Standards needed to boost green efforts

Guidelines for performing lifecycle analysis can help electronic manufacturers and consumers make eco-friendly product decisions, says Frost & Sullivan.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Establishing a set of standards and guidelines to conduct lifecycle analysis of electronic products can help boost green IT for both electronics manufacturers and consumers, according to Frost and Sullivan.

In a report last week, the research firm noted that standards can help electronics manufacturers improve product performance, and at the same time, enable consumers--a big booster of green practices--to be aware of the impact a particular electronic product has on the environment.

"There is a constant requirement for an industry-wide standard that could encompass all the energy and natural resources along the entire value chain of production," Menaka S., research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said in the report.

"Without appropriate knowledge relating to the kind of resources used and the amount of energy consumed by each of the components, it becomes difficult to make improvisations in the product performance," she explained.

The report also noted that such standards can help manufacturers and stakeholders design toxics, shift toxic burdens, chart carbon footprints as well as other green activities. Frost & Sullivan added that it is increasingly important for manufacturers to communicate with recyclers and invent newer separation and recycling techniques that aid viable recycling.

Long term benefits of green IT
"Visibly, a company adopting green manufacturing will have a superior corporate image in the marketplace," said Menaka. "Working with green suppliers can pave the way for extending green practices along the entire stretch of the value chain."

While incorporating green practices within the electronics manufacturing industry may be challenging, Frost & Sullivan noted that there are long-term advantages to doing so. Such benefits include reducing carbon footprint, cutting cost through lower energy consumption and improved process control, as well as improving energy efficiency.

Companies will also be able to boost customer satisfaction and overall brand image. Government standards and regulations, as well as acceptance by environment-conscious consumers, play a part in motivating green practice adoption.

According to Frost & Sullivan, electronics manufacturers have shown interest in developing and implementing green manufacturing techniques without compromising business needs and development opportunities, in order to establish their green credentials.

It also noted that electronic companies have "taken huge strides toward a greener future" by changing designs to streamline processes and increase reusability, and recycling rate of products as well as following clean delivery strategies for minimal waste creation.

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