The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center earned “gold” recognition from the State Electronics Challenge (SEC) for its environmentally-responsible electronics purchasing, use, and recycling decisions in 2014.
Responsible electronics management comes naturally to the ISTC, with its Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI) and a “green” team which is making progress on implementing various sustainability activities at the Center. SEI efforts are concerned with promoting increased sustainable design, use, and end-of-life management of electronic devices, noting that electronics manufacturing and waste have social impacts as well as environmental ones.
The SEC challenges local, state, regional, and tribal entities across the country to commit to greener electronics management, helping participants develop action plans, providing resources, and delivering end-of-year sustainability reports and awards. In 2013, SEC participants collectively prevented over 2 tons of toxic materials, 860 tons of solid waste, and 134 tons of hazardous waste from entering landfills. Further, participants saved a substantial amount of electricity and prevented the escape and accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Of SEC’s 150 participants, only nine are from Illinois, and, of those, just two earned recognition at any level in 2014. SEC’s annual awards recognize participants achieving their goals in the following areas: purchasing, use, and recycling. ISTC’s gold award recognizes reductions in all three areas, with 98 percent of the Center’s computers using power management and 100 percent of “retired” electronics being reused.