Sustainability of electronic products until recently mainly focused on improving the energy efficiency. Recently, resource efficiency has become of growing importance. Due to the use of relatively small amounts of many valuable and scarce materials, often intimately mixed, the design of electronic products deserves specific attention. From a materials perspective measures are needed to improve on recyclability. In addition to the use of recyclable materials, the ability to break connections between materials that are not compatible in recycling processes is crucial. Environmentally and economically more interesting than recovery of materials is the reuse of components or products. To enable multiple product lifecycles, product design should also explicitly address maintenance, upgradeability, modularity and disassembly. Design guidelines will be presented and challenges with respect to impact assessment and business model development will be discussed.
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