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Evaluate options with reduced toxicity potential


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SDG Alignment

12. Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns

SDG Target


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


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

ETCH Procurement Process .png


• Assess and record what types toxic products is currently in your supply chain.

• Request suppliers for proof of RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliance. Gain insight into the compliance standards of your suppliers.

• Evaluate options to purchase products that are halogen, lead, and silicon free.

• Evaluate the benefit and impact of whole device lifespan and safety from sourcing other options that fit requirements set out by the engineering team and budget - source product with a longer lifespan and better quality.

Opportunity Identification 

Creating value from trading in circuit boards post recuperation process and reducing the risk of toxic chemicals impact the population.

Reusing the present toxic chemicals and conflict minerals (if any) to reduce the overall global impact.

Strategy Build & Execution

• Align with your engineering team to identify the requirements for end-product use (required application of components for the final product to function) and develop a budget for commercial product needs (volume and budget for purchases).

• Ask the supplier if they have ISO certifications, ROHS certifications, and specifications.

• If toxic chemicals are present, then evaluate sourcing from other options that fit the requirements set out by your engineering team without lead, halogens or other toxic substances. Including minimum energy performance standards in technical Request for Proposals (RFPs).

• Create a proposal for procedure change on the decision criteria for purchasing, which includes
(a) searching databases for energy-efficient alternatives when sourcing (such as Energy Star database),
(b) requesting suppliers for visibility into their energy-saving certifications and initiatives to maximize their manufacturing process efficiency.

• Get alignment with your engineering team and other decision-makers to be on board this proposal.

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

• Ask the supplier for visibility into toxic chemical reporting, ISO-14001, ISO 9001, and ROHS compliance. If commercially feasible, consider negotiating the downstream, product end of life recuperation program with the supplier. Depending on the OEM and reseller, they might derive value in receiving technology end of life.

• Include quality assurance and warranty clauses in the contract to ensure an extended higher quality of the product.

• Consider purchasing in bulk to maximize leverage.

Supplier Performance & Management

Integrate annual checks for conflict mineral reporting, compliance with warranty/quality assurance clauses, reduced toxicity potential (hazardous waste treated), and WEEE directive regulations (UK). Annual review of value creation tracking metrics.

Resource Links

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