Personal tools

Green Electronics

The Users of the Chips in Systems_050723A
[Companies and government that Uses Chips in Systems]

- Overview

Over the past two decades or so, the explosion in technology has resulted in most Americans now owning smartphones and other devices, with newer, more advanced gadgets appearing on the market seemingly every few months . Not surprisingly, therefore, the number of unwanted electronics is growing rapidly. 

With so much equipment being produced and discarded, a new environmental concern has emerged. Green electronics are products that contain less toxic substances, more recycled content, are more energy efficient, have a longer life expectancy, and are easy to upgrade. 

You can search for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) ratings to find out how sustainable a product is. If the EPEAT rating is Silver or Gold, you have truly green electronics. 


- e-Waste

"e-Waste," or old electronics that are damaged or unwanted, is starting to fill up landfills at an alarming rate. These electronic devices often contain hazardous substances that harm the environment and local communities, and even enter the air.

The piles and piles of e-waste generated around the world every day pose a serious threat to our environment and human health. The development of green electronics using earth-abundant, environmentally friendly, non-toxic, highly scalable, and sustainable end-of-life materials is one of the pressing challenges facing society today.

While many recyclers have developed systems for responsibly disposing of e-waste, there is increasing pressure on tech manufacturers to make "greener electronics." 

- The Green Electronic Council and The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)

The Green Electronics Council (GEC) was formed in 2005 due to growing awareness of the need for sustainable devices. The GEC is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that harnesses the power of buyers to create a world where only sustainable technology is bought and sold. 

The GEC rates electronic products using a specially developed assessment tool called the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). The system evaluates projects against more than 50 different criteria to measure their sustainability and overall efficiency. 

The GEC administers the EPEAT Ecolabel, a free resource for procurement professionals to identify and select more sustainable products. In addition, the EPEAT ecolabel is a resource for manufacturers to demonstrate that their products meet the highest sustainability standards. The organization offers different levels of certification – Gold, Silver and Bronze – to companies that provide green equipment. 


- Plant-e-Tronics: The "Bioadvantaged" Approach

Sustainable electronics are electronics that are produced without toxic chemicals, recyclable components, and reduce carbon emissions. Sustainable electronics are smart choices for consumers and businesses. They help protect the environment and conserve resources, making them an essential part of a sustainable future.

In today's fast-paced and connected world, consumer electronics are evolving rapidly. Consequently, the amount of discarded electronic equipment is becoming a major health and environmental concern. The rapid expansion of flexible electronics has the potential to transform consumer electronics from rigid phones and tablets to rugged wearables. This means an increased use of plastic in consumer electronics and the potential for more persistent plastic waste for the environment. 

Today, therefore, the need for flexible, biodegradable electronics is at the forefront of minimizing the global e-waste pile. The "bioadvantaged" approach aims to develop a biodegradable, flexible and application-adaptable electronic component based on crop ingredients, thus paving the way for the concept of “plant-e-tronics” towards sustainability.


- A Team Effort To Promote Green Electronics

Global e-waste will reach 74 million tons by 2030, with only 20% being properly collected or recycled. The electronics industry is facing major challenges with the availability of critical materials and increasing pressure to reduce its environmental footprint and turn to recycling.

Not only do companies need to develop and offer more sustainable devices, consumers need to buy them too. Find energy efficient equipment and appliances by looking at the EPEAT sustainability rating. 

Consumers have a big role in recycling. When getting rid of old devices, ensure they are being processed by a responsible recycling facility and not just thrown away with the rest. Proper facilities can benefit from old devices and do their best to reuse and recycle the materials. 


[Chicago, USA]

- Five Ways to Improve Sustainability of Electronics

Here are five ways to promote circularity and sustainability in electronics. It is important to have a holistic approach to manage the different aspects of sustainability across the electronics value chain and life cycle.

  • Design for environment and circularity
  • Sustainable choices of raw materials 
  • Energy-efficient and material-efficient manufacturing techniques
  • Sustainability for the use phase
  • End-of-life management for circular economy


- New Green Electronics

When natural resources are depleted, their overexploitation puts pressure on the environment, and the industry is in short supply of raw materials, products need to last longer than they are used for.

Every electronic product is manufactured and assembled from a variety of materials, from metals to plastics, natural materials and those vital components. Every part used reduces the amount of that material. Amid energy crises and raw material shortages, not all components and materials are simply available, which has a huge impact on product development for companies large and small. These materials, parts and assemblies can be reused with minor modifications.

Typically, old electronic products are assembled in a manner that makes disassembly impossible. Not all parts and materials can be separated, making proper recycling of different materials and parts impossible. 

What if the equipment were also assembled for dismantling from the very beginning? If the devices were 100% disassembled, their parts and materials would be ready for re-use immediately. Many additional processing steps would be missed and more materials would be available. Recycled materials would become widely available and also put to use, improving the options for companies of all sizes. 


[More to come ...]

Document Actions