PCB | March 02, 2010

Standards to quantify product carbon footprint

iNEMI Calls for ICT industry to develop standardized methodologies, databases and tools to quantify product carbon footprint.
Members of the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI), an industry-led consortium, believe that the electronics manufacturing industry must work collectively at all levels of the supply chain to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions affecting climate change.  Integral to this effort is development of a product carbon footprint (PCF) methodology that will enable companies to quantify environmental impact of their products and easily assess trade-offs to make improvements.

Twenty-one iNEMI members support the consortium‚Äôs call for an industry-standard PCF methodology (see list at the end). “Lifecycle assessment methodologies have typically been used to try to quantify the carbon footprint of ICT¬† products,” said Bill Bader, CEO of iNEMI.¬† “However, existing LCA¬† tools do not effectively deal with the complexity or short lifecycles of many ICT products. Our members are calling for development of simplified LCA-based tools and industry-wide adoption of a harmonized global PCF methodology, and iNEMI is committed to taking a leadership role in making this happen.”

Bader points out that the potential for ICT technologies to reduce GHG emissions far exceeds the estimated two percent the ICT industry contributes to GHG emissions worldwide. “Power generation and fuel used for transportation are two of the leading sources of man-made GHG emissions, second only to the effects of deforestation. ICT solutions are already addressing these two areas, and there is potential for further improvements.¬† For example, telecommuting, Web-based conferencing, even virtual trade shows are helping cut travel costs for workers.¬† Similarly, power consumption is being reduced with smart building and smart power grid systems.”

iNEMI members supporting this position are:
ASSET InterTech, Inc.
Cookson Electronics
Dell, Inc.
Elite Material Co., Ltd.
Guangdong Shengyi Sci. Tech Co., Ltd.
Intel Corporation
Integrated Service Technology, Inc. (IST group)
ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute)
Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
Purdue University
Quanta Computer, Inc.
Tyco Electronics
Universal Instruments
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