The growing number of digital devices make our life easier and more exciting. But digitalization does not only cost a heap of money, it also demands a lot of resources and energy. Do sustainable electronics even exist? And if so, how are consumers able to recognize them?
Companies are increasingly focusing on the sustantibilty of their products. So far, however, only few individual companies have taken small steps towards a greener future. According to expert opinion completely sustainable electronics do not exist, but there are many other areas, where you can start. Some smartphone and notebook companies are already integrating raw materials into their production chain or use more eco-friendly packaging and material. Anything that can be easily repaired is also sustainable. Portals like the repair guide "ifixit" provide a good orientation.
In addition to resources and durability, the ecological footprint after production is also decisive. A huge infrastructure of data centers and data lines is necessary for the operation of smartphones and computers. If you want to reduce your footprint here, you can take advantage of offers from companies, that use electricity from renewable energies. The regular "Green Click" report of the environmental organization Greenpeace can help. It rates companies according to their energy mix and their plans for more energy efficiency. Furthermore, there are at least some seals, which give an orientation like the Blue Angel or the EU energy label, so consumers are at least able to find out a device’s power consumption. The TCO certified product finder can be used to track notebooks, tablets and smartphones that meet certain sustainability criteria.
At Intertek, our EMC department has already received some requests from companies, which reuse material for their products or obtain raw materials from conflict-free sources. We are looking forward to further inquiries to support a greener future.