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Shapiro Tackles Environmental, Issues At Industry Conference

ARLINGTON, VA. — CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro emphasized the benefits the CE industry brings to the environment, but warned against new, short-term programs that could have harmful repercussions in a keynote speech at the recent Electronics Product Recovery & Recycling Conference, here.

“Despite all these design-for-the-environment successes, it is important to understand the complexities and trade-offs that any design-for-the-environment effort entails,” Shapiro said.

“For example, efforts to design products that are easier to recycle may impact product reliability, creating more electronic scrap. That is why the industry is urging scientific assessments of alternative technologies before the industry adopts new technologies.”

Shapiro outlined four trends in electronics that reap environmental benefits:

  • Electronics are providing individuals with unprecedented access to information, improving lives without adding the environmental impacts of travel.
  • The convergence of electronic products not only reduced the quantity of raw materials used to manufacture duplicative devices, but it contributes to overall energy efficiency through the performance of multiple functions.
  • Miniaturization reduces product sizes and consequently conserves raw materials and reduces the energy needed to transport products, among other benefits.
  • Electronics are more efficient today than ever, with office and network equipment currently consuming only 2 percent of the nation’s energy supply.