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News from Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC)

Environmental Programs at IPC APEX EXPO Strive to Put Green Initiatives’ Destiny Back In the Hands of the Electronics Industry

Mar 01, 2011

It's not difficult today to find articles and blogs written about green initiatives around the world, and more so about some non-governmental organizations (NGOs), that elicit strong opinions from electronics manufacturers. According to IPC’s Director of Environmental Policy Fern Abrams, the issue isn't that the industry does not support green initiatives, but rather that some of these initiatives give the appearance of helping the environment when they ultimately do not. To help quench electronics manufacturers’ needs for fact-based support, IPC will host a number of programs at IPC APEX EXPO™, April 12–14, 2011, in Las Vegas.

Open to all IPC APEX EXPO registrants, IPC's environmental standards development meetings kick off with the 2-18 Supplier Declaration Committee on April 12. The group will review the XML schema for all supplier declaration standards, including the IPC-1752A materials declaration and the draft packaging declaration standards. In the afternoon, the -30 Environment, Health and Safety Steering Committee will discuss recent updates to several environmental regulations, including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulatory updates. During this meeting, environmental managers will share how they are dealing with some of the major regulations affecting the industry.

In the two days that follow, the 2-18f Packaging Declarations Task Group will discuss and respond to comments received during the first comment circulation of the data exchange standard for packaging and packing materials; the 4-33 Halogen-Free Materials Subcommittee will consider new comments for revision B of its white paper/technical report on low-halogen base materials; the 2-18b Materials Declaration Task Group will discuss feedback on recent and future enhancements to the IPC-1752A Materials Declaration management standard, including the addition of a conflict minerals query; and the 4-33a Low Halogen Electronics Task Group will review a recent draft guideline that includes a dual-level definition of low halogen.

In addition to the standards meetings, two expert panels will discuss aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility in Free BUZZ Sessions on Tuesday, April 12. Measuring Your Carbon Footprint will share industry efforts to assess and measure greenhouse gas emissions. This session will be followed by a panel presentation on Conflict Metals, providing the latest available information on U.S. SEC regulations requiring reporting of the metals’ source and chain of custody.

A Technical Conference session on Environmental Issues(S27) on April 14, will offer practical considerations for choosing in-line cleaners and show how to assess readiness for complying with changes to the RoHS Directive. Also on Thursday, a free session will be presented on Progress and Results from iNEMI Environmental Project.

"Our industry comprises some of the best engineering minds and innovators in the world, and their environmental goals cannot be placated by rhetoric that holds no scientific merit or environmental benefit." adds Abrams. "IPC's lobbying efforts will continue to stand up against the Goliaths of the NGO world to fight for fact-based regulations." Toward that end, IPC will host an IPC Government Relations Open Forum on April 12, to solicit comments on future issues for IPC to address, including issues for the IPC Environment, Health & Safety Committee.

For more information on IPC APEX EXPO environmental programs, including times and speakers, visit Exhibit hall registration is FREE to pre-registrants and includes access to standards development meetings, Buzz Sessions and other free events.

IPC ( is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 2,700 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $1.85 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore, India; and Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing, China.

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