Creating Eco-conscious Products

Environmental Compliance of Products


Incorporating the global environmental laws and regulations into design technologies and complying with them, with the full collaboration of the supply chain

In recent years, various environmental laws and regulations have been introduced at both the national and regional levels, with the aim of reducing power consumption and raw material usage during the entire life cycle of products, as well as preventing leakage of harmful substances to the environment during the production and disposal phases. The product areas covered and chemical substances regulated by these laws and regulations have been expanding year after year.

As a global company with operations in more than 40 countries and regions, the Brother Group believes that compliance with environmental laws and regulations is the foundation of environmental risk management and product competitiveness. The Brother Group has developed activities in line with the Brother Group Environmental Action Plan 2021(2019─2021), in order to ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations in all the countries and regions in which we operate and to quickly prevent pollution and reduce environmental impact with high ethical standards. Furthermore, the Brother Group is continuously strengthening our framework for quickly responding to the trends in the regulations on chemical substances and energy-saving regulations on products around the world, and is also striving to offer eco-conscious products before new regulations come into force. These steps enable the entire group to comply with environmental laws and regulations accurately and quickly, leading to enhanced sales and service activities. We are also taking steps to respond to societal demands related to the environment, in addition to environmental laws and regulations.

To deliver environmentally conscious products, environmentally conscious parts and materials must be used. When procuring parts and materials, suppliers are asked to deliver parts and materials in accordance with the Brother Group Green Procurement Standards. Also, the Brother Group conducts audits on suppliers at least every three years to check their management systems and operations related to environmental laws and regulations. Suppliers are required to make necessary improvements and guarantee that the goods that they supply meet the standards.

Green Procurement

Compliance with the RoHS Directive in different countries and regions

The RoHS Directive is an EU law that took effect in July 2006, banning the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. In response to this directive, the Brother Group worked with suppliers to build Brother's unique environmental information system, which is used to investigate, avoid, and manage chemical substances contained in products. In line with the subsequent revision, the Brother Group established a system to create technical documents and Declarations of Conformity (DoC) in 2012. Furthermore, we also completed measures to handle the banned substances added in 2019.
Meanwhile, since 2007, many countries and regions including China and South Korea have introduced laws and regulations that reflect the regulations of the RoHS Directive on hazardous substances contained in electrical and electronic equipment, a trend that is expected to continue. The Brother Group is properly ensuring compliance with the laws and regulations in these countries and regions.

Compliance with the REACH Regulation (EU)

REACH is the EU Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It came into force in June 2007 for chemical substances that are manufactured or imported. The Brother Group completed registration of chemical substances determined applicable at that time by the June, 2018 deadline. Since then, we have been continuing to check for additional chemical substances requiring registration.
In EU countries, there are various obligations related to the SVHC (Content of Substances of Very High Concern) in products. The Brother Group improved the environmental information system to facilitate the investigation of SVHC content. In FY2009 (April 1, 2009-March 31, 2010), the Brother Group set up a system for collecting data from suppliers to improve disclosure of information on SVHC content.
In FY2010 (April 1, 2010-March 31, 2011), the Brother Group developed a system for calculating the SVHC content in products and reporting it to the appropriate agency as necessary. Meanwhile, safety data sheets (SDSs) have been translated into EU languages and have been published on the website.
In FY2012 (April 1, 2012-March 31, 2013), the SDSs were revised to comply with the revised REACH Regulation.

Compliance with energy-saving regulations in respective countries and regions

The Ecodesign Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive (formerly, the Energy-using Products (EuP) Directive, which came into effect in 2005, and was revised in 2009) was set up as a framework that requires the eco-conscious design of energy-related products sold in the EU to help prevent global warming. The Brother Group uses the data in the environmental information system to calculate life cycle assessment (LCA) results for the entire product life cycle and facilitate eco-conscious design, thereby ensuring quick compliance with the directive.
Energy-saving technologies for applicable products were developed, and relevant procedures for product environmental impact assessments were updated for "imaging equipment (Lot 4)," "standby and off-mode losses (Lot 6)," "external power supply (Lot 7)," and "networked standby losses of energy using products" (Lot 26) (these are categories into which Brother's products fall) to put in place a framework for compliance. A system is in place to ensure compliance.
Countries and regions outside the EU have increasingly introduced laws and regulations requiring eco-conscious design and set energy conservation standards in respective product areas.
The Brother Group has taken quick action to meet these laws and regulations.

Compliance with the WEEE Directive, etc.

The WEEE Directive is an EU law that requires the collection and 3Rs of (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) of used electrical and electronic equipment. Member countries, distributors, producers, and other entities are required to fulfill the requirements in the design, sorting, collection, and recycling phases. The Brother Group complies with the WEEE Directive using collection and recycling routes in place in respective member countries.
Additionally, WEEE-based laws have been passed in various countries and regions, primarily in Asia. For example, South Korea has passed the Act on the Promotion of Saving and Recycling of Resources, and India, E-Waste (Management) Rules. The Brother Group obtains the latest information through our sales companies in respective countries and regions, as well as manufacturers' associations, and information services, etc., and establishes a collection and recycling system in line with the requirements to ensure legal compliance.
The Brother Group also joins with partners in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan to collect and recycle e-waste on a voluntary basis.

Efforts to prevent illegal logging (EU and Australia)

The EU Timber Regulation and Australia's Illegal Logging Prohibition Act prohibit placing timber products (including paper products) derived from illegally harvested timber on the market. The regulations also require investigations and assessments of suppliers to prevent mixing of illegally harvested timber. The Brother Group collects information from suppliers about inkjet and thermal paper as well as paper packaging materials including product package boxes, and confirms the legality of timber used as a raw material.

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