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Chemical Management and Plans

Restricted Chemical Substances Management

Acer is strongly committed to the protection of human health and the conservation of the environment. As to uphold the spirit of the precautionary principle, we abide by all regulatory standards concerning particular chemical substances and demand our suppliers to follow the “Guidance of Restricted Substances in Products” established by Acer to ban or restrict to use chemical substances.

Precautionary Principle

We adopt the principle of early prevention, assessing all potential hazards and chemical substances that may impact the environment:

  • Acer strictly forbids continued use of substances that have been confirmed by authorized appraisal agencies to cause irreversible damage to the ecosystem or human health.
  • If current scientific technology is unable to confirm certain substances to cause irreversible effects, Acer proactively assesses whether it should continue using such substances.
  • Until a safer, more suitable substance is made available in the future, Acer will continue to use the substitute. In the meantime, Acer will actively research and develop safer and more suitable substitutes.
  • In the case of a dispute, Acer takes responsibility by proactively gathering and providing related proof.

Response to the European Union RoHS Directive

Since the European Union' (EU) promulgation of the RoHS directive, Acer has been monitoring its amendments and new process to ensure the compliance of the requirements.

From 3rd January 2013, RoHS recast (RoHS 2) Directive 2011/65/EU enlarges the product scope and introduces the conformity process in harmonization with CE marking methodology. And in 2015, EU commission publishes Directive (EU) 2015/863 to amend Annex II to EU RoHS 2 (Directive 2011/65/EU) to add 4 phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP) onto the list of restricted substances from 22 July 2019 and our products are RoHS compliant.

Our Response to REACH

REACH (which stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals) is the name for the European Union' recent chemicals policy, contained in Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 which entered into force on June 1, 2007 (REACH Regulation). REACH places greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks that chemicals may pose to human health and the environment. Under the regulation, certain chemical substances, either by themselves, in compositions or in articles may not be manufactured or placed on the market within the European Union unless they have been registered in accordance with the relevant provisions where this is required. The REACH Regulation is based on the principle that it is for manufacturers, importers and downstream users to ensure that they manufacture, place on the market or, respectively, use such substances that do not adversely affect human health or the environment. Its provisions are underpinned by the precautionary principle which is consistent with Acer' concept for chemical substances management.

Restriction


Restrictions are an instrument to protect human health and the environment from unacceptable risks posed by chemicals. Restrictions are normally used to limit or ban the manufacture, placing on the market (including imports) or use of a substance, but can impose any relevant condition, such as requiring technical measures or specific labels.

A restriction may apply to any substance on its own, in a mixture or in an article, including those that do not require registration. Related substances restriction of REACH are also included in Acer standard“Guidance of Restricted Substances in Products” to be deployed in acer' supply chains.

Registration


Per paragraph 1 of article 7 of the regulation, any producer or importer of articles shall submit a registration to the European Chemicals Agency (“ECHA or Agency”) for any substance contained in those articles, if both the following conditions are met:

  • the substance is present in those articles in quantities totaling over 1 ton per producer or importer per year;
  • the substance is intended to be released under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use.

Through the engagement and collaborated assessment between whole Acer' supply chains and industry consultants, it has been determined that our products do not release the substances under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use. Therefore, Acer will not submit a registration to ECHA.

Notifications


Per paragraph 2 of article 7 of the regulation, any producer or importer of articles shall notify the Agency, in accordance with paragraph 4 of this Article, if a substance meets the criteria in Article 57 and is identified in accordance with Article 59(1), if both the following conditions are met:

  • the substance is present in those articles in quantities totaling over 1 ton per producer or importer per year;
  • the substance is present in those articles above a concentration of 0,1 % weight by weight (w/w).

On October 28, 2008, ECHA first listed 15 substances in the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern for authorization. The list of substances is updated regularly on ECHA' website. Substances that are included in the Candidate List have been identified as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). These substances may have very serious and often irreversible effects on human health and the environment. Substances on the Candidate List may subsequently become subject to authorization by decision of the European Commission. Acer keeps close attention on the new development of the SVHCs and the Authorization List.

ECHA recommended that seven chemical substances of very high concern should not be used without specific authorization on June 1, 2009, the list of substances is updated regularly on ECHA' website. Those listed substances may not be used within 42 to 48 months after the inclusion date. Acer will monitor further developments to provide necessary implementation measures with suppliers. Once certain substances are included in the "Authorization List," Acer will view them as restricted substances from such moment on and request suppliers to analyze the availability of alternatives and evaluate their risks, and the technical and economic feasibility of their substitution. For more information about REACH Authorisation List, please visit ECHA.

Based on Acer' proactive attitude for environmental protection, Acer manages hazardous substances beyond RoHS compliance and develops HSF management schemes following the precautionary principle. To fulfill such principle, we conducted a full inventory together with suppliers for SVHCs and disclose SVHCs over 0.1% (w/w) contained in acer products. Acer will keep working with supply chain to seek out any SVHCs contained in our products, and those containing more than 0.1% will be updated onto our website information accordingly.

Ecodesign requirements for energy-related products (ErP)

Since 1st July 2014, the EU COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 617/2013 stipulate manufacturers of computers and computer servers, falling into its product scope, to provide technical documentation and make publicly available on free-access websites for the following information:

  • Product information
  • Power management and energy-saving performance
  • Noise emission
  • Mercury content
  • Battery replacement

To comply with the requirement of point 7, INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED BY MANUFACTURERS, of Annex II of (EU) No. 617/2013, Acer provides technical documentation on free-access local website for all notebook, desktop, All-in-One PC, and tablet computer subject to the regulatory product scope for European market.

Requirements of European Union Battery Directive

The Directive of Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators (2006/66/EC) and its amendment 2013/56/EU to restrict the use of 0.0005 % of mercury by weight and 0.002% of cadmium by weight.

Requirements of European Union Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive

To harmonize national measures concerning the management of packaging and packaging waste by member states and to prevent or reduce its impact on the environment, Directive 94/62/EC was adopted. On 7th February 2013, Directive 2013/2/EU to clearly illustrate the definition of packaging by expanding the list of illustrative examples.

The latest amendment Directive (EU) 2015/720 was published on 29th April 2015 to amend Directive 94/62/EC as regards reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags. Whereas the sum of concentration levels of lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium present in packaging or packaging components shall not exceed 100ppm remain unchanged.

Hazardous Substance Free Plan (HSF Plan)

We believe that the green product design should contain three key elements – materials, energy and recycling – to develop product with life cycle thinking. Therefore, we work in coordination with international mandates, stakeholders and customers to conduct environmentally friendly designs and maximize eco-effectiveness. Based on the precautionary principle and the Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR), we have started the first phase of the Hazardous Substance Free (HSF) plan for PVC, BFR and phthalates to alleviate the hazardous problems of waste electronics in recycling stage globally. The key factors for alternative substances is that they must not detrimentally influence new product quality, safety, reliability, and they must not endanger human health or pose worse environmental impacts.

We are striving to reach the target of prohibiting the use of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), BFRs (brominated flame retardants) in all newly personal and mobile computing products by working with partners and suppliers. Since its inception from 2005, the HSF Plan has completed a number of programs. After HSF pilot runs for many products, most technical problems have been solved; therefore, many HSF products (with BFRs-free PWBs and casings) have been produced and launched to the market. When technologies were ready for a total phasing in of PVC/ BFRs-free models in 2009, most key component suppliers delayed because the market and the other major brand companies extended their schedule for phasing in, the suppliers would not phase in without additional cost. This change was far beyond our expectation and interrupted Acer' commitments to phase in PVC/ BFRs-free products. Nevertheless, Acer is still trying to increase PVC/BFRs-free products within business tolerance.

As such, Acer hopes that influential regulations can help to restrict PVC/BFRs; the EU directive RoHS might be the most important one. Regulations to prohibit halogen containing products are now critical. If such a regulation can be predicted, the supply chain and the market will go for non-halogen products before the effective date of regulation. This is the quick solution for widely accepted halogen-free products and for the problem that Acer encountered. To aggressively support organo-Cl/Br-free version of RoHS 2.0 revision, Acer attended the Symposium on Global ICT Environmental Initiatives held by Intel and iNEMI in Brussels on October 27-28, 2009. In November 2009, Acer visited Brussels to attend the meeting of organo-Cl/Br-free RoHS version 2.0 and conference of Greening Consumer Electronics-from Hazardous Material to Sustainable Solution. In April 2010, Acer again visited Brussels to attend a meeting with the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, in concern with the development of organo-Cl/Br-free RoHS version 2.0. We discussed Acer' determination to support the organo-Cl/Br-free RoHS version with key EU personnel during the visits. In May 2010, Acer and environmental organizations sent position statements to MEPs and members of the Council of the EU, urging them to restrict more hazardous substances in electronic products in 2015 to avoid more global dioxin formation. Acer will keep evaluating the possibility to join other meetings or groups to support the organo-Cl/Br free RoHS.

HSF Products
In order to comply with regulatory requirements and customer standards, Acer integrates environmental and safety-related standards into the product R&D stage, and through rigorous review processes, ensures that the production processes of suppliers are also in line with environmental and safety requirements. And to help users fully understand the safe use of Acer products and how to properly recycle them, Acer includes explanations in product manuals and provides them for download on the company' official website.

We pay close attention to international environmental law and have taken the initiative in managing chemical substances that may pose a threat to human health or the environment. Since 2009, we have continued to voluntarily promote the production of notebooks, desktops, displays, and smartphones that do not include polyvinyl chlorides (PVCs) or brominated flame retardants (BFRs), as well as continuing to move forward on dehalogenization. In 2012, we added to our product environmental safety specifications limiting the use of seven phthalates that could potentially have an impact on human health; in 2013, we added two further phthalate limits, as well as completing surveys into the use of five chemical substances - beryllium, antimony, arsenic, selenium, and bismuth - in our notebook computers. In 2015, we added further restrictions, introducing limits on the use of two more phthalates, along with sulfur and red phosphorus.

In 2014, together with the Canada Gov. Gazette (Vol. 147, No. 28 - July 13, 2013), Acer completed a survey on the usage of phthalates, learning that although only a portion of phthalates are prohibited by law, there remain potential environmental risks in the usage of other phthalates. In response, Acer included “Phthalate Usage Disclosure” as a new item for assessment in the Supplier CSR Scorecard since 2014 Dec., encouraging suppliers to give priority to materials not containing phthalates and thus helping promote the de-phthalatization of our products.

In 2016, we not only continued our supplier CSR scorecards, Phthalate Usage Disclosure evaluations, encouragement of all suppliers to prioritize the use of phthalate-free raw materials, and promotion of a move to phthalate-free products, but also added a new survey for the use of prohibited and restricted chemical substances in products. After collecting information on substances of concern to suppliers and to domestic and foreign stakeholders, we commenced preparation of the drafting of a table of chemical substances banned or restricted by Acer in the production processes of suppliers, further improving the non-toxicity of our production operations.

2019 also saw us continue to produce product models free of BFRs and PVCs, in particular portions of our commercial notebooks and desktop computers.

Shipment of phthalate-free products

more than 3.7 million units

Total number of phthalate-free products
across product lines

over US$ 1.6 billion

Total value

Restricted Substances in Products

Banned substances

The use of the substances listed in the following table is strictly prohibited in any of the products (including product packaging and parts):

Restricted substances


According to the current company policy, the content of the substances listed in the following table shall not exceed the threshold limit:

Disclosure substances

The specific substance content in all future products shall confine within threshold limits. At this stage, suppliers should disclose the concentration and which parts used. Substances listed in the following table are handled based on prevention principles. They are placed on a disclosure substance list for review from which a schedule is then drawn up for phasing out their use. The execution of the schedule then proceeds with verification, technological analysis and substitute material testing according to the HSF plan. Testing is conducted to determine whether any substitute technology will influence the quality, safety and reliability of finished products as well as to determine any possible adverse effects on human health or the environment.