CTA Report: Tech Industry Leading the Way Toward a More Sustainable Future

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ARLINGTON, VA — The consumer technology industry is leading the world toward a more sustainable future through innovation and key initiatives in critical areas including waste reduction, energy efficiency, responsible recycling and more, according to the Consumer Technology Association's (CTA) 2017 Sustainability Report.

The latest biennial report outlines how innovators have become a driving force in sustainability by establishing greener operations and creating products that are smaller, lighter and more energy efficient than ever.

"Innovation is one of our greatest tools for improving lives and protecting the environment for generations to come," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. "As our report details, consumer technology companies are helping reduce waste, combat climate change and improve energy efficiency - all while meeting consumer demand for the latest and greatest technology. Our devices are getting smaller and lighter, and using fewer materials and less energy. The tech industry's commitment to addressing environmental challenges has never been more apparent."

CTA's newest sustainability report explores the consumer technology industry's leadership in advancing eco-friendly practices and goals. The report includes stories and insights from global tech companies including Best Buy, Google, Qualcomm and Samsung, to showcase accomplishments in a variety of categories such as energy consumption, recycling and resource conservation.

Highlights from the report include:

E-Waste Milestone: A 2016 report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finds consumer electronics have the fastest growing recycling rate of any product category in the United States.

Energy Efficiency: Tech devices account for 25% less residential energy in the U.S. than they did in 2010, even as the number of these devices in homes has increased 21% since that time.

Recycling: More than four billion pounds of consumer electronics have been recycled through the industry's eCycling Leadership Initiative. Consumer tech companies have spent approximately $1 billion to promote recycling, more than any other industry with a consumer-facing product.

Voluntary Agreements: The industry-led voluntary agreement to improve the energy efficiency of set-top boxes has saved consumers $2.1 billion and avoided 11.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions since 2012.

Renewable Energy: Ten of CTA's largest member companies have committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy, including Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, eBay, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Phillips and Ricoh.

Materials: Even as the number of devices has increased, the total mass of U.S. tech devices has declined each year for the past decade. Harmful materials, such as lead, have been replaced by innocuous materials in new consumer tech products including televisions and computer monitors.

Water Consumption: Manufactures are establishing commitments to reduce water use and minimize consumption in water-stressed regions across the globe.

Internet of Things (IoT): 15% of U.S. homes now use smart home devices, which have the potential to reduce residential energy consumption by up to 10%.

"Consumer technology also reduces the environmental impact of other industries," said Walter Alcorn, vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability, CTA. "Homes now waste less energy because of home automation systems and office workers who telecommute do not contribute to vehicle exhaust emissions. Consumer tech innovation has even powered an entirely new industry - the sharing economy - that uses existing and otherwise wasted space and resources."

The CTA 2017 Sustainability Report is available only through electronic distribution to minimize energy consumption and conserve paper resources. An interactive, easy-to-navigate version of the report is available online at CTA.Tech. To help the tech industry in its commitment to greater sustainability, visit GreenerGadgets.org for tips on how to live green, buy green and recycle responsibly all year long.