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Sustainability is growing in importance among electronics companies, particularly those that compete in the consumer electronics sectors, according to Pike Research.
Applying an index of corporate social responsibility (CSR) based on company-generated reports and metrics, the "cleantech" market intelligence firm finds that companies like IBM, HP, Apple and Texas Instruments achieved the highest levels of completeness, transparency and reported results.
"In general, the closer the company's business is related to consumer electronics, the higher its CSR score," says Pike Research president Clint Wheelock. "Many of the largest companies in the sector are in the midst of adopting or improving sustainability practices in their new product lifecycles to include a greater focus on more sustainable design, manufacturing, distribution, use, and end-of-life management."
Nevertheless, the subject remains a delicate one: Less than 10 percent of the companies contacted by Pike Research for an interview related to sustainable design were willing to talk about their processes. In addition, many issues integral to a holistic view of CSR, such as the social and environmental impacts of the extraction of basic raw materials feedstocks (e.g., mining of metal ores or refining of crude oil), remain to be addressed.
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