Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing. Can We Do It?

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The electronics industry is constantly innovating. However, this innovation has come with a price: it is responsible for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Demand for sustainable manufacturing is increasing, so the industry must rise to meet it. Fortunately, there are several potentially revolutionary technologies that can make a difference.

IDTechEx’s “Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing 2023-2033” report explores the key opportunities for sustainable innovation and the most promising new manufacturing approaches. The report concentrates on the fundamental building blocks of electronics – printed circuit boards (PCBs) and integrated circuits (ICs).

 Incentives for Sustainable Electronics

Sustainability within the semiconductor and electronics industries is being driven forward by government mandates and green investment initiatives. Increasingly relevant to the survival of traditional manufacturers is the conscious choice of the public to only purchase from, and even only work for, companies that prioritize sustainable practices. 

Companies that embrace environmentalism reap long-term rewards. The implementation of low-emission manufacturing processes or the adoption of material recycling and recovery schemes can be the financially astute choice presenting an opportunity to reduce costs associated with energy consumption, waste treatment, and superfluous steps. Prioritizing environmentalism keeps the industry ahead of the curve as legislation becomes stricter while positioning individual companies to benefit from designated ESG investments.

IDTechEx’s analysis expects additive manufacturing to be particularly significant in scaling flexible printed circuit boards. Flexible PCBs are an important part of the emerging electronics industry. Embracing a new technology enables scope for further changes, such as transitioning to new materials and additive methods. Low-temperature processing may also be imperative for PCBs made on plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), considering that these have relatively low heat tolerances. 

  Digitization for Smart Manufacturing

Sustainable electronics manufacturing presents many opportunities to be more efficient, reduce waste, and improve cost-effectiveness through artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Using smart digital manufacturing methods to automate processes and sensor technology to detect leaks and improper material usage can help companies minimize waste and reduce excess costs.

Digital data analysis can help remove superfluous steps and illustrate where to focus efforts to eliminate excess material and energy consumption. Digitization is becoming increasingly popular, with many household name brands adopting similar measures. 


 Reducing the carbon footprint of the electronics industry is a daunting task, particularly for well-established manufacturers that are reluctant to divert from traditional methods. Across the world, government and consumer pressure are forcing manufacturers to take on greater responsibility in reducing their emissions. A comprehensive analysis and exploration of sustainable innovations within the field can be found in IDTechEx’s report, “Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing 2023-2033”. 

This report analyses the many innovations aiming to make electronics manufacturing more sustainable. It examines the current status and latest trends in technology performance, supply chain, and manufacturing, identifying the key challenges, competition, and innovation opportunities within sustainable electronics manufacturing.

To learn more about the IDTechEx report “Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing 2023-2033”, including downloadable sample pages, please visit

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