PWB Environmental Life Cycle Analysis 2

Building on the results from phase 1 of the project the Phase 2 will develop a more flexible PWB fabrication Green House Gas (GHG) emissions calculator. It will have added capability to support advanced/emerging PWB materials. Phase 2 will also raise greater industry awareness of the project and engage with other organizations / companies. We will also increase industry awareness by external publication.

Project stage: 
Lead company: 
TTM Technologies

If you are interested in participating in this project:

Members - Go to the "Subscribe Here" section to the right and select the "Subscribe to space" key.

Non Members - Go to the "Contact" section to the right and select the "Contact project facilitator" key.

Idea Information



The electronics industry has become increasingly environmentally conscious in the way it designs and manufactures consumer products. Early drivers for this change came from global legislation to eliminate the use of hazardous substances and promote responsible disposal and recycling of end-of-life products. More recently product design and in service energy consumption have been the focus of legislation. While these initiatives sought to drive universal compliance, many producers have in parallel adopted a more pro-active approach to reducing the environmental impact of their activities. Most major corporations now have in place sustainability policies that influence business decisions and promote environmentally sound behavior. Moreover, consumers are becoming increasingly cognizant of environmental issues and, according to recent surveys, when purchasing a product (with all other product details being similar) customers are increasingly likely to favor a brand that has green credentials.


Recent studies within the industry indicate that the manufacturing stage of electronic products (particularly consumer products with relatively short in-service lifetimes) contributes a significant percentage of their overall lifetime GHG emissions, and that the fabrication of the bare printed wiring board (PWB) in particular accounts for much of this total. However current available environmental data focusing on the PWB fabrication process is somewhat limited. An HDP User Group project team therefore recognized that there would be tangible benefits to both the organization and the industry as a whole if a study was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the environmental impact of PWBs.



 The initial calculator, while giving an excellent insight into how different designs resulted in different levels of green house emissions, can be improved. Data from other plants would strengthen the model but the team found that most manufacturers mix technologies in their facilities so this is not possible. We see the need to quantify the impact of new laminate materials some which require higher energy to manufacture. It would also be a benefit to publisize the model in order to highlight HDP’s environmental work.


Definition Information

Goals / Benefits: 

Building on the results from phase 1 of the project, develop a more flexible PWB fabrication GHG emissions calculator with the following improvements:

  • Capablitiy to work with new laminate materials.
  • Demonstrate how it can be used with product emulators to determine a product level impact.
  • Perform additional validation of the model and fix bugs found with additional use.


The project will add additional flexibility and capability to the tool developed in phase 1. This will make it more effective in allowing designers and environmental mangers to better approximate Global Warming Potential (GWP) impact of PWB designs produced/procured by their company and enable more environmentally conscious design decisions.

Empirical energy and water use data both on HDI and conventional PWB fabrication process, which previously has not existed, will be provided. We will demonstrate how this can be used to look at a complete product by partnering with the Product Attribute Impact Algorithm (PAIA) on product emulators

Industry awareness of this tool as well as the environmental improvement efforts made by our membership will be increased.


High level objectives: 


       Collaborate with PAIA and integrate the phase 1 tool with their product emulator tools. (Desktop, Notebook, AiO, Displays and Tablet.)  Share results of emulator analysis with and solicit there help in having their vendors provide PWB fabrication CO2, Energy and Water use data.  


       Generate technical paper based on phase 1 work for publication in environmental technology journal.


       Incorporate alternative for choosing various laminate materials into model.   







Key Participants: 
Isola Group
TTM Technologies