Electronics Supply Networks and Water Pollution in China: Understanding and Mitigating Potential Impacts
Global electronics companies curious about the environmental performance of China-based suppliers to their industry will find this document an interesting read. The 18-page report was published in late 2010 by international corporate responsibility practitioners network Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) in collaboration with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC).
For the research, ten EICC members submitted supplier names to BSR for matching against a public database with information on corporate environmental violations. Of the 640 supplier names provided, 33 matched with recorded environmental violations in the database (about 5% of the sample) and of these, some 30% were names submitted by more than one EICC member company, showing the interconnected nature of the electronics supply chain. Also, more than 20% of the suppliers with recorded violations had multiple matches, indicating possible systemic issues at these companies.
The majority of the suppliers with violations were located in the provinces of Jiangsu (39%), Guangdong (30%) and Shanghai (15%), reflecting the concentration of suppliers in those areas but also suggesting that government agencies in these locations may be more effective at monitoring companies within their jurisdiction and are more transparent in reporting environmental information. The most common components produced by facilities with violations were printed circuit boards (PCBs), supporting expert opinion about water pollution risks of PCB manufacturing.
In addition to providing context on China’s water crisis and regulatory and civil society landscape, the report offers recommendations on supply chain management, and the Appendix contains helpful reports, guides and technical resources.
The report is available for free download at www.eicc.info/documents/EICCWWFinalReport.pdf
With its crowded landing page, cluttered design and heavy ad presence, www.greenroofs.com looks at first glance like a web equivalent of an overgrown rooftop garden. The patient and persistent visitor, however, will be rewarded with a wealth of resources on the business of planning, installing and maintaining green roofs. (Green roofs, sometimes also known as living roofs, are an increasingly popular and environment-friendly way of keeping buildings cooler, beautifying urban spaces, and mitigating runoff.)
While the homepage offers enough links to the latest green roof articles, videos, job postings, event listings and blogs to keep you occupied for hours, take the short-cut to the site’s the most popular section by clicking the “Greenroofs101” button on the top navigation bar. That’s where you’ll find everything from the history of green roofs to their advantages, from applications of such roofs to the plant and material components required.
Greenroofs.com also publishes the Greenroof Directory, the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database, and greenroofs.tv – a video channel dedicated to the topic. All these sprung over a decade ago from publisher and editor Linda Velazquez’s independent study paper website project and continues to thrive as a vibrant family-run enterprise.
The Green IT Review
The Green IT Review blog offers information and analysis on how information and communication technologies (ICT) can be harnessed to reduce businesses’ and consumers’ carbon impact on the planet. Aimed at professionals in ICT, cleantech and sustainability, the blog covers a wide range of news ranging from the latest industrial partnerships to government policy changes, to innovative telecommunications applications and new business models for working more sustainably.
The blog began in 2008 as the news and comment site of The Green IT Report, a consultancy started by UK-based Pete Foster in 2007. Back then, as Foster recalls on the site’s “About Us” page, IT processing power and storage capacity were cheap enough to buy in excess and turn on – to the extent that “whole data centres were running at 10–15% efficiency but pumping out CO² by the tonne.” As the ICT industry grew more aware that such practices were unsustainable, the consultancy carved its niche as a source of research and support for the ICT industry, with The Green IT Review blog serving up a steady flow of comment on various green solutions available for – and through – the use of IT. (Foster, who is the editor of The Green IT Review, is also a writer for The Guardian.)
Today, the The Green IT Review is updated several times a week and recent posts cover topics like green product packaging, the growing trend towards smart cities, and new ideas in dematerialisation, which includes solutions such as cloud computing, web conferencing, downloadable media (vs. physical manufacture and distribution), etc. Look up the blog at www.thegreenitreview.com