As environmental concerns sky-rocket, new ways of designing products so as to minimize waste and facilitate recycling are adopted by a growing number of manufacturers.
Regulators have started making requirements for environmentally conscious design throughout the life cycle of products, including raw material acquisition, manufacture, distribution, use, maintenance, re-use and end-of-life. A new model, called the circular economy, which puts the emphasis on the recycling and reusing of materials and products, is championed by environmentalists and considered, and often implemented, by a growing number of industry players.
International standards are required to ensure these players follow the same guidelines when it comes to managing the environemental life cycle of products. These internationally agreed specifications can either follow or be adopted in local regulations.
IEC has released a number of standards relating to the circular economy. Among these, IEC 62430 is destined to be used by all those involved in the design and development of electrical and electronic products. The publication concerns all parties in the supply chain regardless of organization type, size, location and complexity. The standard establishes the steps to follow for companies wishing to implement environmentally conscious design for their products.
IEC is soon to release a new edition of the standard, in collaboration with ISO. “The scope of this new edition is wider and does not only refer to electrotechnical products and systems. It can be applied industry-wide. We have worked hand in hand with ISO TC 207 and it will be a joint publication,” says Christophe Garnier, Chair of the IEC technical committee that publishes the 62430 standards.
To find out more about the IEC and the circular economy, read https://basecamp.iec.ch/download/brochure-e-tech-articles-preparing-the-circular-economy-en/.