CE Suppliers Weigh In On Green
CE suppliers have come very far in a very short time in “greening” their products. But they often struggle to strike a healthy balance with regard to the business and design issues arising from the end-to-end process of going green. That discussion point was one of several hot topics at the third-annual CEA-sponsored Greener Gadgets Conference, held Feb. 25 in New York City.
“As a company, we want to bring sustainability to both lower-priced and higher-end products,” said Maria Tate, Hewlett-Packard’s senior industrial designer in the company’s Imaging and Printing Group, during one of two “Green Spotlight” sessions.
She added that while working with recycled resins was desirable from a green perspective, the increased expense and unique properties of those materials call for different engineering approaches to achieve the same degree of reliability that can be achieved when working with non-recycled materials.
HP, Tate said, is making efforts to design its printers’ product interfaces in such a way as to make green behavioral decisions by the end user easier. "For example," she said, “the two-sided printing choice in our web-enabled products appears at the top of the menu, as does the choice of printing in black-and-white over color. We realize consumers want to make good choices.”
Panasonic, for its part, has already exceeded internal global company goals set for reduction of CO2 emissions in manufacture, according to Peter Fannon, vice president of corporate and government affairs, having shrunk those emission figures to lower than Year 2000 levels. He cited the company’s $5 billion company R&D investment in long-term product development and a $1 billion investment over the next three years earmarked for green initiatives. “Our goal is to make Panasonic the number one green electronics company in the CE space by 2018 – our hundredth anniversary,” he said.