Sole-supplier agreement sees Guernsey-based electronics company boost sustainability

2 min read

Guernsey-based CEM Offshore Electronics has committed to sustainable PCB sourcing and manufacturing through its exclusive supplier agreement with NCAB Group.

NCAB Group has conformed to ISO 26000 since 2014, the international standard that focuses on corporate responsibility. Using his framework, the company has divided its operations into three core areas: supply chain, employees and customers. This approach not only ensures its raw materials are sourced sustainably and transported using green logistics, but also safeguards human rights and social conditions when partnering with factories in other markets. The company will not work with suppliers who fail to observe these requirements.

By signing a sole-source supply agreement, Offshore Electronics now effectively adheres to the same standards, extending efforts to minimise its own impact on the environment. Unusable parts that cannot be added to assemblies, for example, are recycled at local facilities, diverting large amounts of waste from landfill. These kinds of changes are outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, which recommends the adoption of ‘circular economy’ principles to better manage the industry’s impact across the world.

Jack Lucas, Purchasing Manager at Offshore Electronics, said: “We are committed to improving how we do business and look at every aspect of operations to see where changes can be made. NCAB’s adherence to ISO 26000 is a positive development in this respect, helping us to make progress on our own sustainability efforts. Our sole-source agreement is somewhat counterintuitive given current supply conditions, but NCAB’s exceptional work and commitment to high ethical and environmental standards made it an easy decision to make. Offshore will continue to crack down on waste and explore other ways to further its CSR agenda.”

Offshore Electronics signed its agreement with NCAB Group in June 2021, in a move designed to secure supplies in the face worldwide shortages. Supply of PCBs has been severely impacted by several competing issues in recent years, including reduced manufacturing capacity in China, increased demand for electronic goods and a limited supply of the raw materials. The agreement consolidates all of Offshore’s PCB procurement for its contract manufacturing facility in Guernsey, where it makes PCBAs for voice alarm systems, ventilators, and torque/force testing equipment. The business originally had four separate suppliers but now works with NCAB exclusively.

Ryan Pellow, General Manager at NCAB Group, added: “NCAB adheres to the principles of ISO 26000 to ensure a positive example is set in an industry known to produce high volumes of waste. Every year tonnes of electronics are sent to landfill, so it’s critical to redirect waste back into production where possible. Supply chain issues also highlight the need for ethical practices, where pressure can lead to poor worker conditions. Our agreement with Offshore Electronics typifies a new way of thinking for the electronics industry, and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure both companies’ standards remain high.”