Sustainability in product design is quickly becoming a mandatory feature for the vocal and rapidly growing group of climate conscious customers. Manufacturers embracing this trend are making changes such as increasing post-consumer recycled content in construction and replacing adhesives with reusable fasteners to facilitate the repairing, refurbishing, and recycling of products.
Extending the life of devices at the hardware level isn’t the only way to make sustainable design improvements. With the ubiquity of connected gadgets and the IoT, further commitments to extended software support will be a necessary path forward. Longevity must be planned for and guaranteed in advance. With so many devices now at the mercy of manufacturers, a promise of support that matches the hardware’s lifespan is a critical consideration for consumers.
E-waste is the world’s fastest growing waste stream and only a fraction of devices are diverted from landfills and managed by certified e-waste recyclers. Effectively implemented, these changes could be a big step forward in the shift to a circular economy of electronics and a greener future.