In an Australian ICT first, Fuji Xerox Printers has announced it's been awarded a 'Good Environmental Choice' label by the Australian Environmental Labelling Association (AELA).
According to AELA president Petar Johnson, Fuji Xerox Printers (FXP) is "really the first ICT corporate" to get its products voluntarily environmentally assessed. The label will appear on FXP's newly released Phaser and Docuprint series of printers.
Johnson said that, while the assessment was not mandatory, companies chose to have their products assessed, at a cost to them of "several thousands of dollars", to show that their products were environmentally friendly.
The commonwealth and state governments had a mandate for "green procurement", Johnson said, and the general public were also keen to buy green. But, Johnson said, there had been "significant confidence issues" in getting information on the full environmental impact of a product, a problem that the AELA's ecolabel addressed.
The testing process, he said, was "very rigorous". Complying with International Standards Body 14000 series standards for environmental management, the EULA label is only earned after a thorough assessment of the product's environmental impact throughout its life cycle - from manufacture, to use, through to disposal.
In the case of Fuji Xerox, Johnson said the process took around four months, with the assessment done by AELO's sister body in Japan -- the Japan Environment Association (JEA) -- that visited the factory to assess the manufacturing process.
"There are lots of different factors -- a few thousand -- that have an environmental impact over a product's life cycle," Johnson said. "We look at the primary 20 environmental impacts over [product's] life cycle [including] raw materials, manufacture, concentrates used, noise pollution, air emissions, energy efficiency, compounds that the product contains. It extends to recycling issues and looks at additives such as flame retardants, which are some of the most toxic chemicals."
Johnson said Fuji Xerox had showed "clear leadership in terms of toner use and chemicals." He said the company was the only one using solid ink cartridges, which was a "significant innovation environmentally".
Peter Diprose, Regional Environmental Manager, Fuji Xerox Printers said in a statement: "We are constantly striving to achieve an eco-friendly approach to all aspects of our business including how we run our day-to-day operations, the way we manufacture our printers and their functionality. Achieving the Ecolabel for our printers and being recognised as an environmentally progressive manufacturer by the AELA is a huge boon for our environmental endeavours."
The FXP printers that will now carry the ecolabel are the Phaser 8200, Phaser 8400, Phaser 7750, DocuPrint C2428, DocuPrint 240A, DocuPrint 340A, DocuPrint 205 and DocuPrint 305.
The AELA is a non-government, non-profit organisation that is part of the Global Ecolabelling Network. Its board includes members from environmental groups, corporates and government representatives.