisable from its red anodised aluminium chassis. Over the various generations the product has been refined. The core functionality of Scarlett 2nd and 3rd Gen are comparable, yet we managed to shrink 3rd Gen products in size by an average of 18%, which reduced the production and logistics footprint.

How Scarlett is Made

Our internal research has shown that on 3rd Gen products almost half of the emissions in production still originate from the aluminium chassis. Recycled Aluminium is an infinitely recyclable material and has the potential to eliminate up to 90-95% of the upstream emissions associated with mining and extracting new material. 


Starting back in 2020, we worked with our suppliers to identify a source of post-industrial recycled (PIR) aluminium that could be extruded to the tight tolerances required and started trials with this new material. This new grade of aluminium presented its own challenges, having come from a range of different processes it needed to be cleaned up appropriately to remove impurities before it would be usable. 


Through multiple refinement cycles, our engineers have now perfected a process of cleaning and preparing this material for production, and recycled Scarlett units are now beginning to ship to customers.

This is just the start of our journey with Scarlett. Diversifying our aluminium sources to include other waste streams is an important next step. This will allow us to place ourselves within the wider circular economy. We will also be able to expand the use of this recycled Aluminium into our other product ranges as a drop-in change.

Sustainability - Shipping

It's more important than ever to do all we can to make interfaces that consider the environment. We’re working hard to make Scarlett greener and we’re carrying this through with sustainability in mind — for our customers who care about what impact their purchases have on the environment and because it’s the right thing to do.

Scarlett range