Home News Environmental Design the Focus of Electronics Industry Report

Environmental Design the Focus of Electronics Industry Report

The report, Designing for the Environment, was released at
North America’s largest gathering of the electronics recycling community, the
E-Scrap 2006 conference in Austin, Texas.

The report was prepared by Electronics Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC),
representing 21 of Canada’s leading electronics manufacturers on environmental
issues. EPSC’s Vice-President, Jay Illingworth, described how its member
companies are working to provide more environmentally sound products for
Canadian consumers. “We know that Canadians increasingly prefer to purchase
products that are easier to recycle at the end of their life, and create less
of an impact on the environment throughout their lifecycle. Our companies have
responded by investing significantly in the environmental performance of their
products, from initial research and development, through to manufacturing and
marketing. As a result, these products are not only better for the
environment, but they also appeal to consumers with better performance,
reduced costs and overall convenience.”

The report details five areas that have shown significant advances over
the last several years: chemical management, energy efficiency, materials
management, design for recycling, and product expandability. It outlines how
companies have reduced environmentally sensitive chemicals in their products,
and developed and incorporated power-saving features. Advancements in
technology and the miniaturization of components have reduced the amount of
resources required to produce electronic products, and some difficult to
recycle plastics are being replaced with lighter, more durable metals that are
recyclable. Other companies have developed products that snap apart for ease
of recycling, doing away with the need for glue. Others have eliminated paint
and varnish on plastics. Multi-functional devices, such as all-in-one
printers, can perform an array of tasks, reducing the total number of products
that need to be manufactured, shipped and responsibly recycled at end-of-life,
reducing the overall environmental impact.

Illingworth commented, “Our companies have accepted the responsibility to
both respond to consumer demands, and to meet the need to create a much
smaller environmental footprint for our products. The end result is that
today’s consumers can find a wider range of electronic products that can be
used more efficiently and can be recycled in a more environmentally
responsible manner.”