Product Ecology Regulation and its Impact on the Electronics Industry and Beyond
Brady, Todd; Rallison, Todd ; Young, Linda
Innovation drives the electronics industry. Electronic product complexity is increasing in materials, technologies, and products. At the same time, there is a worldwide increase in product ecology regulation, including pressures from non-governmental organizations and even customers wanting to market their products as “green.” This product ecology regulation affects all aspects of products: where the primary materials are sourced, how the product is designed and made, what the product contains, how the product is marketed and sold, and how the product is managed at the end of its life. This product ecology regulation is a significant threat for the electronics industry. Harmonization of worldwide product ecology regulation, likely using industry standards or international agreements, is critical for the electronics industry to operate at current economies of scale. Moreover, because electronics are used in almost every business today, the impact of product ecology regulation is not limited to the electronics industry, but eventually will be felt by all industries worldwide.