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Furthering Industry Sustainability and Green Initiatives

Consumer Electronics and Being Green


We all have a stake in finding solutions for climate change and diminishing natural resources. Our global economy is also a global eco-system, and it's never been more important to share the responsibility of preserving our planet.

That's why the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is proud to highlight the CEA 2013 Sustainability Report illustrating the industry's progress in pushing green initiatives. The report also provides transparency on the consumer electronics industry's sustainability practices.

While the report illustrates creative strides toward the goal of sustainability, there is still much more to be done. Learn more about the industry's recycling and energy efficiency efforts and how you can get involved.

Below you can find numerous recent studies and initiatives on sustainability:
 

  • CEA, along with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) and InnoCentive announced a second CRT Challenge on April 1, 2013 to identify financially viable, environmentally-conscious proposals for using recycled cathode ray tube (CRT) glass.
    • Dr. Thomas Engelhardt was the winner of the CRT Challenge. His solution is to use the leaded CRT glass in the vitrification of nuclear waste. Vitrification is a mature technology that has been used for more than 40 years. It involves the melting of waste material with glass-forming additives so that the final glassy product immobilizes the waste material, trapping the lead and the other elements in the glass. The Environmental Protection Agency has declared vitrification to be the “best demonstrated available technology” for heavy metals and high-level radioactive waste. 
  • Sustainable Consumer Electronics Technology Demo- Albany, NY, June 12, 2013.


GreenerGadgets.org

CEA operates GreenerGadgets.org - an online resource for consumers that highlights the industry trend toward "greener gadgets" -- smaller, smarter, more energy efficient devices that can do more than ever before. Tech-savvy shoppers now have more eco-friendly options and this resource has valuable information about how to buy green electronics, use them efficiently and recycle them at the end of their useful life.

The site also features a powerful energy use calculator with the most up-to-date products and energy use figures to help consumers better understand their energy usage and a recycling locator tool. When it comes to end-of-life electronics many people are concerned with what happens after they drop off their products. The recycling locator database includes industry programs, which use strict standards, and third-party certified recyclers, so rest assured your device will be safely recycled!


STAFF CONTACTS

WALTER ALCORN
Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Sustainability
703-907-7765 
walcorn@CE.org

DOUG JOHNSON
Vice President, Technology Policy
703-907-7686
djohnson@CE.org

ALLISON SCHUMACHER
Sr. Manager, Environmental Policy and Sustainability
703-907-7631
aschumacher@CE.org

GREEN POLICIES AND INITIATIVES

 
  • June 23, 2015 – The House passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576) with overwhelming bipartisan support. This bill gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) better tools to regulate the use of and information required on potentially harmful chemicals. Federal legislation, like H.R. 2576, is far more workable and effective in regulating chemicals than a proliferation of state-based chemical regulatory programs. CEA is now actively engaged in lobbying to pass the Senate's Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697) - a vote is expected prior to the August recess. Since S. 697 differs from the House's legislation, a conference committee will most likely be required to work out differences between the bills.
     
  • May 2015 – A group of House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders formally introduced bipartisan legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to help improve chemical safety and management. The TSCA Modernization Act (H.R. 2576) is sponsored by Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), Subcommittee Ranking Member Paul Tonko (D-NY), full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and full Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). This legislation complements a similar bill on the Senate side that passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in April. CEA is actively supporting this legislation as an alternative to chemical regulation at the state level.
 
  • April 2015 – CEA is closely engaged on chemicals regulation legislation throughout the country, particularly in efforts to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on Capitol Hill. Recently, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a markup of S. 697, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which is aimed at reforming TSCA. The bill passed out of the EPW committee on April 28 and has strong bipartisan and industry support. On the House side, a markup of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 discussion draft will be held in mid-May by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. Despite federal momentum and strong prospects for TSCA reform this Congress, states are rushing to establish or expand their own chemicals regulation programs. To that end, CEA is actively engaged on or monitoring close to 80 chemicals bills across 18 states, with high threat legislation in Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
 
  • March 2015  CEA is tracking more than 150 environmental bills in 29 state legislatures covering a range of CE recycling, energy efficiency, chemical restrictions and other environmental issues. Such legislative activity is up as compared to previous years with major legislative battles underway in Illinois, Minnesota, Washington and Oregon and battles brewing in a dozen other states. CEA currently has active contract lobbyists in 19 states to help make sure our industry views are heard and considered. 
 
  • Feburary 2015  As of the end of February, CEA is tracking more than 100 environmental bills in state legislatures around the country including 21 e-waste, 11 Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), 45 toxic chemicals, five packaging, 12 kill switch, two “right to repair” and nine energy efficiency bills, among others. There are several more e-waste bills yet to drop that are expected in states such as Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York, and we anticipate more EPR bills in states such as California regarding batteries and packaging and Connecticut regarding batteries. In mid-February, CEA successfully had two amendments accepted to Hawaii’s e-waste legislation SB 1049, which was passed by the Senate Committee on Energy and the Environment, and the same committee voted to indefinitely defer EPR legislation SB 180.