Big problems require wide-scale collaboration and when problems daunt an entire industry, it behooves that industry to come together to solve them. That was the vision of eight electronics companies that, in 2004, saw the opportunity to “drive positive change and increase efficiency.” Those companies came together to create what is now known as the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) to “create an industrywide standard on social, environmental and ethical issues in the electronics industry supply chain.” Today “the EICC comprises more than 110 electronics, retail, auto and toy companies with combined annual revenue greater than $4.75 trillion, directly employing over 6 million people.”
This year’s annual Responsible Electronics conference was held November 7-9 in Santa Clara, California. For me, the highlight was hearing keynote speaker Lisa Jackson, VP of environmental initiatives at Apple, talk not only about Apple’s strides toward sustainability but also about the amicus agreement signed by Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon in April of this year, with each agreeing to make its company reliant on 100 percent renewable energy worldwide. According to Lisa, Apple is already powering its operations in the U.S., China and 21 other countries with 100 percent renewable energy. “It’s every company’s responsibility to combat climate change,” she said.
Much of the conference was focused on labor issues in the electronics supply chain as well as updates on conflict-free sourcing. It was also a great place to connect with long-standing sustainable electronics thought leaders including Sarah O’Brien, Carole Mars and Melissa Owen, whose due diligence in our industry does us all proud.
If your company is an EICC member, I’d love to hear about your involvement. Please drop me a line at email@example.com.
Carol Baroudi works for Arrow’s Value Recovery business promoting sustainability awareness and action. She is the lead author of Green IT For Dummies. Her particular focus is on electronics in the circular economy, with an emphasis on the IT asset disposition stage, e-waste and everything connected. Follow her on Twitter at @carol_baroudi and connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/carolbaroudi.