Solid Waste & Recycling


Design for environment report focuses on electronics

Canada's Electronics Industry continues to demonstrate leadership in protecting the environment, with the release o...

Canada’s Electronics Industry continues to demonstrate leadership in protecting the environment, with the release of its first report to focus on improvements in environmental design of consumer electronics and information and communications technology products. The report “Designing for the Environment” was released at North America’s largest gathering of the electronics recycling community, the E-Scrap 2006 conference in Austin, Texas.

The report was prepared by Electronics Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC), representing 21 of Canada’s leading electronics manufacturers on environmental issues. EPSC’s Vice-President, Jay Illingworth, described how its member companies are working to provide more environmentally sound products for Canadian consumers.

“We know that Canadians increasingly prefer to purchase products that are easier to recycle at the end of their life, and create less of an impact on the environment throughout their lifecycle,” Inningworth said. “Our companies have responded by investing significantly in the environmental performance of their products, from initial research and development, through to manufacturing and marketing. As a result, these products are not only better for the environment, but they also appeal to consumers with better performance, reduced costs and overall convenience.”

The report details five areas that have shown significant advances over the last several years: chemical management, energy efficiency, materials management, design for recycling, and product expandability. It outlines how companies have reduced environmentally sensitive chemicals in their products, and developed and incorporated power-saving features.

Advancements in technology and the miniaturization of components have reduced the amount of resources required to produce electronic products, and some difficult to recycle plastics are being replaced with lighter, more durable metals that are recyclable. Other companies have developed products that snap apart for ease of recycling, doing away with the need for glue. Others have eliminated paint and varnish on plastics. Multi-functional devices, such as all-in-one printers, can perform an array of tasks, reducing the total number of products that need to be manufactured, shipped and responsibly recycled at end-of-life, reducing the overall environmental impact.

Illingworth commented, “Our companies have accepted the responsibility to both respond to consumer demands, and to meet the need to create a much smaller environmental footprint for our products. The end result is that today’s consumers can find a wider range of electronic products that can be used more efficiently and can be recycled in a more environmentally responsible manner.”

The report provides an overview of the current state of the industry’s product-based environmental improvements. An accompanying web page provides direct links to individual EPSC member companies’ corporate sites, providing tangible examples of products that integrate many of the environmental features profiled in “Designing for the Environment.” A downloadable PDF version of the report, along with links to EPSC member company’s environmental websites, is available at:

About EPSC

EPSC is an industry-led organization of leading Canadian electronics manufacturers that are working to design, promote and implement sustainable solutions for the recycling of end-of-life electronics. It works with stakeholders to create effective environmental stewardship programs across Canada. This not-for-profit organization was founded in 2003 by Electro-Federation Canada, (EFC) the Information Technology Association of Canada, (ITAC) and leading consumer electronics and information technology manufacturers. Governed by a Board of Directors, its current members include: Apple Canada Inc., Brother International Corporation (Canada) Ltd., Canon Canada Inc., Dell Canada, Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co., Hitachi Canada Ltd., IBM Canada Ltd., Lenovo Canada, Lexmark Canada Inc., LG Electronics Canada, Logitech, Microsoft Canada Co., Mind Computers, Northern Micro Inc., Panasonic Canada Inc., Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Canada Inc., Sharp Electronics of Canada Ltd., Sony of Canada Ltd., Thomson Multimedia Ltd. and Toshiba of Canada Ltd.

For further information visit or contact Jay Illingworth, Vice-President, Electronics Product Stewardship Canada, at 613-238-4822 x225 or email

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