Electronics industry ‘improving performance’

Companies producing the household electronic gadgets we use every day are cutting back their energy use and recycling the products they make and use.

A study of leading manufacturers published by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) revealed that many companies had improved the design, energy efficiency, manufacturing and end-of-life treatment of their products.

Environmental Sustainability and Innovation in the Consumer Electronics Industry showed that some companies had reduced electricity usage by as much as 25% in the past three to four years.

Among the major consumer electronics companies that reported greenhouse gas emissions from 2004 to 2007, seven of the ten had achieved a reduction in emissions per US$1m revenue.

Among the 64 companies surveyed, more than two-thirds report that they are actively recycling electronic products and components, helping to recycle nearly 800,000 tonnes of electronic waste.

The efficiency of products in use has also improved, the report said. The shift to LCD monitors earlier this decade has reduced the average energy use per monitor by about 30%.

The CEA said the results of the study were encouraging, but it recognised that the industry still had work to do to improve its environmental performance.

“This study demonstrates the industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability through eco-design, energy efficiency, green manufacturing and electronics recycling,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA said.

“We are proud of our accomplishments thus far, but there is still work to be done.

“We look forward to the day the consumer electronics industry fully achieves our collective environmental sustainability goals.”

The study, conducted by independent research firm Technology Forecasters Inc, looked at every aspect of consumer electronics companies from their internal process to the end products.

Kate Martin

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