Different criteria are examined over a product's entire life cycle, including the design phase. The criteria are subdivided into the following categories:
- Raw materials
The Eco Label vouches for the fact that Neopost has complied with the standard level of environmental performance for its automatic folding-inserting systems, mailing systems, address printers, and other hardware products.
The Eco Label includes key elements that aim to reduce or eliminate an impact on environment. This includes:
- the use of environmentally sensitive materials
- our choice of raw materials
- weight reduction
- energy savings
- life cycle extension (also called remanufacturing)
- end-of-life management
How to obtain the Eco Label
- Raw materials:
Management of hazardous substances contained in REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals) and RoHS (Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances) standards, in accordance with the regulations in force. User guide and documentation is printed on environmentally friendly paper (such as FSC = Forest Stewardship Council).
A product is Energy Star compliant or its energy consumption is managed by a standby mode that consumes < 0,5 Watts.
The power consumption [W] is stated for each mode (Run, Idle, Stand by, Off mode).
The energy consumption is stated in kWh for one year's use and in kWh per 10000 cycles.
The recovery rate is stated.
Optional Eco Label Criteria
- Raw material:
No REACH substances of very high concern (SVHC).
Contains 10% recycled plastic.
The recovery rate is in excess of 75%.
The product is at least 10% lighter than the previous version based on a product with similar functionality.
The packaging/to product volume ratio has improved by at least 10% OR the ratio is at least 2.5 AND not more than the previous version of the product.
At least 90% (in terms of weight) of the materials used in the packaging is made of recycled material or can be recycled.
The new product contains remanufactured parts (these parts enjoy the same warranties as new parts).
During the past decade environmental regulations have been tightened in many areas, particularly in the area of manufactured electrical and electronic equipment. These regulations include:
- Restrictions on the use of hazardous substances (ROHS)
- Monitoring the use of chemical substances (REACH)
- Cutting energy consumption (Energy Star)
- Limiting energy consumption while a machine is in use (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 adhering 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, and more).
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 July 1, 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.
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) tightened constraints on manufacturers of electrical and electronic goods still further. By adopting an eco-design policy, Neopost has given itself the means to stay one step ahead of future changes to the directive.
REACH - Monitoring the use of chemical substances
The REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) relates to the use of chemicals in the European Community and monitors 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 in July 2007.
Under REACH, manufacturers are required to keep accurate records of how chemicals are used in their products.
As a result, Neopost checks the chemical composition of the components used in its mailing solutions. To make this possible, it is vital to have precise and detailed conversations with our subcontractors in order to collect material analyses certificates, material safety data sheets and laboratory test results.
Regular 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 the use of more dangerous substances, known as SVHCs (Substances of Very High Concern) in all of its machines (franking machines, envelope-stuffing systems and more).
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) in 1992. It was subsequently recognized 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 they have 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 made the energy efficiency of its franking machines and mailing solutions one of its main priorities. The results speak for themselves:
- From one generation of franking machines 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 - Limiting 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 manufacturing, 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 enable machines to switch automatically to standby mode.
WEEE – Controlling Waste Management
The WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive - 2002/96/EC - was introduced in Europe in 2005. The aim of the directive is to reduce the environmental impact of products at the end of their lifecycles by instituting a system whereby the manufacturer takes the products back.
Eco-design is one of the ways in which manufacturers can comply with the legislation by making it possible for them to dismantle products or by facilitating their reconditioning.
Neopost has complied with the directive since 2005. Firstly by recovering all products at the end of their life cycles and implementing the applicable recycling rate of 75% for its mailing solutions (through recycling and improved energy efficiency), and secondly by employing a design process for its products that guarantees a recycling potential of 75% – a commitment that goes beyond the constraints set out in the WEEE Directive for machines in its category (Category 3).