Mission

The Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI) is dedicated to the development and implementation of a more sustainable system for designing, producing, using, and managing electronic devices.

SEI is part of the Sponsored Research Program at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC). ISTC is a Division of the Prairie Research Institute on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. SEI is geared toward conducting and sponsoring research, as well as integrating principles of sustainability into the curricula and educational experiences of engineers, industrial designers, computer scientists and others involved in the design, manufacture, consumption, and end-of-life management of electronic products. With its location on the UIUC campus, SEI is well positioned to work with the academic community to address electronic product life cycle issues and sustainability, as well as to involve students in such considerations via internships and research projects. SEI will continue to facilitate networking and information sharing among educators around the world who are interested in incorporating sustainability into their curricula via resources shared on the SEI web site; webinars; case studies and experiences shared in the SEI Blog; and assistance for educators in finding relevant information related to sustainable electronics and sustainability for education. SEI will also support public education through fact sheets, videos, blog posts and resource compilations intended to assist consumers in understanding the environmental, social and economic issues surrounding electronic products. Industry education will be supported through research; webinars; and online resources on best practices, compliance, and other issues.

For additional information on educational opportunities, resources for educators, or to suggest a subject to feature in a SEI webinar, fact sheet, or other web resource, contact SEI Education Coordinator, Joy Scrogum.

Researchers or industry representatives seeking collaborators, opportunities to share information on their sustainable electronics projects, or information on the ISTC Sponsored Research Program, should contact SEI Research Coordinator, Nancy Holm.

Established in 2009, SEI was originally conceived as a consortium with members including representatives of academia, non-profit organizations, government agencies, manufacturers, designers, refurbishers and recyclers. Specific elements envisioned for the SEI included programs for research, education, data management and technical assistance. The original purpose of SEI was to conduct collaborative research; facilitate networking and information exchange among participants; promote technology diffusion via demonstration projects; and provide forums for the discussion of policy and legislation. For more information on the original concepts behind SEI, see Strategies for Improving the Sustainability of E-Waste Management Systems, prepared by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.