Environmentally Conscious Design
Ecma International has taken the lead in the standardisation of environmentally conscious design practices by publishing the second Edition of ECMA-341.
Geneva, 6 July 2005:
ECMA-341 was the world's first standard defining the requirements and recommendations for a commercially viable, environmentally conscious design of products in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE). The objective is to minimise the environmental impact throughout the life cycle of a product. ECMA-341 provides pragmatic guidelines on how to integrate environmental aspects in the product design and development processes. It covers, among other issues, energy and resource consumption, material content and selection, chemical and noise emissions, and end-of-life management.
In January 2005, Ecma International published the 2nd edition of this Standard. Many improvements to the original standard published one year before have been made such as in the chapters on energy efficiency and substances needing special attention.
Major benefits – Concerns about the environmental impact of electronic products have led to a variety of legislative efforts and different eco-labels. For companies operating in global or local markets meeting the sustainability needs of society represents a significant design challenge. ECMA-341 will help designers apply pragmatic concepts into their product.
ECMA-341 encompasses the expertise of a number of multinational companies from all over the world (Europe, USA and Japan). Therefore it will benefit all kinds of ICT and CE companies. In particular, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), which do not have their own dedicated environmental engineering expertise, will benefit enormously from this free standard.
Other standards bodies are followingsuit – Since the publication of ECMA-341, other standards bodies have taken great interest in the lead that Ecma International has shown in environmentally conscious design standards. IEC has created a horizontal environmental standards technical committee (TC111) and has enabled the existing TC108 to set up PT62075, a project team tasked with converting the knowledge documented in ECMA-341 into an IEC sector-specific standard.
Kevin Fisher , manager of Intel EMEA Standards and Regulations and chair of TC38, commented: “A product designer must take into account a great many variables throughout the design process. The development of this Ecma standard and the elevation to IEC status will greatly benefit the environment”.
Silvio Weeren , manager of Product Environmental Affairs at IBM Germany and vice-chair of TC38, commented: “Customers are increasingly demanding environmentally sound products. This timely release of edition 2 of the Ecma standard reflects the progress in environmentally conscious product design”.
”Ecma Internationals work on standards has a long and excellent track record. Edition 2 of this publication greatly reduces the complexity of meeting a variety of international requirements and saves companies real money. This saving can be passed on to consumers along with safer and more environmentally friendly products,” noted Jan van den Beld, Secretary-General of Ecma International.
About Ecma International
Since its inception in 1961, Ecma International (Ecma) has developed standards for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE). Ecma is a non-profit industry association of technology developers, vendors and users. Industry and other experts work together at Ecma to complete standards. Ecma submits the approved work for approval as ISO, ISO/IEC and ETSI standards and is the inventor and main practitioner of “fast tracking” of specifications through the standardisation process in global standards bodies such as the ISO. Publications can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.ecma-international.org/.