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In Compliance Magazine - RoHS Status Article

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Article from IN Compliance Magazine\'s 2010 Annual Guide

Article from IN Compliance Magazine\'s 2010 Annual Guide

Published in Technology , Business
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  • 1. “It keeps going and going and going…” Environmental by Krista Botsford Botsford EcoTech Partners LLC B en Franklin: “Nothing can be said to be certain WHAT’S EXPECTED IN 2010? except death and taxes.” If Franklin were alive today, Remember “2010: A Space Odyssey” and the question – he would have many items to add to that statement. “What’s going to happen now?” No one has a crystal ball In the electronics industry – and its supply chains – to foresee the future, but there are some major changes a contemporary item he would include is product proceeding within the global product environmental environmental compliance. compliance space. The EU is revisiting the RoHS directive, China is working on their first RoHS product catalog, and Since the European Union (EU) passed the Restriction on many more jurisdictions are enacting take-back legislation for the use of certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste electronic waste. Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directives in 2003, the world has begun to pay more and more attention In addition to RoHS and WEEE-type legislations which to product environmental compliance. Eco-Compliance focus on electronics, some jurisdictions are investigating legislation impacting the electronics Industry and its supply and enacting more general regulations of chemicals and chains has grown exponentially. Jurisdictions implementing substances within products. Legislations such as EU REACH legislation that impacts the electronics industry include: and the California Green Chemistry Initiative focus on all China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, products, not just electronics. Columbia, Venezuela, Canada and United States of America. Many are similar to the European Union’s legislation; but RoHS – European Union none are using it verbatim. In the EU, the RoHS and WEEE directives are currently under recast – the EU term for rewrite and review. The first reading In addition to RoHS and WEEE legislations, the EU instituted is to be in early 2010. Some of the anticipated modifications an updated regulation regarding chemicals, mixtures, and are: articles. Registration, Evaluation, Authorization of Chemicals y Change in scope from specific categories to an open scope Regulation (REACH) began affecting the electronics industry of all electronics unless specifically excluded a few years ago, and has now become the basis for many y Recasting the RoHS Directive as a New Approach compliance activities. Directive (CE Mark) 106 IN Compliance 2010 Annual Guide www.incompliancemag.com
  • 2. “ I t ke e ps go i ng and going and going…” The discussion of open-scope will eliminate the electronics industry and its supply chain, REACH impacts misinterpretation of whether or not a particular product is all products. Though the main focus affects chemical and within the scope of EU RoHS. The discussion of including mixture manufacturers, it does have requirements for articles the RoHS directive within the New Approach directives will manufacturers (e.g. product manufacturers). There is still significantly impact how companies approach compliance debate over whether or not to include sub-components of going forward. If recast as a New Approach directive the products. RoHS directive will then require products to have CE certification and be labeled with the CE mark to indicate With REACH impacting the entire supply chain for compliance. This means companies will need to maintain and all products, it has solidified the movement of product be able to present supporting documentation to an auditor environmental compliance to a process based approach. when asked. Some highlights of REACH are listed below. Look for more information in the other articles in this issue for the specifics RoHS – People’s Republic of China of REACH and its Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs). Also expected in the first half of 2010 is the publication of China’s initial product catalog for its RoHS-type legislation. y Only a handful of SVHCs used within electronics A draft of the product catalog was published for comment in y Additional substances expected to be added annually October 2009. A brief comment period of 30 days allowed for Environmental industry review and input. As part of the draft publication, y Information disclosure required where SVHCs are present a timeline was given for publication of early 2010 – likely y Disclosure information for other substances once over February. Within the draft, an implementation period of threshold amounts. 10 months was drafted. Based on this, if the draft catalog is agreed to and published in early 2010, enforcement to the SUSTAINING COMPLIANCE new catalog could happen as early as 01 January 2011. When companies started working on RoHS compliance in Products included within the draft catalog were listed as: 2002-2003, most were taking the approach of “we’re going phones (land-line and mobile), computer printers and mobile to do this once and be done”. This is no longer the case: laws terminals. For each of the products listed within the catalog, are constantly changing and methods used by enforcement allowances for specific use of restricted substances were bodies are constantly evolving. The need for a process-based listed. These are very similar, though not exactly the same, approach is vital. Companies must be able to sustain, maintain as some of the exemptions allowed within the EU’s RoHS and adjust their program in a variety of ways. A proactive Directive and its amendments. approach, not simply reacting to changes, is a must to stay on the path of product environmental compliance. Chemicals Regulation – EU REACH The project-based approach of “one and done” has been As product environmental compliance continues to expand, debunked by many companies. Companies now have teams all roads are pointing towards chemicals regulation, of people working on product environment compliance, not such as the EU’s REACH Regulation. Not unique to the just component engineers gathering data sheets. In 2008, the Consumer Electronics Association report estimated the amount spent on RoHS compliance within the electronics industry was over $32B USD. This amount was just the amount spent on RoHS, not REACH or WEEE. Since then, more and more companies are working towards compliance with more than just the EU RoHS directive. Companies are dealing with regulation and compliance in almost every industrialized jurisdiction they ship product. In Figure 1, the CEA estimation is expanded to include all environmental compliance legislation impacting products. The figure represents an estimation and extrapolation of the money spent per the CEA report by Figure 1: Annual spend on meeting environmental compliance legislation electronics industry (and its supply chain) 108 IN Compliance 2010 Annual Guide www.incompliancemag.com
  • 3. “It keeps going and going and goin g … ” for each new, product-based environmental compliance As these best practices relate to implementing a process legislation or regulation. REACH will eventually eclipse approach to compliance, the next three lessons learned and RoHS – as more and more companies will demand full best practices all highlight the importance of the ultimate best materials declaration from their supply chain to assist in practice – a process based approach. the process-based approach for compliance with multiple jurisdictions and legislations. The amount spent each year will Lesson 2: Be ready for an audit continue to increase as laws continue to be enacted, revised Audits are no longer just being done by government or and expanded around the globe. Implementing a process- enforcement agencies. Some companies are requiring their based approach is becoming an industry norm. If there is one suppliers to pass an internal audit before continuing to do thing you take away from this article, it should be that product business with that supplier. An average small company environmental compliance is an evolving process; not a “one with non-complex products takes around three months to and done” project. gather basic information. To implement a complete product environmental compliance program, it takes around six TOTAL COMPLIANCE months. Neither companies – nor enforcement agencies – With the constant changes to product eco-compliance will wait while you put the information together. In the case legislation, a process needs to be implemented when preparing of being audited by the enforcement authority in Ireland, a and maintaining a product environmental compliance turn-around time of 24 hours is expected for all compliance Environmental program. If a project is started for each new variation of materials. legislation, there will not be continuity within the system, nor the ability to compare information gathered for different A best practice is to be ready for an audit at any time. Remote jurisdictional requirements. Total product environmental access to data & information allows for instant access to compliance needs to be rooted in a process based approach. compliance information. Technical compliance files should include: component data, corporate policies and procedures, Elements of a process based approach are shown in Figure 2. classification/justification documents, roadmap(s) of Many companies have some of these elements within an activities, and use of any exemptions or allowances within the internal program; others have several sources they use to legislation. complete their program. You must have information on all the pieces of the pie to have a totally compliant program. If For part data and information within the database, it should you would like more information on the figure below, please be searchable by component, part number, supplier status, e-mail the author for copies of the previous publications. substance, exemption/variation, just to name a few criteria. From reports in 2008 and 2009, almost 50% of companies fail LESSONS LEARNED & BEST PRACTICES Lesson 1: Implement a process approach to product environmental compliance With the constant changes to product eco-compliance legislation, a process needs to be implemented. If a project is started for each new variation of legislation, there will not be continuity within the system, nor the ability to compare information gathered for different jurisdictional requirements. Throughout the years, best practices within product environmental compliance have been established. Figure 2: Elements of a Total Compliance Solution 2010 Annual Guide IN Compliance 109
  • 4. “ I t ke e ps go i ng and going and going…” compliance audits for RoHS. The top reasons for failure were There are internal as well as external pressures for maintaining responsiveness, completeness of information, sustainability of compliance records. Some are customer’s requirements; program, and misuse/misinterpretation of exemptions. others are legislative or governmental requirements. The move to substance-level declaration requests and responses Lesson 3: Gather full materials declarations are a best practice – a major movement away from simple yes/no material declarations. More and more companies are With more and more countries creating requirements for expecting or requiring full materials information. The key to materials reporting requirements or materials restrictions successful product eco-compliance is program sustainability: – such as RoHS-type and REACH-type legislation, full implementation of a systemic, process-based approach to materials declarations information is becoming more and gathering, maintaining, and reporting product environmental more prominent. Countries with existing requirements are compliance information. looking at adding additional substances. Do not fall victim to being unprepared for a product audit. If you are able to gather full materials information by In the EU, as an example, Member States will make an weight, it allows for manipulation of the data regardless example of a company whose product fails to meet its of the regulation. Gathering full materials information is directives and regulations. Start a process-based approach to a best practice when working on multiple environmental product eco-compliance of documenting products today. requirements. In addition, it is recommended the information Environmental be listed in a database by CAS number. This allows for the ability to search database for a specific substance when it is IT KEEPS GOING AND GOING AND GOING… called into question. We’re way beyond RoHS and WEEE at this point. Product eco-compliance requirements continue to expand and change. Lesson 4: Stay current The two major things to remember when implementing a Education is a corner stone of a successful implementation compliance program: and maintenance of a product environmental compliance 1. A process-based approach should be implemented for program. With changes happening to existing legislation and product environmental compliance activities. It is no new legislation being drafted or created, one needs a variety longer a “one and done” project. of tools for keeping informed. Some of the best sources for 2. Product environmental compliance requirements are not up-to-date information are: industry involvement or industry going away, and will continually change and evolve. events; targeted reports – not general knowledge databases or “tech rags”; or a targeted news service. There is good Any electrical or electronic equipment sold in the world will information available on blogs or listserv – but be wary of this need to comply with a product environmental legislation at information as much of it is opinion, not fact. Make sure the some point. Ben Franklin may have given rise to our title… information you’re using comes from a reputable source and but the Energizer Bunny® brings it home – the requirements can be verified. keep “going and going and going…” n ITS NOT EASY GOING GREEN… BUT THE REFERENCES/USEFUL WEBSITES REWARDS ARE TREMENDOUS • http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/weee/index_en.htm “Going Green” – in terms of product environmental • www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/sectors/sustainability/rohs/ compliance – is a conscious corporate decision. It is a page29048.html change to critical thinking and the way your company does business. It is a corporate decision to prepare for the future • www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/sectors/sustainability/weee/ and go beyond simple substance restrictions declarations. It page30269.html is designing a product to account for the product’s end of life • www.rohs.gov.uk/ requirements which impact waste management. • http://echa.europa.eu/reach_en.asp It is compliance - not chaos. It is a crisp presentation of • www.hse.gov.uk/reach/index.htm corporate environmental stewardship within its products. A company needs to eliminate the risks of not being able to provide accurate and complete product environmental Krista Botsford, Botsford EcoTech Partners LLC, compliance information to auditors or customers. The inability can be contacted at kbots@botsfordeco.com to provide this information in a timely, organized manner can or by visiting www.BotsfordEcoTech.com. ultimately lead to a finding of non-compliance. 110 IN Compliance 2010 Annual Guide www.incompliancemag.com