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RoHS Recast and Power Systems


IBM is committed to environmental leadership in all of its business activities, from its operations to the design of its products and use of its technology. IBM's corporate policy on environmental affairs, first issued in 1971, is supported by the company’s global environmental management system, which is the key element of the company’s efforts to achieve results consistent with environmental leadership and ensures the company is vigilant in protecting the environment across all of its operations worldwide. IBM’s Product Stewardship program was established in 1991 to bring additional focus to the corporate environmental affairs policy objectives on product environmental design and performance. Throughout the 1990s and continuing through today, IBM has introduced many industry-leading practices in design for the environment, product environmental metrics and product recycling. As a Power Systems client, you can rest assure that IBM has environmental stewardship top of mind.

RoHS

RoHS is an acronym for the European Union (EU) Directive 2002/95/EC on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances, which restricts the levels of four heavy metals, lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and two categories of brominated flame retardants, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). Certain applications of these substances had or continue to have an exemption until technically feasible substitutions can be found. There are allowable maximum concentration limits of these hazardous substances. EEE encompasses a wide spectrum of products, which use electricity, such as small and large household appliances, information and communications technology (ICT) equipment, radios, TVs and electrical tools. This directive required the 27 member states of the EU to publish laws and regulations in accordance with the requirements in the directive, which became effective July 2006. Similar legislation has been enacted in other jurisdictions, such as the European Free Trade Association countries, Croatia, India, Serbia, Turkey and the Ukraine.

Due to the number of substantial changes needed, the EU published a revised version of the law—EU Directive 2011/65/EU in June 2011 (RoHS recast). This new directive becomes effective January 3, 2013 and the EU member states must once again adopt and publish laws, regulations and/or administrative provisions to comply with this directive and implement its requirements. The first RoHS directive remains in effect until the January 2013 effective date of the RoHS recast.

The RoHS recast restricts the same substances as RoHS with allowable maximum concentration limits and specific exemptions. Several exemptions have expired or will expire in the next two years. The new directive now obligates the EU to regularly review the list of restricted substances, providing a list of criteria the substances should meet and a list of information required for review of a substance. The first review must be conducted by July 22, 2014. Four substances are listed as a priority: hexabromocyclododecane, bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, butyl benzyl phthalate, and dibutyl phthalate. New substances that were considered for proposed restrictions during the review process included polyvinyl chloride, additional halogenated flame retardants, arsenic compounds, several phthalates, nanosilver, and long multiwalled carbon nanotubes.

Debbie Horn is a senior engineer and technical team lead for product environmental stewardship in IBM Systems and Technology Group.



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