Becoming Clean, Lean and Green: A Case Study of the Trillion Dollar Electronics Industry
H. Stone and D. Purpura
GoodBye Chain Group, US
Environmental Directives, RoHS, WEEE, Financial Risk, Strategic Opportunities, Sustainability, Design-for-Environment
The trillion dollar electronics industry has been in the cross-hairs of environmental legislation. Why? Because its products are highly toxic...consume enormous amounts of energy...and produce mountains of e-waste. As such, the industry is being driven by a 30-year macro-shift in how its products are made, used and disposed. In 2007 – roughly half-way through the shift - the scope of financial risks can be determined. The strategic opportunities can be quantified. And activities to capitalize on global “greening” can be implemented. From the perspective of one of the very first consulting firms to work closely with companies in regard to RoHS, WEEE and other Extended Producer Responsibility Directives, this paper will provide a case study of an industry in transition. In particular, it will identify financial, organizational and technical constraints in telecommunications, medical, consumer and other finished goods manufacturers. It will provide hard data from a contract manufacturer that is rightfully worried about China RoHS Phase 2. And it will include real-life examples of how companies within the supply chain are being impacted. Most importantly, this Paper will outline the financial case – including specific examples – for accelerating Design-for-Environment and Sustainability activities within a company’s strategic direction and core business model.
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