Environmentally Sound Products
Global Promotion of Green Procurement
To ensure that products are environmentally sound, it is necessary to check the environmental impact of the raw materials and parts that go into those products. This is why the Konica Minolta Group promotes its Green Procurement Policy globally. To our raw materials and parts procurement assessment criteria (quality, cost and delivery), we have added environmental factors to ensure emphasis on materials and parts with less environmental impact.
We have also augmented our Green Procurement criteria with substance assessment, whereby we evaluate substances contained in raw materials and parts to be procured. We also use corporate assessment surveys to evaluate our suppliers in terms of their environmental management systems. This survey data is saved in an information database and shared throughout the Group.
To promote management of hazardous chemical substances in our parts supply chain for office equipment, strong partnerships have been established with suppliers by conducting on-site diagnoses and providing them with training support, so as to reduce environmental risks. Konica Minolta visits the manufacturing sites of all its suppliers in Japan and China, helping suppliers to strengthen their hazardous substance management systems. As a result, the percentage of suppliers achieving the highest environmental management level rose from 60% at the beginning of fiscal 2007, to over 80% by the end of that fiscal year.
Meeting European Environmental Regulations
We are complying with the RoHS Directive, for products sold both in Europe and around the world.
RoHS Directive Compliance
In July 2006, the RoHS Directive came into effect in the EU, prohibiting the sale of electrical and electronic devices containing lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium or two types of polybromic fire retardants. With the help of its suppliers, the Konica Minolta Group has already discontinued the use of these specified substances in all RoHS-designated products. We have also achieved the complete elimination of these substances not just from the RoHS-designated products, but from all of our machinery products, in advance of any future directive expansion. Only some industrial devices with a long product life are exempted from the substance elimination. Finally, as new models are developed, the substances will be completely eliminated from those products that still contain them.
Preparing for REACH Compliance
In December 2006, a new EU regulatory framework called REACH was put in place, combining all past regulations on chemical substances. REACH requires even tighter management of hazardous substances in products, and calls for information conveyance in addition to sales restrictions.
The Konica Minolta Group is currently building a new system for checking whether parts and materials used in machinery products contain hazardous substances.
Action to Control Chemical Substance Emissions from Products
We are meeting Germany's Blue Angel standards, and providing safer products.
Blue Angel mark
(Germany)We pay particular attention to maintaining a comfortable office environment when we design and develop information technology equipment for office use, such as multifunctional peripherals (MFPs) and printers. To minimize the impact of our products on the office environment, we have been striving to develop products that satisfy the strict criteria of Blue Angel, a standard that rigorously restricts operational noise and emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), in addition to environmental impact in the broader sense.
The Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing, Germany, certified two of our laboratories in Japan as institutions qualified for measuring chemical substance emission levels, the measurement of which is required for filing applications for Blue Angel certification. This helps reduce the time necessary for acquiring certification. Moreover, our product developers can now obtain rapid feedback on the measurement results, which enables the creation of safer and more reliable products.
Chemical Substance Environmental and Safety Information Database
We are compiling information on chemical substances, for use in safe designs and risk management.
Konica Minolta has built and is utilizing its own "Chemical Substance Environmental and Safety Information Database", as a tool for comprehensive management of chemicals throughout product lifecycle. This system provides a database for unified management of information such as worldwide national regulations on chemical substances, information on physical and chemical properties, as well as the results of Konica Minolta's safety evaluations, including the hazardous and harmful properties of chemical substances.
The database allows internal users to link to and access literature and test results forming the basis of evaluations, and first-order information such as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) obtained from material manufacturers. Since this database can be accessed via the intranet, the development and production departments and others are able to take advantage of the information. The data is useful for risk management of chemical substances relating to safe product design, operational safety, and environmental conservation.
Since the relationships between products, materials and chemical substances are recorded in the system, Konica Minolta is able to respond with confidence to the frequent changes in the chemical regulations maintained by countries around the world. Moreover, using the unified information in this system, all kinds of forms and reports can be prepared. This means that we can provide customers with highly reliable information, including MSDS that conform with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).