Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

European ECOsystem for greeN Electronics

Project description

Creating an environmentally sustainable electronics industry for Europe

The proliferation of electronics and electronic devices has resulted in a significant increase in electronic waste (e-waste), which has quickly gained prominence in the view of EU policymakers. This issue is critical, and the European Green Deal explicitly identifies it as a goal and a target for implementing actions towards a circular economy. Due to the intricate nature of the electronics value chain, achieving this goal is challenging. To address the issue, the EU-funded EECONE project, in collaboration with 54 entities across the value chain, aims to deploy various methodologies and actions to facilitate related progress. These efforts are primarily focused on enhancing the design of electronics to improve reliability, repairability, reusability, refurbishability, and recyclability, thus reducing e-waste and contributing to a more sustainable approach.

Objective

Many different environmental impacts arise from electronics, and the handling of electronic waste (e-waste) is rising quickly to the top of the agenda. E-waste is a significant issue for Europe:
Improving its management is an explicit goal of the Green Deal objectives and the Circular Economy Action Plan (3.1. Electronics and ICT). However, due to the requirement to involve the whole value chain, from raw material suppliers to consumers, the complex material background and supply chain, as well as the multitude of competing interests, achieving circularity in the electronics industry is challenging.

The main aim of the EECONE project is to reduce e-waste on a European scale.

To this end, 54 entities (47 partners, 2 associated partners and 5 affiliated entities) from 16 European countries covering different sectors of activity have joined forces to propose practical ways of reducing the volume of e-waste in the EU. Crucially, the entities that make up EECONE represent all parts of the value chain. EECONE’s approach is interdisciplinary, covering the social, economic, technological, and policy aspects.

The environmental impact arising from e-waste can thus be reduced by working in three principal areas:
a) Increase service lifetime of electronic products by application of ecodesign guidelines for increasing their reliability and their repair rate, thereby reducing the volume of e-waste. Reduction and replacement of materials to decrease the impact of e-waste.
b) Improved circularity by reusing, recycling, and waste valorising materials/elements from electronic products.

EECONE’s vision is to develop and embed the constraints linked to managing the end-of-life of electronic products from the very beginning – in the development or process design. EECONE is paving the way as a first step toward a zero-waste electronic industry. The “6R concept will fully guide EECONE” (Reduce, Reliability, Repair, Reuse, Refurbish, Recycle).

To deploy its ambitious vision, the EECONE project defines four main objectives:
a) Define green. Create clear, simple, open tools to define and design ECS for circularity. Generate, for the first time, a clear framework aiding producers to evaluate their choices and pathways to ecodesign, to foster European leadership in the green transition.
b) Make green ECS (Electronic Components Systems): Provide innovative techniques for reducing, repairing, reusing, refurbishing, recycling to decrease e-waste and boost circularity in a new generation of electronics.
c) Showcase green solutions: Demonstrate innovation potential, usability, and versatility of the green solution along the value chain.
d) Building consciousness: Create an ecosystem empowering the 6R ECS generation.

EECONE is a major opportunity to create a European ECOsystem for greeN Electronics and to position Europe as a role model for low environmental impact electronics.

æ

Coordinator

INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES AG
Net EU contribution
€ 602 354,85
Address
Am campeon 1-15
85579 Neubiberg
Germany

See on map

Region
Bayern Oberbayern München, Landkreis
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Links
Other funding
€ 1 807 064,55

Participants (51)

Partners (2)