120 recorded technical presentations, live keynotes from high-ranking environmental experts from Apple and Philips, six interactive sessions, and numerous networking options - this year's Electronics Goes Green offered all this to the participants on an online platform developed for this purpose. For the sixth time, the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM organized the world's largest conference on sustainability in electronics. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Electronics Goes Green 2020 conference also moved to the World Wide Web and was held online with a mix of pre-recorded presentations and a virtual live event on September 1, 2020.
The presentations on green electronics, circular design and sustainable production in all areas of life and economy were already available on the conference platform from August 20, 2020. Up to now, the presentations have been accessed 3,000 times, but they are still available to participants until September 18th - on demand and independent of time zones.
Nevertheless, all those present were able to get to know each other personally and network: the live event on September 1, 2020, offered a wide range of interactive opportunities for a fruitful exchange and new insights. This year, the speakers and participants again included representatives from industry, environment, technology and politics. Fraunhofer IZM has been providing impulses in terms of content with this sustainable conference for over 20 years, based on its many years of experience in the development and optimization of sustainable and reliable electronic systems. This year's special highlights were the keynotes of Sarah Chandler, Apple's Senior Director of Environmental Initiatives, who spoke about Apple's roadmap until 2030 and presented the innovative approach to climate neutrality and the company's circular supply chain. Before her, Philips' Senior Director Sustainability Eelco Smit opened the first part of the Live Day with his keynote on "Best practices in Sustainability - what can we learn?” More than 200 listeners joined the active live stream and chat during the keynotes.
"Electronics Goes Green" is considered a trend barometer every four years. In 2008, the focus was on the latest legal requirements of the European Union - directives aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the manufacture, use and recycling of electronic equipment. In 2012, the focus was on energy efficiency in addition to legal compliance. The fifth Electronics Goes Green 2016 focused more on repair and recycling companies, repair and high-quality closed-loop recycling (Circular Economy), because they ensure a longer product life and return materials to the production. Electronic products should remain in active use for as long as possible before material recycling.
For this year, Technical Chair Nils F. Nissen draws the following conclusion: "Green electronics can be integrated much more strongly into company processes and, above all, it can and must become more sustainable on a broad front more quickly. Closed-loop recycling, resource efficiency and digitization are the approaches that can make relevant contributions to climate neutrality. And even if leading companies such as Apple will become climate-neutral for the entire life cycle of their equipment by 2030, there is still much to be done to make electronics really green".