Neopost product ranges meet environmental requirements
During the past decade environmental regulations have been tightened in many areas, particularly for all manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment, such as Neopost. These regulations include:
- Restrictions on the use of hazardous substances (ROHS)
- Restrictions on the use of chemical substances (REACH)
- Cutting energy consumption (Energy Star and ErP)
- Proper control over products and their waste management at the end of their service life (WEEE)
Ever since it announced its eco-design strategy back in 2007, Neopost has done far more than simply adhere strictly to the regulations. The company has also opted to comply with even stricter regulations applied in many of the countries where its mailing solutions are offered (franking machines, envelope-stuffing systems, etc.).
RoHS - Restricting the use of hazardous substances
The RoHS European Directive (Restriction of the use of Hazardous Substances – 2002/95/EC) forbids the sale, in the European Union, of new electrical and electronic equipment that contains non-approved levels of six hazardous substances: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBB (polybrominated biphenyl) and PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ether). Passed in 2003, this directive came into effect on 1st July 2006 and applies to all products sold since that date.
Neopost has applied RoHS to all of its mailing solutions (franking machines, envelope-stuffing systems, etc.) since 2006. This relates both to its new products, as well as to any reconditioned products that potentially contain parts from previous generations of machines in use before the date on which the directive came into effect.
RoHS regulations continue to evolve extending the range of products to which they apply and information relating to those products. From 2013, the introduction of the revised RoHS Directive (2011/65/EU) will tighten constraints on manufacturers of electrical and electronic goods still further. By adopting an eco-design policy, Neopost has given itself the means to keep one step ahead of future changes to the directive.
REACH - Monitoring the use of chemical substances
The REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals) relates to the use of chemicals in the European Community and monitor how they are used. The aim is to help safeguard the health of people and protect the environment. Passed by the European Parliament at the end of 2006, REACH is directly applicable within the European Union and came into effect from July 2007.
Under REACH, manufacturers are required to keep accurate records of how chemicals are used in their products.
As a result, Neopost check the chemical composition of the components used in its mailing solutions. To make this possible, it is vital to have precise and detailed exchanges with our subcontractors in order to collect material analysis certificates, material safety data sheets and laboratory test results.
Active technical monitoring also enables us to keep track of innovative new components as and when they emerge, as well as any danger they may pose and the extent to which they are able to replace more harmful components.
Neopost is also committed to eliminating as soon as possible the use of more dangerous substances, known as SVHCs (Substances of Very High Concern) in all of its machines (franking machines, envelope-stuffing systems, etc.).
EnergyStar - Cutting the amount of energy consumed by equipment
The Energy Star label, which originated in America, was created by EPA US (Environmental Protection Agency US). It was then recognised by the European Union through a range of framework agreements. The Energy Star label sets out the energy consumption criteria so that office equipment can be produced to achieve optimum energy efficiency. Of course this efficiency depends on the electricity consumption of the operating devices and whether it has a standby mode or not. All manufacturers and the level of efficiency of their models are catalogued in a database that is accessible to consumers. www.energystar.gov
Since it introduced its eco-design policy in 2006, Neopost has naturally made the energy efficiency of its franking machines and mailing solutions one of its main concerns. The results speak for themselves:
- From one generation of franking machine to the next (IS-480 vs IJ-70) electricity consumption fell by 50%
- All machines are now compliant with Energy Star Imaging Equipment V1.2
- 4 kg of CO2 equivalent saved per year per machine, 3,200(*) tons saved across a total of 80,000 machines (i.e. 3200 return flights between Paris and New-York, source: ADEME, in “Analyses of Technology Life Cycles – Electronic Mail, Web Survey, USB Key: What are the impacts on the environment”, July 2011)
(*) If we apply the efforts achieved in energy consumption to all of the franking machines installed in the world
Erp - An Eco-design directive to limit energy consumption while a machine is in use
The ErP (Energy-related Products) eco-design directive provides a framework for eco-design processes applied to products that consume energy throughout their life cycles – from the selection of raw materials through to final recycling, including manufacture, transportation and, of course, use. Incorporated as part of the “CE” community marking policy, ErP came into effect in 2009 through a range of measures.
The introduction of this directive is based on considerations that are technical, environmental and economic. It takes the form of requirements based essentially on the amount of energy a product consumes in use. These requirements vary according to the nature of the products.
Several categories of Neopost machines (envelope-stuffer type DS-35 and franking machines with an external power supply type IJ-25) are affected by the directive because of the amount of electricity they consume. More specifically, Neopost needs to make sure that the energy output of its external power supplies during usage is greater than 85%, while their consumption in prolonged standby mode is less than 0.3 W. From 2012, Neopost has undertaken to fit some of its machines from the envelope-stuffer range with “Standby and Off” modes, which wil enable machines to switch automatically to standby mode.