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32 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2020 Feature by Harry Kennedy NCAB GROUP Typically, when sustainability is mentioned, it refers to how a product is disposed of after its usable life. But being green is more than keeping pollution out of the environment; sus- tainability has many different aspects to it, but some are overlooked. One example is social impacts like employee treatment. For a process like PCB manufactur- ing, thinking sustainably is important—since the process can result in a lot of wasted materi- al and chemicals that can negatively impact the environment—but it's also so much more; it in- cludes an entire business model and strategy. If you're not set up for long-term success within the supply chain, you, your customers, and your suppliers are all at risk. The entire supply chain must be built into this strategy. A Strategy Built Around a Sustainable Supply Chain When choosing a PCB supplier, how do you differentiate between the available options that may look the same at first glance? Do they produce reliably with a quality-first ap- proach? Further, one very important question that should be highly considered is what if you need to move products from a particular fac- tory for some reason? Is there an ability to do this seamlessly, or will your production line be held up? Having to move PCB products from one fac- tory to another is more common than it may seem. There are various reasons for this. Per- haps the quality at a specific factory or with- in a specific technology is beginning to cause a defective product, or maybe there's a trade war or other geopolitical issue that impacts the product availability or cost. There could also be a catastrophic natural disaster impacting a factory's ability to produce, leaving the supply chain exposed at a critical time. We must be able to respond to situations that are out of our control by proactively implementing a sustain- able solution that we can control. Again, if there's a natural or political disas- ter—and a certain region in the world is im- pacted where businesses must cease opera- tions—do your supply chain partners have A Sustainable Supply Chain for Lowest Total Cost Jenny Zhang, sustainability manager, NCAB Group China, checking chemical handling and storage during a sustainability audit.

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