Eliminate PVC compounds from computer power cords and accessories

COMPUTERS

Segment    Family    Class

43

21

15

SDG Alignment

12. Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns

UN SDG Target

12.4

Target Description

By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

Level of Effort

Level of Effort Scale

2

1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.

2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).

3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)

Category Assessment

Assessment

• Trace the supply chain and inquire with suppliers/manufacturers about the current production process of power cords or accessories used in computers and their requirements.

• Discuss with existing or potential suppliers regarding more sustainable alternatives.

• Identify and evaluate the potential substitutes for your requirement by meeting the specs specified.

• Assess to evaluate applying these alternatives into your systems and whether the change requires a new line of materials and specifications.

Opportunity Identification 

Business:
Scope for a sustainable and green brand image that contributes to goodwill, safer working environment for electronics manufacturing workers and gains associated ratings for environmentally conscious customers to choose your products line.

Sustainability:
Impact in reducing toxic substances released into the environment when burned (i.e. cadmium, chromium, lead). Globally, electronic wastes are shipped overseas to developing countries as a source of income, which, as a result, exposes toxic chemicals to vulnerable communities—adopting this opportunity also reducing the chances of chronic diseases and decline water contamination.

Strategy Build & Execution

• Summarize the findings from the assessment phase (specifications on accessories needed, harmful chemicals in the current production chain, potential substitutes for these materials). Based on these findings, determine the degree of transition that is commercially feasible.

• Check your product on rating systems such as the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, which gives consumers the information they need to choose products that reduce the threat of e-waste. (Linked in the resources section)

• Align with your IT (new software) and other affected departments to make the transition to new suppliers (if needed) to accommodate this change. Align your company to initiatives such as the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council.

• Align with suppliers to implement these alternative materials/compounds into their computer components' production process and any additional stakeholders for the reasons behind the switch to the new choice.

• Train suppliers about a tool that could help identify alternatives to PVC or other substances: GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals (provides a means of comparing hazard assessments of chemicals to choose safer alternatives).

• Encourage your suppliers to become a member of the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (a not-for-profit R&D consortium), where companies are working to reduce or eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in electronics products and replace them with safer alternatives.

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

• Consider working with a supplier to build their resources, tools, and capacity to adapt and carry out the related policies and guidelines. Ensure this is attained and followed by the inclusion of specific clauses in contracts.

• Require supplier certifications to prove compliance, including Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) Certification.

Supplier Performance & Management

• Perform quarterly quality checks on products manufactured with alternatives for functional analysis and compare results.

• Perform an internal review after the change has been implemented to evaluate the commercial and environmental impact of adopted change initiatives and request feedback/reviews from consumers.

• Design and enact reporting system for the newly adopted alternatives incorporated operations.

• Evaluate suppliers' standards and certifications attained for their new product offerings.

• Monitor the annual CSR reports of your suppliers.

Resource Links

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