Compal's green product designs are based on the concept of "Product Life Cycle." We take into account a product's environmental impact from raw material purchase, production, shipment, usage all the way to its disposal or recycling at the end stage. In the design phase, developers are required to focus not only on users' requirements, functionality and added value, but also to "minimize environmental burden" in each of the different stages. Inspired by decades of practical experience, Compal believes that green products must possess three design features: green materials, energy efficiency and ease of dis-assembly/recycling. Compal's environment-friendly designs have also been aligned with international trends and the needs of its stakeholders and customers to achieve the best eco-effectiveness. The following is an introduction to Compal's green product design, research and development progress:
Compal's green product life cycle chart
Green Product Design Highlights
Passed certification for QC080000 hazardous substance management
For the purpose of producing environment-friendly products and complying with international laws and customers' requirements, Compal has implemented a set of Management Standards for Environment-related Substances that consolidates all substances prohibited by international laws and customers. The number of controlled hazardous substances between 2010 and 2015 are shown in the following figure. Furthermore, by adopting component approval practices, as depicted in the following figure, Compal is able to efficiently and effectively screen input materials for the hazardous substance, and control what goes into production. Compal's overall product hazardous substance control process has been certified for "IECQ QC 080000 - Hazardous substance process management for electronic and electromechanical parts and products."
EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS)
In light of increasing harm to the environment caused by waste electronics and appliances, the European Union implemented RoHS (Restriction of the use of Certain Hazardous Substances Directive) in 2002 that imposed controls over the concentration of 6 hazardous substances. 100% of Compal's products have complied with the limits imposed under RoHS, and no goods were returned due to the violation against RoHS. Compal also requests suppliers to adopt an early response to RoHS exclusions that are due to be removed in the near future, and begin reducing the use of substances such as DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP that are expected to take effect in 2019.
Substances controlled by RoHS
Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH)
REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals) is a set of regulations imposed by the European Union to control imported chemical substances. REACH controls uses and imports of chemical substances by implementing a series of measures including registration, evaluation, authorization and mandatory disclosure. With regards to the 161 items listed as SVHC, Compal requires its suppliers to make full disclosure of SVHC contents in all supplied parts and encourages them to take steps towards reducing and eliminating uses of such substances as early as possible. As for the 31 authorized hazardous substances listed in REACH Annex XIV, Compal has also taken the initiative to eliminate usage in advance for the benefit of the environment.
Halogen compounds have the tendency to produce highly toxic dioxins when combusted. Because of this potential hazard, uses of PBB and PBDEs are now being controlled under RoHS. In light of the voluntary standards - "halogen-free parts and processes" introduced by international organizations and customers' increasingly stringent demands for environmental protection, Compal had amended its "Management Standards for Environment-related Substances Controlled in Parts and Materials" to regulate halogen (chlorine / bromine) contents, and is constantly improving its production systems to eliminate halogen altogether for the benefit of the environment and human health.
Compal has made the following accomplishments in recent years with respect to halogen-free products:
- 2007 - Introduced halogen-free parts and manufacturing process
- 2009 - Began mass production of the first halogen-free commercial notebook
- 2011 - The first halogen-free tablet was mass-produced
- 2012 - Halogen-free process was applied to more than 90% of notebooks produced; a total of 78 halogen-free models were mass-produced during the year
Due to a slowdown in the global economy, the variety of products purchased by customers had decreased between 2013 and 2016, including fewer variety of halogen-free models. Today, the world's big brands have all leaned towards halogen-free production, whereas uses of BFR, CFR and PVC on electronic products can now be replaced with alternative materials without compromising product functionality, given the prevailing technology. Compal will continue making design improvements and aim to eliminate halogen parts at a faster rate.
Energy Efficient and Low-carbon Design
EU Eco-Design Requirements for Energy-relative Products and U.S. Energy Star
All electronic products manufactured by Compal conform with the latest energy standards, such as the EU Eco-Design Requirements for Energy-relative Products and the U.S. Energy Star. Compal has been systematically improving the design capability of its software and hardware developers and plans to introduce modularized designs. Checklists prepared by hardware and software departments are being duly executed, while quality control tests are rigorously performed for mass-produced products to ensure compliance with laws at the time of shipment. Furthermore, Compal constantly keeps itself informed of the latest developments in energy regulations so that the Company can plan and prepare ahead, assess risks in advance and ensure product compliance with the latest rules and certification.
Ease of Dis-assembly and Recycling
Rapid advancement in technology has shortened the life cycle of consumer electronics, resulting in the increasing amount of waste that adds burden to the natural environment. In order to minimize the threat to natural resources, prevent the hazardous substance from being released into the environment through waste and relieve the re-cycling system of increasing volumes of e-waste, it is increasingly important for electronics manufacturers to design products in ways that minimize potential pollution and recycling in the future.
EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive
For Compal, issues such as waste reduction and re-use of resources have already been taken into consideration during the design stage, where environmental friendly materials are used as much as possible while numerous design improvements are introduced to make products easier to recycle. The following are some of the environmental, sustainable and renewable designs that Compal has put in place:
- Prohibit or reduce use of hazardous substances
- Use only one type of plastic materials where appropriate
- Introduce renewable and bio-degradable plastics into electronic products
- Use plastic materials that are compatible with surface treatment materials so that products can be recycled and reused
- Design products in ways that are easily dis-assembled and recycled
- Use modularized designs so that main parts can be replaced and upgraded, hence extend the product lifecycle
- Print re-cycling labels on packaging materials as a reminder to consumers
- All plastic objects weighing 25 grams and above have contents labeled in detail to facilitate recycling
All products supplied by Compal in recent years have been designed in accordance with WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) standards, which require at least 65% of materials to be recyclable. For main notebook brands, products have even been designed to enable 90%-100% recycling rate.
Packaging materials offer the cushion needed to protect goods from the collision during transportation. Compal has continuously improved packaging design with the goal of reducing, simplifying and making the optimum use of packaging materials for a lesser impact on the environment. Progress achieved in recent years include
- In 2010, the number of products that could be stacked on one pallet was increased from 60 to 84, up by 40%. The "dog bone" design saved the use of packaging materials by more than 80% and made room on two sides of the box for power adapter and cables. Furthermore, products can be packed straight at the production line without having to assemble packaging materials beforehand, which saved 3 minutes per unit.
- In 2011, Compal introduced its patented square package design that not only required lesser resources, but also enabled consumers to keep the package and use it as a storage box.
- In 2012, further improvements were made to the cushion structure, making them smaller and thus cheaper to transport, while at the same time replaced EPE materials with 100% recyclable cardboard.
- In 2014, Compal managed to reduce the cost of packaging materials by 10~15% and increase the number of products per pallet from 78~84 to 102~120.
- In 2015, Compal optimized EPE cushions for notebook PCs by consolidating the old 3-piece design into a single piece. In doing so, the Company reduced the use of packaging materials by 50%, the materials surface by 48%, and work time by 67%.
- In 2016, the Company focused on improving the packaging process for higher production efficiency.