Efficient Carbon Footprinting of Electronics

Principal Investigator: Elsa Olivetti

Project Description: Professor Olivetti’s research involves quantifying the environmental impact of the electronics and the supply chains that manufacture these products. Robust quantification methods are needed to inform carbon mitigation policies being considered by government entities. The IPL is assisting in translating and disseminating Professor Olivetti’s research to public policymakers. 

Impact: The PI traveled to Washington DC in July and met contacts from the semiconductor industry and with EPA staff from the Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, Energy Star Program, and Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program. In October, she traveled to China to meet with the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the Chinese standards associations. While there she participated in expert panel and developed additional contacts related to environmental assessment of electronics. Through this work the PI was able to connect people in the Taiwanese government to the appropriate people in the EPA beginning to think about how to use this research to develop labeling requirements. This has led to several things: 1) the improvement of data collection by industry associations in this area 2) more accurate assessment of uncertainty in the tools they are using and 3) extensions of her research into the area of assessing carbon abatement potential.

IPL Support: The IPL helped draft a single page memo describing the PI’s research which she used in the meetings listed above. In addition, IPL staff contacted staff at the Council on Environmental Quality who confirm that the PI had identified the correct contacts within the U.S. Federal government. The IPL provided strategy for outreach ahead of the trip to China.