Green rules are important, but don't miss the bigger picture
by Pamela Gordon, TFI blog
Jan 29, 2008
For a number of years, I've been predicting how the path to greener electronic products and facilities would unfold through the next decade. We've published TFI's "Electronics Industry Environmental Timeline" on our web site to give clients context about key directives and other regulatory events since the 1970s, and to forecast environmental trends above and beyond the imposition of any single compliance standard.
For example, by 2010 I expect we will see moderate use of alternative, non- or less toxic materials throughout the electronics, and that this trend will accelerate to widespread use by 2015. Some of this will be compliance driven and some of it will be driven by the fact that electronics companies will come to see that using fewer and non-oil-dependent materials can be profitable.
Though the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive loomed large for the industry in recent years, even RoHS will be nearly forgotten in time.
What will be remembered is how the electronics industry seized this moment to make bold and significant changes in the way it designs and manufactures products using drastically reduced carbon footprint, with fewer toxic chemicals, and wasting virtually nothing - using or recycling everything from the raw materials except the squeal (as the meat industry used to say about pigs).
The point is to get out in front of the timeline for business benefit. Learn how by attending the Green Manufacturing Expo next week in Southern California (which I am chairing) or by asking me about our high-return environmental and social responsibility partnerships with electronics companies. A good place to start is to take a look at the road map.
As always, we'd like your thoughts here, too.
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