Aug 11 - Safer Cell Phones Spin Green into Gold

The expansion of toxic substance regulations in electronics is finally pushing producers into compliance. The threat to lose major markets to these regulations is not the only motivation: compliance not only puts a marketable green stamp on a brand, but also makes it easier and thus more profitable to recover valuable materials from electronics post-mortem. Michal Lev-Ram of Business 2.0 Magazine reports:

SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0 Magazine) -- It's not easy being green. But for cell-phone companies like Nokia, Motorola, and Palm, the alternative seems to be going into the red.

New regulations about electronic waste in parts of the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere are forcing handset makers to pursue innovative recycling programs and consider introducing phones that contain less toxic material. Indeed, some countries are considering punitive fines for manufacturers of phones and other electronics that don't meet these standards.

As a result, eco-conscious policies that were once just good public relations now make plenty of financial sense as well.

"Corporate social responsibility is a major driver for pursuing electronics waste recycling, because it enhances the company's image in the market," says Hari Ramamoorthy, a research analyst with business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. "But being compliant with [electronic-waste] directives across borders is also going to enable better access to global markets."

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