Tuesday, August 05, 2008

ECMA Environmental Standards for ICT Products

Ecma International has a series of Environmental Standards for ICT Products. All are available free from the ECMA web site. Those of most interest are:
  1. ECMA-341: Environmental Design Considerations for ICT & CE Products (June 2008)
  2. ECMA-370: THE ECO DECLARATION (2nd edition December 2006)
  3. ECMA-383: Measuring Energy Consumption, Performance and Capabilities of ICT and CE Products(June 2008)

ECMA-383 is the most traditional, being specifications for how to measure energy consumption. ECMA-341 gives broad guidelines on what to do for environmental design, rather than the details of how to do it.

ECMA-370 is a compendium of environmental and safety standards which companies and products can be declared to be compliant with. It is aimed at European standards, but includes the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Energy Star standard.

Abridged versions of ECMA's descriptions of the standards:

Standard ECMA-341: Environmental Design Considerations for ICT & CE Products (3rd edition (June 2008)

This Standard applies to all audio/video, information and communication technology equipment marketed as final products, hereafter referred to as products.

Although this Standard does not explicitly apply to individual components and subassemblies to be incorporated into final products, component manufacturers also need to consider this Standard, to enable manufacturers using such components to meet the requirements herein.

Only the intended use of products as defined by the manufacturer is within the scope of this Standard.

This Standard specifies requirements and recommendations for the design of environmentally sound products regarding

  • life cycle thinking aspects,
  • material efficiency,
  • energy efficiency,
  • consumables and batteries,
  • chemical and noise emissions,
  • extension of product lifetime,
  • end of life,
  • hazardous substances/preparations, and
  • product packaging.

This Standard covers only criteria directly related to the environmental performance of the product. Criteria such as safety, ergonomics and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) are outside the scope of this Standard and are covered by other standards.

This edition of ECMA-341 aims to align IEC 62075 and ECMA-341 again and to serve as the base for further revisions.

Standard ECMA-370: THE ECO DECLARATION (2nd edition December 2006)

This Standard specifies environmental attributes and measurement methods for ICT and CE products according to known regulations, standards, guidelines and currently accepted practices. The report is also applicable to products used as subassemblies, components, accessories and/or optional parts.

The standard addresses company programs and product related attributes in separate declarations, it does not address the manufacturing processes and logistic aspect:

Company environmental profile (Annex A)
The company environmental profile is split into legal and market requirements such as:

  • recycling system participations;
  • environmental policy and environmental management systems.

Environmental product attributes (Annex B)
The environmental product attributes are split into legal and market requirements on:

  • hazardous substances;
  • batteries;
  • safety and EMC;
  • consumable materials;
  • packaging materials;
  • treatment information;
  • environmental conscious design (such as disassembly, recycling, product lifetime);
  • power consumption;
  • emissions;
  • ergonomics;
  • documentation.

The attributes are listed without differentiation between product categories; not all attributes necessarily apply to each product category.

Based on frequently asked questions for customers, some product attributes such as safety, EMC and ergonomics have been included although they are not considered environmental matters.

Although the declarations as defined in Annex A and B are optimised for application in the European Union, this Standard is intended for global use, and future editions will be extended with other regional options.

Standard ECMA-383: Measuring Energy Consumption, Performance and Capabilities of ICT and CE Products (June 2008)

Although the title is broader in scope, this edition of the Standard applies to:

  • desktop computers
  • notebook computers
that are marketed as final products and are hereafter referred to as the Unit Under Test (UUT).

Additionally, this edition of the Standard applies to the following list of workloads

  • office productivity
  • media rich
defined in 5.2 and running under an Operating System that is either principally designed for, or at least configured for, desktop or notebook use.

This Standard defines how to evaluate and report energy consumption, performance and capabilities being the vital factors for the energy efficient performance (EEP) of the UUT. Additionally it provides a standardised results reporting format.

This Standard requires the user to measure and record a set of energy, power, time, and capability results (using a Benchmark), not a single metric of energy efficiency. This Standard does not set any pass/fail criteria for the UUT. Users of the reported results (regulators, customers etc) may define such criteria.

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