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Key environmental impacts of the Chinese EEE industry - a life cycle assessment study

TitleKey environmental impacts of the Chinese EEE industry - a life cycle assessment study
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsEugster M, Hischier R, Duan H
Prepared forState Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
InstitutionSwiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa); Tsinghua University China
CitySt.Gallen / Switzerland; Beijing / China
AbstractChina plays a key role in the EEE industry and produces a significant share of the worldwide output. In 2006, 72 million notebook PCs and 229 million desktop PCs were sold worldwide (IDC 2007). China produces 77% of the global output of notebook PCs and 21% of desktop PCs respectively (NBSC 2006). In 2005, global shipments of CRT televisions were 158 million (Display 2007) whereas China has produced 79 million units or 50% (NBSC 2005). Additionally, a large amount of Chinas exports from the EEE industry are components and semi-finished products for final assembling in regional markets, in particular for desktop PCs.
The electronics industry is a major economic driver in China. Manufacturing of information and communication equipment make up 10.2% of the countries industrial output value and 6.3% of the industrial profits (NBSC 2006). In 2005, the Chinese electronics industry generated a trade surplus of 65.5 billion US$ or 64.2% of the country's total surplus (WTO 2006). The export share of notebook PCs and LCD monitors is 94% and 88% respectively, for LCD TVs, mobile phones and CRT monitors an export share higher than 70% is observed.
Undeniably, the EEE industry is highly relevant for the Chinese economy and seems to continue being important in the future. This study shall contribute to objectify the discussion on environmental sustainability of the Chinese EEE industry and shall provide a basis to identify intervention strategies for increasing the overall environmental performance of e-products.
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