The Value of Low-Temperature Solder Alloys in an ESG World

Electrification is changing the products and materials that are valued today. Investment in renewable energy is now 1.7x that of fossil fuels, and the utilization of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) investing is forecasted to grow to $33.9 trillion by 2026. The money is flowing to clean energy projects and to companies who are transparent about their emissions. With eyes across the globe carefully monitoring scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions from companies, it does not pay to be a laggard in the field of sustainability. Finding ways to reduce the emissions associated with products that other companies will use is a way to capitalize on these trends. For PCB and electronics manufacturers, that means reducing energy consumption.

SOURCE: Indium Blog

Indium recently completed a study in partnership with Heller Industries which assessed how energy consumption changes with low-temperature solder versus traditional high-temperature solders. The difference in consumption, and therefore emissions, was stark. High-temperature solders reflowed at 240°C demand an average of 11.9 and 9.9 kW of power consumption under heavy and light thermal loads, respectively. If instead reflow occurs at 205°C, the reflow demand lowers to 10.6 and 8.8 kW, decreasing by 11.3% and 11.0%, respectively. This can reduce emissions by over 300 kg of CO2 per month under light thermal loads and save over $100. These are big savings that improve fiscal viability and environmental footprint.

Thermal load versus energy consumption

Why is this important in an ESG world? For electronics manufacturers, it can lower their scope 1 and 2 emissions, which are those associated with business operations or assets (scope 1) and those resulting from the electricity you purchase (scope 2). What is less known though is it can lower a product buyer’s scope 3 emissions, which include those resulting from the production of purchased goods from other companies. This is a big win for electronics manufacturers leveraging low-temperature solders. Scope 3 emissions reporting could be federally mandated even by this year and companies are beginning to strategize for it. Thus, demand will increase for products that can improve environmental impacts. Creating a supply chain and products that help lower these emissions positions your business to operate more effectively in a high-ESG and climate conscious world. The harvest will go to those who prepare most effectively, and transitioning to a low-temperature solder can be a way to accomplish that.

Download a copy of the Indium study here.

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