The tech industry is committed to protecting our environment not just for today but for future generations. It is with that in mind that I recently traveled to China to represent the sector before several Chinese government agencies to discuss our shared interests and commitments related to green electronics and sustainable manufacturing.
I met separately with the influential National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and with four additional government agencies that oversee standards, certification, and accreditation related to products and manufacturing. Overall, the tenor of the meetings was very positive. The Chinese officials view tech as a key partner in their efforts to procure more sustainable products and to advance cleaner and more efficient production.
The technology sector partners with governments to drive these advances. China is on a multi-year push to conserve water, energy and materials resources, and they are looking to the tech sector to provide leadership and promote our best practices. We understand that a single government or country cannot alone ensure our environment remains clean, which is why we are taking an active role in solving this problem. We factor energy and environment considerations in at the earliest stages of product design because our consumers demand more efficient, more sustainable devices. They also demand options to recycle their products. Like all successful and responsible sectors, we listen to our customers. For instance, companies like Dell, Samsung, and Google allow consumers to recycle and refurbish their products for future use. This allows products to last longer and generates less e-waste, and supports the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” approach to sustainability. Many of our companies publish goals to limit greenhouse gases and meet renewable energy standards, which is why it is no surprise many of ITI’s member companies are recognized in Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies
The government officials also recognize that, as a global sector, we need to operate under a consistent set of rules for products and for manufacturing processes. ITI’s members consistently deliver the most sustainable products and operate state-of-the-art systems in our facilities to limit emissions while conserving water, energy, and materials. As a result, Chinese officials have traditionally given great weight to the input from our sector on their proposed product and manufacturing standards. Our visit to Beijing helped solidify this connection and will help ensure that our members can continue to operate and sell products in China based on a consistent set of rules.
These are complex issues, but it is in our very nature to innovate and identify creative solutions. We look forward to continuing our engagement in the U.S. and around the globe to make sure we continue to drive leadership on sustainable products and processes.