Taking the hazards out of cables

A new environmentally friendly cable certification scheme has been developed, which offers assurance to manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment by addressing the requirements of the WEEE and RoHS Directives.

Two of the UK’s foremost UKAS accredited certification bodies – the British Approvals Service for Cables and the British Approvals Service for Environmental Certification – have worked together to define and launch a new environmentally friendly cable certification scheme: The Eco-Green Cable Certification Scheme. The new scheme responds to the growing concerns of electrical and electronic product manufacturers over the amount of lead, cadmium, antimony and other hazardous substances used in the formulation of the sheathing of cables that are incorporated into their products.

Current concerns focus on the potential health hazards and negative effects on the environment, in both the short and long term, that uncontrolled use of such substances could produce. The concerns relate to electrical product manufacturers, users of electrical appliances equipped with electrical or electronic cable, and cable manufacturers.

Within the European Union these concerns have led to the publishing of new EU Directives: 2002/95/EC Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS), and 2002/96/EC Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). The partners have addressed the requirements of these, and other relevant Directives, in the Eco-Green cable scheme in order to ensure that products certified are ‘environmentally friendly’ and acceptable to all EU member states.

The new scheme harnesses the renowned, and tightly focussed, cable manufacturing industry expertise of the British Approvals Service for Cables, to the highly regarded environmental credentials of the British Approvals Service for Environmental Certification. The result is a rigorous and thorough product certification scheme that combines the essential environmental and quality controls necessary for cable manufacturers to produce environmentally friendly products that conform to the latest relevant EC legislation. The Eco-Green Cable Certification Scheme is based on a number of core fundamentals amongst which are a requirement for manufacturers to operate both an approved environmental management system in accordance with the ISO14001 standard, and a quality management system conforming to BASEC specification BA2250 parts 1 and 2. The latter is a management system specification issued by BASEC, based on the principles of ISO9001, but specifically relating to manufacturers of cable.

The Eco-Green cable scheme is designed to be a rigorous and systematic process and the partners’ own, in-house, teams of highly skilled engineers and auditors will carefully manage it.

One of the scheme’s foremost marketing benefits is the ‘BASEC Certified Eco-Green Cable’ product mark. This will be clearly visible on all certified products and will provide electrical product manufacturers and their customers, as well as commercial cable users and industry professionals, with the assurance that the product they hold ‘in their hand’ has been manufactured to appropriate environmental and quality standards.

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