The greening of electronics, as showcased at recent electronics manufacturer events like the Consumer Electronics Show and Greener Gadgets, is something the members of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) are focused upon as one of many different corporate goals. This greening – loosely defined as one or more eco-friendly functions or features such as energy efficiency or being free of hazardous chemicals such as mercury – is not so much an enforced industry standard, but more something pursued by individual consumer electronics companies based upon some combination of their social responsibility views, cost analysis, viewed consumer demand and competition against others.
To get a general overview of what the CEA sees being important green electronics issues among its members and what drives them to develop more eco-friendly devices, we interviewed CEA spokeswoman Jennifer Bemisderfer over email. Her responses are provided below and edited for brevity and clarity.
EarthTechling: What does the CEA define as green electronics?
Jennifer Bemisderfer: Green electronics are products that have one or more of the following attributes: (1) energy efficient or enable energy efficiency; (2) reduced materials of concern; (3) made from recycled materials; (4) easier to recycle. An easy way to identify an energy efficient CE devices is to look for the ENERGY STAR logo. Also, EPEAT, the green certification program from the Green Electronics Council, is being adapted for consumers and will be on products later this year. EPEAT evaluates products based on a variety of environmental factors.
ET: What motivates companies like HP and Samsung to develop green tech products?
Bemisderfer: Consumer electronics manufacturers recognize the responsibility they have in creating a more sustainable future. Part of that role is developing products with less impact on the environment. However, consumer demand is also a factor driving manufacturers to develop green products. CEA research shows that 76 percent of consumers believe that companies should do more to protect the environment. In addition, 74 percent of consumers said that environmental attributes would be an important factor in their next CE purchasing decision.