SVTC’s Mission For A Sustainable Future
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) is a diverse organization engaged in research, advocacy and grassroots organizing to promote human health and environmental justice in response to the rapid growth of the high-tech industry.
We envision a toxic-free future, where each new generation of technical improvements in electronic products includes parallel and proportionate advances in social and environmental justice. Our goal is environmental sustainability and clean production, improved health, and democratic decision-making for communities and workers most affected by the high-tech revolution.
Vision for a Sustainable Technology
The high-tech industry was born and thrives on innovation, creating products that inspire our imagination. We would never want to turn back the clock on the technology revolution. However, this revolution has come at great cost to communities around the globe who suffer from high-tech pollution and related health problems associated with electronics production and disposal. SVTC works to hold the industry accountable and shift to a more environmentally sustainable model, harnessing its dazzling ingenuity to create electronics that are toxic-free and completely recyclable. SVTC works locally in Silicon Valley, nationally and internationally to research the effects of electronics manufacturing and electronic waste, inform consumers on responsible electronics purchasing and recycling, and amplify the voice of those most impacted by the high-tech revolution.
Click here to learn about SVTC Sustainable Technology Work.
Vision for Sustainable Communities in Silicon Valley
SVTC is located in Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the high-tech revolution and origin of many electronics manufacturing facilities. High-tech workers and the communities surrounding those facilities suffered from dramatic health problems from toxic exposure. Those communities came together to hold the industry accountable, create more stringent environmental protections, and move the EPA to create 29 priority Superfund sites, the highest concentration in the nation. Since then, the industry has moved much of its manufacturing oversees where labor is cheaper and environmental protections weaker. However, the industry still employs thousands of service sector workers such as janitors, gardeners and cafeteria workers. These low wage jobs are held primarily by immigrants and people of color, and because of low pay they are often forced to live in polluted areas, in sub-standard housing, far from grocery stores that sell fresh produce. SVTC works with people from those areas to create more sustainable communities that have quality air, affordable housing and access to health care and quality food.
Vision for Sustainable Communities Around the Globe
As in Silicon Valley, similar stories have arisen from the far corners of the world about the dangers of high-tech production and the dumping of e-waste. Rice patties and groundwater supplies in China have been contaminated by high-tech manufacturing, endangering community food and water systems. E-waste has been sent to places like India and Nigeria where it is burned or buried. Electronics manufacturing and recycling workers’ often develop cancer, reproductive problems, miscarriages and illnesses. And wherever the high-tech industry exists, it often leaves a wake of unintended collateral damage. Unfortunately, it is often the most impoverished workers and communities of color who are disproportionately affected. However, by working together, communities around the globe have held the industry accountable to consider public health and our environment, and shift towards greater sustainability for high-tech communities.
Click here to learn more about SVTC’s Global Work.