There’s no industry as polarising as the electronics industry when it comes to the environment. This is the industry that generates 70% of all toxic waste on the planet, yet it’s also the industry that’s pioneering renewable energy to address climate change.
The best way to look at the electronics industry from an environmental point of view is as a work in progress. We know that the industry is facing several environmental challenges now and in the future. The question is, how should we respond to them?
We are a global electronic component distributor, supplying electronic components to global customers. Our position in the industry has given us a unique perspective of the environmental challenges it faces. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the challenges we are facing and how we are addressing them.
Improper component storage
One of the biggest problems in the electronics components industry is the lack of environmentally-controlled storage facilities.
The biggest danger to electronic components is humidity which has to be controlled to ensure the components do not degrade. Problems like moisture absorption and contact corrosion have to be considered in storage.
Lantek only operates environmentally-controlled storage facilities. Our facilities are designed to ISO 9001 standards. ISO 9001 is the international standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system.
Electronic components and electronic devices are shipped via land, sea and air. Some packages find their way in transit covering several countries in a single day. This generates unavoidable emissions as a natural by-product of operating.
These emissions can be reduced or offset in a few ways. The simplest way is to always use the most efficient transit methods and logistics firms that offset their emissions. This means the sender doesn’t have to offset their own emissions.
We go with this method because it allows us to meet our environmental obligations while also ensuring a high-quality delivery service.
Electronic waste (e-waste)
Electronic waste is the biggest issue facing the electronics industry. Only around 20% of e-waste is recycled each year. The rest enters landfill. It accounts for 70% of all toxic waste on the planet, which is an astonishing figure.
Lantek is helping to reduce the amount of electronic waste that enters landfill by putting components that would otherwise enter landfill back into use.
You’d be surprised by the number of components we save that are new old stock. We save hundreds of thousands of components each year. Many of these are rare legacy electronic components that are no longer being made.
The electronics industry gave you the smartphone in your hand and the internet that connects you to this article. There’s no denying it’s an immeasurably valuable industry and our future will have more technology. That’s a certainty.
As civilisation becomes more reliant on technology, we will develop technologies that address the industry’s biggest environmental challenges. In particular, we hope to see a significant reduction in e-waste and emissions soon. For now, the future is what we make of it, and we’re optimistic about what the future holds.