“Ideas are the juice that powers our economy with innovation happening fast on multiple technology fronts,” writes Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) ®, in the introduction of the publication, Five Technology Trends to Watch in 2015. “Rapid developments are in play in areas as diverse as 3D printing, Ultra HD, sensors, health care, automotive electronics, agriculture, transportation, biotech and genetic mapping. The $211 billion consumer electronics (CE) industry is at the vanguard of innovation.”
This is just one of the many publications and white papers that the Consumer Electronics Association, the preeminent trade association of the electronics industry, offers to its members. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. CEA serves as a predictor of innovation in electronics, but is also an advocate for responsible electronics recycling and sensible energy efficiency policies, among other sustainability issues.
The Consumer Electronics Association became a NERC Sustaining Advisory Member in 2011. As of January 2015, CEA has increased its level of membership to Benefactor. It is also a Sponsor of the State Electronics Challenge and very active in the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse – national programs offered by NERC.
Consumer Electronics and Being Green
Knowledge is power. CEA believes that by empowering consumers with actionable information on how to live green, buy green, and recycle responsibly, millions of people can lower their energy consumption, shrink their carbon footprint, and reduce waste - all while saving money. This guiding vision led to the creation of CEA’s eCycling Leadership Initiative and GreenerGadgets.org.
Through CEA, the consumer electronics industry is operating the first-ever industry-wide electronics recycling initiative with the goal of recycling one billion pounds of electronics annually by 2016. The eCycling Leadership Initiative seeks to improve consumer awareness of the over 8,000 collection sites currently sponsored by industry; increase the amount of electronics recycled responsibly; increase the number of collection opportunities available; and provide transparent metrics on ecycling efforts. One billion pounds of electronics would fill about 89 million cubic feet, equivalent to an entire 71,000-seat NFL stadium. The Initiative was launched in 2011, and as of the end of 2014, more than two billion pounds of electronics were responsibly recycled.
Another CEA program - GreenerGadgets.org – provides consumers an easy way to search online by zip code to find a place to responsibly recycle their electronics, and features a clever application to calculate energy usage in your home. The drag and drop calculator is easy to use and works in real time calculating use of energy in these areas: computing and wireless, entertainment, home office, and telecommunications (cell phone and wireless home phone systems). The application will calculate your energy use score in these categories and provide tips on how to reduce your energy use. CEA also produces public service announcements and lesson plans on electronics recycling, all available for free download.
CEA recognizes that we all have a stake in finding solutions for sustainable materials management and diminishing natural resources. The global economy is also a global eco-system, and it's never been more important to share the responsibility of preserving our planet.
This is why the Consumer Electronics Association produces and disseminates numerous reports and studies on sustainability and green initiatives, including the CEA 2013 Sustainability Report. The reports also provide transparency on the consumer electronics industry's sustainability practices. While these reports illustrate creative strides toward the goal of sustainability, CEA recognizes that there is still much more to be done.
CEA in the Global Arena
CEA is perhaps most well-known for the International CES, held annually in January in Las Vegas; it is the world’s largest innovation “green” event featuring over 150,000 retail buyers, scores of media analysts, and press coverage from over 150 countries.
CEA also sponsors a variety of events and awards programs designed to educate consumers and unite manufacturers, retailers and market movers. CEA makes an ongoing effort to grow the consumer electronics industry by developing essential industry standards to enable interoperability between new products hitting the market and existing devices.
CEA Working for Change
In Washington, D.C. and state capitals nationwide, legislation and regulations that impact the consumer electronics industry are being considered every day. CEA Government and Legal Affairs, the legislative voice for consumer electronics, actively advises, lobbies and reports on federal, state and international consumer electronics policy on behalf of its members and the industry.
With more than 70 committees, subcommittees and working groups and roughly 1,100 participants, the CEA Technology & Standards program maintains an unmatched reputation as a credible and flexible standards making body accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Walter Alcorn, Vice President of Environmental Affairs and Industry Sustainability commented that “CEA is delighted to be able to support NERC and its outstanding initiatives.” He added that “CEA is happy to continue our relationship with NERC, working to serve our common goals of innovation and sustainable materials management.”