Brandenburg’s Sustainability Efforts

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Brandenburg’s Sustainability Efforts

brandenburg office

With the Paris Agreement (COP21), nations defined sustainability targets. It was agreed to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. At COP26, answers to questions of how we will achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement were discussed.

COP26 took place in Glasgow in November 2021, when the world was experiencing unprecedented energy and the climate crisis at a critical juncture in history. This had invited great political, social, and economic attention. COP26 determined how far countries are willing to safeguard the planet and address the irreversible climate change crisis.

While world powers take the lead to protect humanity, it is also the responsibility of every individual and entity inhabiting the planet to safeguard it. Besides, practising sustainability has ripple effects that touch upon things that directly contribute to the welfare of corporations, small businesses, and industries of all kinds. From driving consumer behaviour to swaying the GDP, changing outdated practices will benefit businesses while safeguarding the planet.

Brandenburg’s sustainability efforts started long before sustainability and carbon were at the forefront of businesses’ minds. For the last 18-24 months, due to Governmental pressure and increased attention to the subject with the advent of COP26, businesses started looking into how sustainably they function. Three years ago, we switched our office and factory lights from fluorescent to LED at the UK premises. This resulted in a carbon emission reduction of 69%, surpassing the UN target of a 50% reduction by 2030.

We eliminated foam from our packaging and are currently rethinking various elements of our business to incorporate environmentally friendlier options. Our premises in the UK will be completely shifting to renewable energy sources from 2022, significantly reducing our carbon emissions. We have also pledged to go Net-zero by 2041 in association with the West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge.

Brandenburg’s Genus® LED range of fly traps, too, are ahead of its time. They already meet or exceed UN SDG goal 7.3 through at least a 50% reduction in carbon emissions and energy consumption against the target timeline of 2030 while also contributing to SDG 13 for Climate Action. The Genus® LED range is also in compliance with the Minamata Convention. The Minamata Convention is a UN treaty that envisions a mercury-free world and includes targets for phasing out mercury lamps. With our LED fly traps, there is no risk of exposure to toxic mercury, no risk of environmental contamination, and no need for particular disposal measures for the LED lamps.

When businesses worldwide trust Brandenburg with their flying insect control solutions, we are also helping them become sustainable.

One of the significant risks to food safety is contamination, and insects pose a significant threat of food contamination across various stages of the food chain. Each year billions of dollars are lost due to unsafe food, which eventually goes to waste. According to WWF, about 6%-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stop wasting food^. Stringent fly management, including the use of flying insect control systems, can help eliminate one of the significant sources of food contamination.

While ensuring organisations are fly-free and safe, we are helping them reduce their carbon emissions, consume less electricity, and save on electricity bills, all without compromising quality and efficiency. Brandenburg is a pioneer in innovation and research-driven insect light traps when it comes to being environmentally conscious.


The Minamata Convention on Mercury

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The Minamata Convention on Mercury

Origin Story

In the mid-1950s, the residents of Minamata, a small fishing town facing the Yatsushiro Sea (Shiranui sea) in southern Japan, reported the cats in the town were behaving strangely. They would erratically jump into the sea, causing people to think the cats were going crazy.

Minamata Disease

In 1956, a 5-year-old girl started developing unusual neurological symptoms. She had convulsions and difficulties in walking and speaking. It wasn’t long before her sister developed similar symptoms.

Soon, this unknown illness spread through the town. The residents of Minamata reported numbness in their limbs and lips. Some had difficulty hearing or seeing. Others developed tremors in their arms and legs, had difficulty walking, and some even had brain damage. Like the cats, some people seemed to be going wild, screaming uncontrollably.

It wasn’t until July 1959 that researchers from Kumamoto University discovered the source of the illness. They concluded it was from high levels of mercury poisoning. Further investigation found that a chemical factory was releasing industrial wastewater that contained methylmercury into the Minamata Bay and Shiranui Sea.

As townspeople relied primarily on fish-based diets, the mercury in the water entered their bodies through the fish. It is estimated that 27 tons of mercury compounds were dumped into the Minamata Bay and Shiranui Sea. Unfortunately, by this time, women with mercury poisoning gave birth to babies with severe deformities, including sensory disturbances and a host of other unfortunate symptoms that would leave them permanently disabled. This disease is referred to as Minamata disease. According to the Japanese government, 2,955 people contracted Minamata disease, and 1,784 people died.

In recognition of this catastrophic event, the UN Convention on Mercury is named after Minamata.

The Treaty

The Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted following four years of negotiations after an open diplomatic conference, the Conference of Plenipotentiaries, held in Kumamoto, Japan, from 10 October to 11 October 2013. The Convention entered into force on 16 August 2017. The Minamata Convention on Mercury aims to protect the environment and human health against anthropogenic emissions and the release of toxic heavy metals.

minamata convention on mercury

As an international agreement with support objectives, the agreement contains provisions covering the whole life cycle of mercury, including controlling, and reducing the range of products, processes, and industries in which mercury is used, released, or emitted.


The preamble to the Convention states that the parties acknowledge that mercury is an element of global concern for the following reasons:

  • Its extensive atmospheric transference
  • Its persistence in the environment after being anthropogenically introduced
  • Its ability to bioaccumulate in ecosystems
  • Its significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.

The preamble also acknowledges the work done by the WHO to protect human health from mercury and its toxic effects, the role of relevant multilateral environmental agreements, and support for the Convention and other international agreements in the areas of environment and trade.


Participating countries have agreed to take steps to protect human health and the environment from mercury, cadmium, and lead pollution. Still, only mercury is regulated – a binding instrument of regret for environmentalists who have long fought to regulate heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and cadmium at the international level. Specific provisions of the Convention also include:

  • The ban on new gold mines
  • Eliminating existing mines
  • Regulating mercury usage in artisanal and small-scale gold mining
  • Limiting mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants


The Minamata Convention, led by the United Nations, has been signed by 128 countries.

2020 marked the deadline for phasing out of import, export, and manufacture of products with mercury additives such as lamps, batteries, pesticides, and certain cosmetics. When discarded carelessly, small products like lamps and batteries with even trace amounts of mercury end up in landfills. This mercury will eventually leak into the environment and cause irreversible damage, much like the devastating incident in Minamata.

However, seeing resolutions through to the end on a global level is much more complicated than it seems. To protect human populations and the environment from mercury pollution, countries have several areas of research that require systematic plans for long-term action.

With Brandenburg’s Genus® LED range of fly traps, there is no risk of exposing humans or the environment to mercury. LED lamps do not contain mercury and consume significantly less power, which reduces mercury emissions from coal-burning for electricity generation.

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Easy Count™ Glue Board

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Easy Count™ Glue Board

Food manufacturing facilities use various control techniques to reduce filth flies. But when it comes to numeric assessment for pest monitoring, they seem to have met with little success.

On the other hand, the food handling industry has met the problem head-on with glue board-based fly traps that provide accurate numeric assessments. These light traps are one of the most acceptable fly control solutions in the food handling facilities and have successfully eliminated or reduced the risks of food contamination.

Brandenburg Easy CountTM Glue Board provides statistically accurate fly count using proven sampling techniques. It helps facilities to easily integrate their fly control program with the mandatory HACCP sanitation framework.

How does the Easy CountTM Glue Board work?

Easy CountTM Glue Board contains a uniquely marked grid of white squares for easy sampling. A fixed number of squares are pre-determined and then counted to arrive at the fly catch rate estimate. Even if the glue boards are replaced, the same number of squares are counted each time. This helps to save both time and cost while achieving safety targets. A count record sheet is also maintained to simplify the counting process. The sheet documents the date, Insect Light Trap identification (number or location), a box for each square to be counted, and the total fly catch count.

Advantages of Easy CountTM Glue Board

  • Easy and quick sample counting
  • Cost-effective solution
  • Compliance with the very latest food safety standards
  • Record-keeping on time-related data of species, count, and time
  • Analysis for ongoing continuous improvement
  • Meets food safety regulations such as FSMA and HACCP
  • Compatible with most Brandenburg and competitor units

Explore our wide range of glue board-based LED Insect Light Traps and select the one that suits your requirements.

Effects of UV Exposure

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Effects of UV Exposure

Although any form of radiation can be hazardous, Ultraviolet (UV) light brings with it a plethora of health risks. Used in daily applications across various industries, it may cause irreparable damage. Let us look at the subcategories of the UV spectrum and understand their effects on human health.

UV spectrum and its subcategories


Characterized by a long wavelength and also known as black light or soft UV, UVA rays are widely used in tanning beds and lamps such as backlights. They are considered to be the least harmful among the three subcategories of the UV spectrum due to their inability to penetrate deep into the skin. Exposure to UVA rays causes wrinkles, sun spots, premature ageing, and potentially some forms of skin cancer.


A medium-wave UV light, UVB can reach the outer surface of the skin to potentially cause cancer as well as skin burns. Despite reaching only the upper layers of the skin, it may be quite damaging. UVB rays are commercially used for curing inks, fluorescent effects, and UV lamps employed in phototherapy.


UVC rays, with the shortest wavelength, are the most harmful among the three subcategories of the UV spectrum and cause severe skin burns and eye injuries (photokeratitis). They are commonly used in welding torches, mercury lamps, and germicidal lights.

Brandenburg uses UVA light for their pest management solutions, keeping in mind human health and food safety. The air sterilisation solutions also use UVC-based Germicidal Technology to eradicate microorganisms.

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Fly Monitoring and Infestation Reduction

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Fly Monitoring and Infestation Reduction

While most food manufacturing facilities use some control techniques for the reduction of filth flies, there has been less success in developing a numeric assessment of the level of monitoring and control of flying insects.
However, glue board-based insect light traps, which are already in widespread use in the food handling industry, can provide this numeric assessment. They are one of the most acceptable fly control solutions for use within a food handling facility and contribute successfully to reducing or eliminating the food contamination potential.

Brandenburg Easy Count Glue Board

The Brandenburg Easy Count Glue Board was developed as a specific aid to obtain the required flying insect counts without significant increase in costs. It was specifically designed to meet the various food safety regulations through well-established scientific methods. By using scientifically proven sampling techniques, the flying insect counts can be easily achieved — allowing facilities to integrate their fly control program with their mandatory HACCP type sanitation system.

Using the Brandenburg Easy Count Glue Board

There are 112 grid squares on a full Easy Count Glue Board, of which 40 are white counting squares. Counting 14 of the white squares would provide a 1/8 sample rate, which is the recommended minimum for a full glue board. When using 14 of the counting squares the sample count is one eighth of the total squares, so the full board count estimate is just the sample count times eight.

It is important to note that the specific squares that are to be counted should be agreed on prior to implementation. Also, these should be used consistently for all counts.

A count record sheet is also maintained to simplify the counting process. The sheet contains the date, the Insect Light Trap identification (number or location), a box for each square to be counted, and the total count for the trap.


  • Enables easy and quick sample counting
  • No significant increase in costs
  • Compliance with the very latest food safety standards
  • Helps in record-keeping on time-related data of species, count, and time
  • Provides analysis for ongoing continuous improvement

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