The problem of treating the waste of electronic and electrical products has already become among the most pressing international environmental protection issues. It is also a major environmental concern at Acer.
During our product design, we strive to reduce the environmental impact of the product at each stage of its life cycle by eco-design and aiming to design environmentally friendly, easily recycled products. Through both voluntary and legally required recycling programs, we provide consumers with compliant, convenient recycling channels and promote recycling and reuse of ICT products. Acer' products embody the concepts of individual producer responsibility (IPR) as we endeavor to reduce our environmental impact to societies, communities and pledge to work with stakeholders like governments, consumers and retailers to undertake responsibility for the recycling and management of e-waste.
The European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive entered into force on 13th August 2005, and its recast Directive 2012/19/EU re-classified all EEE products into 6 category from 15th August 2018. Meanwhile, in order to optimize re-use and recovery through product design, the whole life cycle of the product should be taken into account per Directive 2009/125/EC.
The WEEE Directive requires producers to mark electrical and electronic equipment put on the market after August 13, 2005 with a ‘crossed-out wheeled bin’ symbol. This is for reminding consumers not to dispose of WEEE as unsorted municipal waste and to collect such WEEE separately. Please check local regulations for disposal of electronic products.
Acer adheres to the spirit of extending producer responsibility for product recycling, and cooperates with the EU WEEE Directive and national laws to join the recycling system or recycle waste products. Information on resource recovery in Taiwan, Europe, the United States and Canada, Japan, India and other regions is summarized as follows for consumer reference.
Recycling of waste IT products in Taiwan is handled through a publicly managed and operated system. Operators receive fees from the Resource Recycling Management Fund based on annual operation volumes and recycling clearance and disposal rates. The Recycling Fund Management Board under the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan, is in charge of determining recyclables, issuing treatment subsidies, auditing and verifying treatment volumes, and managing recyclers’ treatment and administrative operations. Taiwan offers a wide spectrum of waste IT product recycling channels, able to utilize clean-up teams, second-hand goods operators, resource recycling organizations, and recycling locations established at IT product retail sales sites. Acer coordinates efforts with Taiwan' recycling system by not only making annual payments to the Resource Recycling Management Fund, but also participating in public hearings on recycling, clearance and treatment fee rates to better understand Resource Recycling Management Fund operations and provide suggestions on recycling, clearance and treatment fee rate adjustments. For information about resource recycling in Taiwan, please refer to the EPA' Recycling Fund Management Board website:
• Executive Yuan' Environmental Protection Administration Fund Management Resource Recycling website
• Toll free resource recycling hotline: +886-(0)800-085717
According to 2019 statistics from the EPA, ICT products have been trending toward the lighter and smaller, and recycling weight has been correspondingly on a downward trend, with some 8,984 tons of desktop computer products recycled around Taiwan, a recycling rate of 65%, while 238 tons of notebook computers were recycled, an estimated recycling rate of 11%; with regard to Acer products in particular, a total of 1,102 tons of desktop computer products were recycled, a recycling rate of 51%, and approximately 52 tons of notebook computers for a recycling rate of 11%.
In Europe, we have planned our products and components recycling schemes in accordance with EU directives. Components that are recycled separately include the main unit of the product, batteries, secondary batteries, and packaging. By integrating our recycling channels with local systems we guarantee our customers that their Acer product will be properly disposed of. Our battery recycling program, for example, covers 3 aspects. First, we do not use mercury, cadmium, lead, or similar hazardous substances. Second, the design of our products ensures that batteries are easily identifiable and detachable. Third, clearly indicating the position of the battery and its type in the product disassembly guide facilitates the easy removal of the battery and its proper recycling. As for packaging, we have endeavored to make it as lightweight as possible to save resources, and restricted the use of heavy metals materials in manufacture. The packaging is also stamped with a recycling symbol and logo of the materials it is composed of.
In North America, Acer has adopted an in-house recycling model, providing consumers with a simple and easy way to recycle products. Compared with 2018 records, the weight recycled in 2019 decreased slightly due to the trend toward thinner and lighter products. In 2019, we recycled a total of approximately 3,822 tons of electronic products in North America. We also continued to promote the Acer Tech Trade-up Project, setting out a strong recycling mechanism for local consumers in the North American region.
In 2019, we collected a total of 196,655 pounds (approx. 88,494 kg) of product, all of which were sent into reuse, providing the best evidence for the value of reusing old ICT products. We hope that through such projects, we will continue to see customers use their post-recycling rewards on the purchase of new products. Similarly, the company can also take the parts of these older products that still have value and reuse them, prolonging lifecycles while also properly recycling waste, meeting environmental protection standards and achieving a level of sustainability.
It is worth mentioning that Acer continued to hold a position on the board of the Washington Materials Management and Financing Authority (WMMFA) in 2019, one of a total of 11 directors responsible for managing the WMMFA’s business operations and affairs. The WMMFA provides responsible recycling to citizens of Washington State in the most economical and cost-effective manner in line with state laws and the requirements of the state Department of Ecology. The board also works with more than 250 member manufacturers in the United States to implement state-level recycling programs.
Globally, demand for cobalt for lithium battery production has grown, and out of concern with child labor issues related to cobalt mining, Acer continues to promote the use of a closed-loop process for the recycling of the lithium batteries used in Acer mobile devices. In 2019, Acer collected about four tons of waste batteries in North America through this process, with the total amount of recycled batteries in 2018–2019 reaching almost 11 tons. Given this success, we plan to continue with this program. In this way, Acer hopes to reduce its dependence on raw cobalt, and we plan to donate additional revenue generated through this in 2020 to organizations that promote responsible cobalt procurement.
Acer America offers its customers recycling services for all Acer products sold there. Acer America not only complies with all state and federal recycling regulations in the U.S. and Canada but also cooperates with a private recycler to offer consumers even more recycling options. Acer works with Reverse Logistics Group Americas to offer the following options:
Acer also continues to work with Japan’s PC3R Promotion Association computer recycling organization, enabling consumers to register items for recycling online or by email and then send them in by mail. The Association also organizes for the reuse of any products collected that can still produce cyclical value. Through Japanese PC Recycling Centers, we hope to encourage customers to recycle long-used products and upgrade to newer products still in their usable lives. At the same time, this project also ensures that customers’ information security is protected.
Disposing of e-waste is a major environmental issue for developing nations in South America and South Asia. In order to minimize the chances of e-waste being improperly disposed of there, we have set up the Acer India e-Waste Programme to offer free recycling of Acer products. Customers first register for the program either via the Acer India website or by e-mail. They can then mail their unwanted product to one of Acer India' centers for recycling. Products that can currently be recycled include PCs, notebooks, monitor screens, projectors, and servers. Please see Acer India e-Waste Program
Worldwide, Acer Group is working to strengthen the environmental sustainability aspect of social responsibility through responsible recycling models. All recycling programs in the United States require the proper disposal and management of waste electronic equipment, components, and materials, as well as the destruction of any data on the equipment to ensure customer information security. We require all first- and second-tier suppliers to comply with Acer’s waste disposal standards for the management of end-of-life products, as well as requiring these suppliers to obtain Responsible Recycling (R2) or eStewards certification.
Acer also continues to conduct audits of suppliers to ensure that their downstream processing operations are responsible and compliant with the standards laid out. We aim to ensure that Acer’s recycling projects are able to meet the recycling requirements of the latest EPEAT and IEEE 1680.1-2018 standards. For more recycling programs in the region, please refer to Acer America’s recycling website.
Acer also carefully follows the European Union Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive with regard to products, batteries, and packaging, aiming to pursue recycling and reduction and providing consumers with information on local recycling channels through their respective national Acer websites.