The MEM industry is committed to the efficient use of resources. Manufacturing processes and products are designed to use resources as efficiently as possible. New technologies offer opportunities that must be seized. At the same time it is important to minimize the risks.
Resource efficiency is relevant to production processes as well as during the life of the products. MEM products can also provide the technology for manufacturing consumer and other products with the most efficient use of resources. Swissmem is a member of the advisory board of the Reffnet association, which supports companies in their efforts to use resources efficiently. www.reffnet.ch
Swissmem has participated in a project on rare metals led by Ernst Basler & Partner and co-funded by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). A tool was developed to carry out resource checks on these metals and highlight the options for SMEs. www.metal-risk-check.ch
Nanotechnology could lead to numerous innovations in the future, including in the area of resource efficiency. Developments and applications are already in the pipeline. In view of the opportunities presented by nanomaterials, any unfounded reluctance to use them needs to be kept in proportion.
Of course, new technologies must meet safety requirements for human beings and the environment. The risks of nanomaterials need to be clarified, while at the same time it is important to manufacture or improve protective tools. Prejudice is counterproductive and throws unnecessary obstacles in the way of innovative companies. Where necessary, additional internationally agreed regulations need to be adopted within the existing legislation on chemicals.
Dr. Christine Roth
Manager Environmental Policy
Telephone +41 44 384 48 07