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This Month on Velocity: Green Compliance

Velocity, the supply-chain-focused section of EBN sponsored by {complink 577|Avnet Inc.}, is a mere three weeks old, but it is already drawing kudos from observers for helping to direct attention to critical issues affecting all companies involved in the design, manufacture, sales, and support of electronic equipment.

In July, writers and contributors to Velocity explored the theme: “Elements of a Competitive Supply Chain.” Under this topic we tackled various subjects, including agility, adaptability and flexibility, risk management and mitigation, competence and speed, strategic fit, and consistency, all of which executives say are vital to building and sustaining a competitive supply chain operation.

Industry executives also weighed in on some of the more vexing issues facing the industry. Wade McDaniel of Avnet considered how rising labor costs in the so-called low-cost nations must be factored into decisions on where to situate manufacturing plants. And Dennis Omanoff, head of supply chain services at hard disk drive vendor {complink 4842|Seagate Technology LLC}, looked at how companies can benefit from constantly reviewing “what-if scenarios” as risks multiply in the supply chain. (See: The Evolving Cost of Labor and Opportunities Beckon as Risks Rise.)

We will be kicking up the discussions a notch in August by continuing the focus on issues of significance to the industry, this time on compliance with environmental rules and regulations throughout the world. This is among the more challenging problems manufacturing industry executives must sort out on a daily basis, because many of these rules are still evolving, so execs must find ways to stay on top of the regulations as they emerge. The number of regulators is also rising as each country develops its own laws governing the production and disposal of electronic equipment and other environmentally sensitive products.

To help manufacturers navigate through the maze of environmental laws, EBN will focus over the next few weeks on the following topics:

  • Elements of a sustainable green supply chain
  • Critical steps to achieving compliance with environmental rules
  • The changing face of RoHS, WEEE, and other environmental mandates
  • The US compliance puzzle — how different states enact different standards and what this means for the industry
  • China RoHS — still waiting on scope, catalogue
  • Environmental audits — how to reduce the burden
  • When will green benefit the supply chain — an overview of government grants, efforts, subsidies in significant global regions
  • Next on the green “hit list” — other chemicals and materials up for review in China, Europe, India, and elsewhere
  • Front-end of the supply chain — designing for green
  • Back-end of the supply chain — recycling, reclamation, reverse logistics
  • Green and obsolescence planning
  • Support structures for achieving compliance — who can you call upon?
  • Medical electronics — bumping up against green?

This list is, of course, not exhaustive. We will add to it as new issues emerge and as discussions on this page bring up new concerns, challenges, and opportunities. Feel free to suggest topics you would like EBN editors and contributors to focus upon, and we'll do our best to accommodate them. Or, send in your own contribution. I would be glad to review them for publication. Just click on my name above or send to . Don't forget, the focus is on how these topics hit the electronics supply chain in your neck of the woods or globally.

Also in August, Velocity will host its first Webinar, titled: “Supply Chain – It's Risky Business.” The Webinar will be presented by Douglas Kent, vice president, Avnet Velocity, and a veteran of the electronics industry supply chain business. Kent will address three key topics on the subject, including: how to understand risk areas in the extended supply chain; tools for measuring risks and determining the level of corporate risk tolerance; and how to leverage visibility and analytics to identify and mitigate risks.

The Webinar is scheduled for August 22 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. To participate please click on the following link: Supply Chain – It’s Risky Business.

9 comments on “This Month on Velocity: Green Compliance

  1. FLYINGSCOT
    August 2, 2012

    I'd be interested to learn how the green regs are going to be policed.  For instance, how do we know people are meeting recycling targets and not simply dumping the stuff in other parts of the world where the components then appear on the black market.

  2. Susan Fourtané
    August 3, 2012

    Flyingscot, 

    When you say people, you mean the general consumer or the suppliers? 

    -Susan 

  3. Susan Fourtané
    August 3, 2012

    Bolaji, 

    These are great topics for this month. I like the focus very much. 

    -Susan 

  4. bolaji ojo
    August 3, 2012

    The rules and regulations about the environment are being introduced by government bodies globally and they are similarly implementing monitoring and enforcement actions that may also include fines or the ban of impacted components and equipment from that region.

    The onus for compliance is on the suppliers of the components and the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) buyer. If regulators receive a complaint and if investigations show failure to comply, the seller and its suppliers will be penalized.

  5. bolaji ojo
    August 3, 2012

    One more point about the dumping of the parts in other regions of the world. Many countries where old electronic equipment and other high-tech devices are currently shipped for disposal are introducing similar laws to protect their own environment and workers. What this means is that the regions where manufacturers can allow these equipment to be shipped for disposal are fewer today than 10 years ago.

    India used to be one such spot but now they are much more closely monitoring these activities. The same is happening in India. We will be focusing on some of these over the next weeks in EBN Velocity. 

  6. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 6, 2012

    This is the big question, Bolaji. When something should be called a waste. The definition of waste differs from the society to society and also upon the standard of living.

    What one may call a waste may still have good utility for other, without any recylcing.

    The food that is termed as waste in a 5 start hotel may contain enough quality food  to fill many a empty stomachs of those hungry poor . So in India, there are NGOs who collect “waste” food from such high profile places and after ensuring that it is healty enough to eat, distribute it among the needy poor.

    Similar middlemen are required for processing of “electronic waste”, the trusted middlemen who will judiciously decide what can be paased as “good” and what should be destroyed as the real waste.

  7. Ariella
    August 6, 2012

    @ prabhakar_deosthali You mean something like “One man's trash is another man's treasure?” Even in places where food waste is not collected to feed people, some people still gather it for compost. But many of us are so lazy about disposal that we just toss out everything — even those items that are marked for recycling.

  8. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 6, 2012

    Exactly Ariella!

    The developed countries need to give perticular attention to this issue of judiciously deciding what is the real waste and what can be used for some other purpose without recycling it.

  9. Ariella
    August 6, 2012

    Yes, that would definitely improve efficient use of resources.

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