A collaboration between UL Environment, PE INTERNATIONAL, Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, Dell, Lexmark, and other global printer and imaging companies has been formed to produce consensus-based rules for understanding the environmental impact of printer and imaging devices.
The newly created rules are designed to help manufacturers improve overall sustainability performance and achieve higher green electronics ratings for their products. The rules can also be referenced by facility managers in their office equipment purchasing decisions.
Product Category Rules (PCRs) establish parameters and an approach for assessing the environmental footprint of a product with life cycle assessment methodology. The rules help provide a framework to ensure that common metrics are reported among manufacturers when they provide environmental information. The new printer and imaging device rules will ultimately influence products’ positioning in the marketplace and facilitate participation in indexes and directories, like EPEAT, the green electronics ratings system.
“One of the big challenges in attaining reliable environmental performance metrics is the lack of consistency in approach or methodology from the companies reporting the product results. Without standard guidelines, industries are at greater risk for greenwashing,” says Jeff Slye, Director at PE INTERNATIONAL.
These new PCRs were developed through an iterative process that involved multiple stakeholders. After an open consultation period, the draft PCR went through a critical review process by members representing academic, industry, and scientific perspectives before becoming finalized. The final PCRs are now publicly available, and companies can register Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) using its framework. This process, governed by the ISO 14025 standard, ensures a rigorous, comparable, and fair presentation of product impacts in published EPDs. UL Environment acted as the program operator in the development of the PCR, facilitating collaboration amongst the market leaders and creating the final document.
“This is an exciting time for electronics in the sustainability marketplace,” said Sara Greenstein, President of UL Environment. “Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate and tools like the printer PCR help to shape the future of safer, healthier, more sustainable products.”
The PCR document can be downloaded from the UL Environment website here.