Self-regulation drives energy efficiency for printing industry

Leading European printer and copier manufacturers have boosted energy efficiency by more than 20% in two years through an industry-wide self-regulation initiative, according to a report by an independent inspector.

The Voluntary Agreement on Ecodesign has been signed by 16 major manufacturers of imaging equipment in Europe

The Voluntary Agreement on Ecodesign has been signed by 16 major manufacturers of imaging equipment in Europe

In its latest energy efficiency report, ERA Technology found that energy consumption from OM products (inkjet printers and copiers for home and small-business use) had been reduced by 20.8% between 2011 and 2013. Overall, the imaging equipment industry has reduced the energy consumption of its products by 10.5%.

The Voluntary Agreement on Ecodesign was developed by EuroVAprint, an association of all the major manufacturers of imaging equipment in Europe. It has been signed by 16 leading manufacturers, representing 95% of all sales in printer and copier devices. Since its formation in February 2011, the Agreement has seen environmentally friendly design requirements met in 97.63% of all the industry's products.

The Agreement signs businesses up to a commitment to reduce environmental footprint, design new products in a way that is more energy efficient and recyclable and inform customers on how to make the best environmental choices when purchasing their products.

President of EuroVAprint and head of Government affairs at Lexmark, Maxime Furkel, said: "Our industry is a vivid example of how self-regulation can work in Europe. The Ecodesign measures provide the right conditions for industries to take universal and immediate action to reduce energy consumption.

"Our Voluntary Agreement allows different manufacturers to work together for energy saving targets and achieve immediate results."

Carbon reduction

The Voluntary Agreement between the businesses is backed by the European Commission and requires manufacturers to employ a strict set of design requirements related to energy consumption and recyclability. It has a lower administrative cost compared with European legislation and regulators.

EuroVAprint estimate that the Voluntary Agreement will achieve 14% more CO2 emissions reductions than an EU Regulation scenario by 2020. It will also save one million tons of office paper in the EU by 2020, or 11,000km2 in sheets of paper.

The Voluntary Agreement includes Hewlett Packard (HP) which has already made significant steps in reducing its energy consumption and moving its business towards a closed-loop model, with 100% of HP ink cartridges now made using recycled plastic.

HP has manufactured more than two billion HP ink and toner cartridges with recycled content. Manufacturing new ink cartridges from recycled plastics from HP's closed-loop recycling process was found to have a 33% lower carbon footprint and a 54% lower fossil fuel consumption than producing new plastics.

Matt Field


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