Epson and the Environment
Epson gives preference to lower-impact alternatives when selecting the components and raw materials that make up its products.
- Management of Chemical Substances in Products
- Examples of Management of Chemical Substances in Products
Management of Chemical Substances in Products
Increasing international restrictions on substances used in products, notably the RoHS Directive and REACH regulation in Europe, have made it essential to closely control the type and quantity of materials used. Epson systematically controls product substance content at the purchasing, production, and shipping stages to ensure compliance with these restrictions.
- Instruct suppliers to comply with the requirements stated in the Epson Group Green Purchasing Standard for Production Materials*1.
- Exclude substances that are subject to legal, regulatory, or other restrictions, and obtain information about substances contained in parts and materials.
- Confirm that no restricted substances are present in parts and materials before producing products. (Analyze parts and materials using x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer.)
- Confirm that restricted substances have not been used in products before they are shipped.
*1 A written standard that sets forth requirements for the building and maintenance of a substance control system by suppliers who provide parts and materials used in Epson products. The standard also defines requirements relating to the elimination or exclusion of legally restricted substances and requirements for providing information on substances present in parts and materials.
At Epson, we prioritize purchases that meet our original green product standards. These apply not only to chemicals that go into our products but also office equipment and supplies used by Epson employees. Since April 2007, we have purchased paper products according to the Epson Group Paper Product Procurement Policy. World Wildlife Fund Japan provided expert and objective input during the creation of this policy.
Examples of Management of Chemical Substances in Products
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
More and more nations are regulating chemicals. We investigate regulations and chemical hazards as early as possible, analyze the information we obtain, and then supply products accordingly.
- Measures for Meeting the RoHS Directive*1
Epson has made compatibility with the European RoHS directive a standard feature of its entire lineup of products throughout the world, regardless of whether a particular product is bound for the European market or not.
Phthalate esters (DEHP, BBP, DBP, and DIBP) will be added to the list of restricted substances in July 2019. Epson began looking into alternatives to these substances in 2009 and by March 2014 had eliminated them from all but a few industrial products and products in inventory.
*1 The European RoHS Directive restricts the use of the following six hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)
- Actions for REACH Compliance
Epson has stayed compliant with the requirements of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) legislation in Europe.
Under REACH, companies that manufacture or import chemical substances must register them in a central database. If a product contains harmful substances (such as substances of very high concern), the company must disclose the substances, notify government authorities, and search for alternatives. Moving forward, we will continue to use our substance content framework to thoroughly and efficiently meet our legal and societal obligations, as well as the needs of our customers.
We make information on the chemicals used in ink available to customers in the form of safety data sheets (SDS) published in 23 European languages.
- Response to GHS*2
The United Nations declared in 2003 that a unified set of rules was needed worldwide on the hazards and appropriate handling of chemicals for consumers and dealers. Different nations have enshrined these rules as law and made them obligatory at different times. Epson has responded to the rules as they apply to affected ink cartridges, toner cartridges, and ribbon cartridges.
By 2020, about 100 countries and regions will require GHS compliance.
*2 GHS (the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals) provides a unified, worldwide set of rules on harmful chemical substances. It harmonizes classification standards and labels for the hazards associated with individual chemicals and the way safety data sheets are written.
Providing Ink for All Types of Printed Matter
We provide inks with safe chemical properties as required for products made with inkjet technology (labels, stickers, fabric, etc.).
- The Highest Level of Textile Product Safety
Eco Passport*3 certification
Epson's textile printer inks*4 have acquired Eco Passport certification, indicating that they meet international safety standards for chemical substances used in textile production. Even printed textiles that directly contact the skin of infants and toddlers are safe.
*3 Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex® is a system by which textile chemical suppliers demonstrate that their products can be used in sustainable textile production.
*4 UltraChrome DS inks for textile printers, UltraChrome DG inks and dedicated fabric processing agents for garment printers, digital textile printer inks.
Switching to Safer Materials (e.g. Eliminating Harmful Substances)
Epson standards specify substances that are prohibited from inclusion in products, and substances whose inclusion must be controlled. Information on these substances is collected and managed in a database. This database is used to ensure safety in all processes, from design and procurement to volume production. Epson is proactive in eliminating from its products substances that could adversely affect the environment or human health.