Processes

Without changing our processes, we will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming by 2030. At this temperature, heat waves will occur more often. Sea levels will rise to overwhelm major cities. Millions across the global south will be displaced. The ecosystems which naturally process our waste will collapse.

What does the circular economy mean to you? A sustainable supply chain? Perhaps your organization has set net zero commitments, but believes upstream and downstream emissions are outside of scope. A prerequiste for a working partnership with MobiCycle involves accepting the idea of collective responsibility.

UPSTREAM BENEFITS FROM CHANGE
a.) replace critical materials with synthetics
b.) prioritize and reduce your purchases

DOWNSTEAM BENEFITS FROM CHANGE
c.) increase your tendency to repair rather than replace equipment, and
d.) ensure your eWaste is reused or recycled.

Tech alone will not save us. Commit today to mapping your value chain's business processes - from mining, to manufacturing, purchases (sales) and disposals.

The below information is for example purposes only and does not reflect actual events.

ACME COMPANY REPORT

Delivered by MobiCycle Consulting on September 1, 2022

Mining

NOTES

Mining is the single largest source of toxic waste - for any industry. The mining process creates industrial waste, including waste oils, hazardous chemicals, groundwater pollution, erosion, sedimentation and acid mine drainage. The is responsible for an estimated 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions

Extraction of earth's minerals occurs in four steps:

a.) excavate large rocks for key mineral ores
b.) crush the ores into finely ground tailings
c.) extract the target minerals via chemical processing and separation
d.) dispose of the tailings and leftover waste

WHAT CRITICAL MINERALS ARE IN MY SUPPLY CHAIN?

DEMO NOTE

Unprecedented demand for mined metals has led to a high risk of disruption across supply chains.  You may purchase electronics either for internal use, or for resale. Regardless of the reason, when you do so, you compete with green buyers over access to critical minerals. Green buyers currently face an acute shortage of energy-critical elements (ECEs). The US sources 90% of its ECEs from overseas.

Critical metals used in electronics you buy

yttrium
lanthanum
cerium
praseodymium
neodymium
samarium
europium
terbium
dysprosium
indium
gallium
tellurium
cobalt
lithium

Critical metals used in renewables (and are at risk of supply shortage)

dysprosium
neodymium
terbium
europium
yttrium
indium

RISKS

  • War can create delays and shortages. A goal of net zero by 2050 requires 10 times more renewable energy and critical minerals on which they depend.
  • The carbon reduction goals set by mining companies may be too weak or rely on (largely untested) carbon capture technologies.
  • Auditors may focus on safeguarding financial returns over addressing inefficient or harmful practices that should be sustainable.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Buy from suppliers who segregate, reprocess, or repurpose viable materials.
  • Recognize that some inputs such as gallium and indium can not be recycled.
  • Ask your supplier how they dispose of leftover waste sustainably.  

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Manufacturing

NOTES

The manufacturing industry accounts for 19% of direct global emissions.  90% of manufacturing emissions are from powered and manufactured goods, such as electronics and vehicles.

ESG as it relates to electronics manufacturing, typically focuses on workers rights. Employee justice issues fall within the S of ESG. It's time to look at the 'E' part of ESG for electronics manufacturing.

Electronics manufacturers fall into at least five categories, each with their own processes -

  • Electronics manufacturing services (EMS) fabricates components. Items include PCBs and cables.
  • Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) serve the general public.
  • Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) design products for their own use.
  • Contract Electronics Manufacturers (CEM) make parts for OEMs.
  • Integrated Design Manufacturing (IDM) uses the latest technologies to create electronics.

The manufacturing process(for an OEM)

a.) PCB design
b.) manufacturing
c.) assembly
d.) prototype
e.) testing
f.) production at scale

WHAT EEE CATEGORIES ARE IN MY SUPPLY CHAIN?

EEE categories of electronics manufacturers in your supply chain

large household appliances
small household appliances
consumer equipment
lighting equipment
electrical and electronic tools
toys, leisure and sports equipment
medical devices
monitoring and control devices
automatic dispensers

EEE categories for renewables

solar panels
wind turbines
hydrogen fuel cells
ocean turbines
hydroelectric turbines
geothermal turbines
biomass plants (???)

Electronic and electrical components used in renewables (and are at risk of supply chain disruption)

permanent magnets
advanced batteries
thin film semi conductors
phosphors

RISKS

  • The factories are not climate controlled or insulated. Heatwaves, wildfires and cold freeze damage electrical components. Interior climate control measures are necessary.
  • Political leaders are unlikely or unable to approve legislation or funding to weatherproof the plants. For example, in the UK, there are 650 constituencies. 380 constituencies will almost certainly vote one way. 260 constituencies are somewhat safe. Only 50 to 100 constituencies are up for grabs. Thus, a party with a minority of the vote can enjoy a strong majority.
  • Decision makers who have committed to change, are unsure whether they should adapt to a 1.5, 2 or even 3 degree future.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Buy from suppliers who segregate, reprocess, or repurpose viable materials.
  • Recognize that some inputs such as gallium and indium can not be recycled.
  • Ask your supplier how they dispose of leftover waste sustainably.  

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Purchases

NOTES

Direct procurement involves purchasing electronics for integration in to a product you plan to sell. Indirect procurement will source EEE for internal operational use. Less than 10% of retail businesses committed to limit global warming in line with the Paris Agreement (based on total global industry revenues).

The purchase process

a.) import goods from overseas (Asia)
b.) inbound transportation to retail stores
c.) Merge in Transit (MiT) to consolidate shipments
d.) cross-docking unloads inbound cargo directly onto departing trucks
e.) goods receipt at store

WHAT EEE PURCHASE CATEGORIES ARE IN MY SUPPLY CHAIN?

EEE categories of items you purchase

consumer equipment
lighting equipment
electrical and electronic tools
monitoring and control devices
automatic dispensers

RISKS

  • Trade associations may push back against efforts to reduce growth targets as it may impact their employee's standard of living. Lower paid workers should be protected.
  • The effort to standardize carbon emissions data could be adopted too slowly
  • The market for recycled chips is unregulated. Purchases may rely on untested reused chips that may fail.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Buy from suppliers who segregate, reprocess, or repurpose viable materials.
  • Recognize that some inputs such as gallium and indium can not be recycled.
  • Ask your supplier how they dispose of leftover waste sustainably.  

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Sales*

NOTES

If you engage in direct procurement of electronic or electrical equipment, you plan to sell an electronic or electrical device. You may need to join a scheme that will ask you to pay for or set up a takeback program to allow your customers to recycle your electronic product at end of life.

The sales process

a.) design, certification & testing
b.) technical pre-assembly of electronic and hardware components & testing
c.) transportation
d.) customer service
e.) repairs and/or returns
f.) disposal and recycling
d.) customer service
e.) repairs and/or returns
f.) disposal and recycling

WHAT EEE CATEGORIES DO MY PRODUCTS FALL INTO?

Categories of electronic and electrical equipment you are more likely to purchase

consumer equipment
lighting equipment
electrical and electronic tools
monitoring and control devices
automatic dispensers

RISKS

  • Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes do not set ambitious targets.
  • The takeback schemes do not ensure the recycling facilities can handle the quantity or complexity of the waste.
  • Waste collectors may work with brokers who prioritize profit over planet. eWaste may end up illegally dumped.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Buy from suppliers who segregate, reprocess, or repurpose viable materials.
  • Recognize that some inputs such as gallium and indium can not be recycled.
  • Ask your supplier how they dispose of leftover waste sustainably.  

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Disposals

NOTES

Purchases of electronics via indirect procurement create eWaste at the end of the electronic's life.

The disposals process

a.) retire an asset on your books
b.) handover to maintenance, who complete the paperwork
c.) a waste management company collects the items
d.) the items are either landfilled or recycled

WHAT eWASTE CATEGORIES DO MY ACTIVITIES REPRESENT?

Categories of electronic and electrical equipment you are more likely to purchase

consumer equipment
lighting equipment
electrical and electronic tools
monitoring and control devices
automatic dispensers

RISKS

  • New policies are almost certain. Are you prepared? The link between super greenhouse gases and eWaste is rarely addressed at present, but the situation may change in the near future as the public become more aware of climate impacts. Potent greenhouse gases are responsible for the Artic sea ice reaching a tipping point, the West Antartic sea ice to tip in the next 10 years, the Amazon in 15 years and Greenland in 25 years.
  • Growing public awareness of biodiversity loss. At the moment, the media focuses their attention on renewables and carbon emissions. Biodiversity loss is as important as GHGs (if not more so). People will eventually make the connection between the damage to ecosystems and our mishandled eWaste. When that happens, enforcement and fines will increase.
  • Your investments to curb eWaste within your Scope 3 emissions may not receive the recognition it deserves. eWaste is underreported, despite the fact electronic waste is the world's fastest growing stream.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Buy from suppliers who segregate, reprocess, or repurpose viable materials.
  • Recognize that some inputs such as gallium and indium can not be recycled.
  • Ask your supplier how they dispose of leftover waste sustainably.  

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TECH TO SAVE THE PLANET

Why eWaste?

eWaste is the world's fastest growing waste stream.

The four dashboards provide insights into how you can manage your electronic and electrical waste. Consulting helps you understand where you are in your ESG journey.

Tech covers hardware and software solutions. Games teach climate change, your best practices, eWaste repair and more.

Marketing assists you with how you communicate your values to the public and celebrate your successes around your handling of eWaste (also see MobiCycle News).