Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Corning on the brink...

The following is from a press-release from Corning

It highlights a few key points:

1) It shows more examples of the “funnel wall” – i.e. the consequences of unsustainable activity – for business, this time in the form of regulation, and how these are global issues;

2) It shows how even relatively foresighted companies like Corning (always an innovator from cookware to flat-screens) are still in the “reactionary” mode – monitoring legislation instead of working to stay ahead of it (they seem to be on the brink of taking a strategic approach to sustainability);

3) It shows that legislation and regulation:

a. Can be effective in protecting us and the ecosystems we depend on

b. Can spark innovation and progress and is not necessarily always a bad thing for business (don’t get me wrong – I’m not pushing for heavy regulation across the board – but only in cases where the true costs are not taken into account, and unregulated activity results in higher net costs for all of us in the long run); and

4) How strategic sustainability requires engaging the supply chain…

"In July 2006, two European Union environmental laws -- known as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directives -- will go into full effect, placing strict mandates on electronic equipment waste and banning the use of lead, mercury, cadmium and other hazardous materials in electronics sold into the market. Similar laws have been proposed in several other countries. China will implement its own RoHS regulation in March 2007.

"To help customers in China prepare for the changes, Dow Corning has collaborated with companies to develop, qualify and implement compliant materials for use in electronics manufacturing. Dow Corning's Science & Technology team, working in conjunction with the company's China Application Center in Shanghai, helped one of China's leading power module manufacturers eliminate the use of solvent-based adhesives by switching to a compliant silicon-based materials solution. As part of the program, Dow Corning's team collaborated with local dispensing, measurement and packaging equipment suppliers in the South China region to integrate the new material into the customer's manufacturing process.

"'As a result, our customer today can be reassured about upcoming green laws and also benefits from a highly productive turnkey manufacturing solution that delivers far greater power module performance than previous approaches," said Tom Cook, global industry executive director, Dow Corning. "The new European Union directives affect manufacturers everywhere -- a change in materials for the European market means a change in materials for all global markets. Because Dow Corning has worked diligently to monitor environmental legislation, we're better prepared to help customers ensure their products are always in compliance. We take great pride in this success -- it's the right thing to do for our industry and our planet.'"

Stay going…