What is EuroVAprint ASBL?
EuroVAprint is an association of leading producers of imaging equipment. It has been created as a not-for-profit organization and is based in Brussels, Belgium.
What is the background to the establishment of EuroVAprint ASBL?
Amid growing concern about energy usage and its long-term environmental effects, the European Union (EU) adopted Directive 2009/125/EC on energy-related products (ErP) (formerly EuP). This directive created a framework for the development of EU-wide rules for improving the environmental performance of energy-related products through minimum eco-design requirements. Anticipating EU moves towards regulation aimed specifically at imaging products, industry leaders developed the idea of a voluntary agreement to improve standards as an alternative to legislative regulation. This approach was agreed jointly in 2011 with the European Commission after it had commissioned a preparatory study following the standard methodology for the assessment of products groups under the ErP Directive.
EuroVAprint ASBL was set up as a platform for the management and oversight of the voluntary agreement. For more information on the voluntary agreement please see section on voluntary agreement below.
What does EuroVAprint ASBL do?
EuroVAprint ASBL serves as a legal and administrative framework for the operation of the voluntary agreement and ensures that the provisions of the voluntary agreement, particularly with regard to the compilation and reporting of information, are carried out. Establishing a binding and separate framework in this way acts as a guarantee of the industry’s commitment to meeting its obligations under the voluntary agreement. The signatories to the voluntary agreement want to ensure that their customers and partners have confidence in the industry’s integrity.
How is EuroVAprint ASBL run?
EuroVAprint ASBL is managed by a board of five members (Canon, Epson, HP, Lexmark and Xerox) from five of the original six companies (Canon, Epson, HP, Lexmark, Oki and Xerox) that came together to create the association. EuroVAprint ASBL is subject to Belgian legislation on not-for-profit organisations. EuroVAprint ASBL’s day-to-day administration is managed by a Secretary General who is appointed by the board.
On the voluntary agreement
What is the voluntary agreement about?
The voluntary agreement is an accord drawn up by the members of EuroVAprint. It sets out a range of measures and targets that signatories are expected to fulfill from 2012 in order to improve the environmental performance of imaging equipment placed on the European market. The wider purpose of the voluntary agreement is to showcase the imaging industry as an innovative sector that is constantly improving the sustainability of its products.
What products are covered by the voluntary agreement?
The voluntary agreement covers imaging equipment belonging to one of the following product categories that have been assessed during the EuP Lot 4 preparatory study:
- multifunction devices
- fax machines.
The marking technologies covered by the voluntary agreement are:
- electrophotography (laser)
- solid ink
Other products can voluntarily be registered under the voluntary agreement by one or more signatories.
Further details on which products are covered can be found in the voluntary agreement, section 3.3.
What does the voluntary agreement commit my company to do?
The voluntary agreement commits signatories to comply with a set of design and information requirements. Design requirements include specific targets in relation to energy consumption, default delay times, duplex pre-setting, N-up printing, recycling and cartridge reuse. Information requirements cover resource and energy efficiency and cartridge disposal.
Further details on specific targets, design and information requirements can be found in the voluntary agreement, sections 4, 5 and 6.
Who are the current signatories to the voluntary agreement?
As of January 2012 the signatories to the voluntary agreement are: Brother, Canon, Epson Europe, Hewlett Packard, Konica Minolta, Kyocera Document Solutions, Lexmark, Oki, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba and Xerox.
These companies account for 96 per cent of market coverage based on units sold in the European Union.
What are the advantages of the voluntary agreement for signatories?
The voluntary agreement is a demonstration of the industry’s contribution to the EU’s eco-design objectives, the EU Action Plan on Energy Efficiency, the EU Resource Efficiency Roadmap, the EU 2020 emissions reduction targets and the EU Energy Related Products framework.
The voluntary agreement also reinforces transparency in the interest of customers. Providing accurate, detailed and transparent information about the environmental performance of products enables customers to make more sustainable purchasing decisions. The voluntary agreement also acts as a guarantor of transparency and integrity because it is supervised independentl.
How are signatories involved in the management of the voluntary agreement?
The voluntary agreement is supervised by a Steering Committee. Each signatory can nominate one representative for the Steering Committee. Additionally, membership of the Steering Committee is open to any potential signatory of the voluntary agreement. Representatives of the European Commission are invited to co-chair Steering Committee meetings. Finally, representatives from national governments and some relevant NGOs may also attend as observers.
How does the Steering Committee of the voluntary agreement operate?
The Steering Committee elects a chair (currently a representative of the signatories), who convenes meetings at least once in every reporting period (normally a calendar year). The Steering Committee will always try to achieve a consensus but for cases in which a consensus is impossible there are provisions for voting. Each company has one vote.
How will the voluntary agreement be implemented and supervised?
EuroVAprint has assigned the responsibility for verification of the voluntary agreement to an independent inspector. Following a competitive tender process, EuroVAprint awarded the independent inspector contract to Edif ERA (formerly ERA). a reputable consultancy based in the UK.
How is the voluntary agreement compliance information compiled?
Shortly after the end of a reporting period, the independent inspector requests signatories to submit a compliance report. Signatories are responsible for submitting this information within three months. The information they are obliged to provide includes their sales data per model and their rate of compliance with the various criteria in the voluntary agreement relating to environmental performance.
The independent inspector collates the various reports into a progress report. This represents an overall view of the signatories’ compliance with the commitments they have made under the voluntary agreement. Companies’ data are compiled individually but anonymously (e.g. “Company A, B” etc.) and then aggregated.
What happens in case of non-compliance?
The voluntary agreement contains provisions for non-compliance. Where a signatory misses the voluntary agreement’s specified compliance target by five per cent or less the Steering Committee will allow the signatory a grace period of six months to meet that target. Where a signatory misses a specified target by more than five per cent the Steering Committee will open discussions with the signatory and change the signatory’s status from full signatory to defaulting signatory.
If a signatory does not comply with the original or revised obligations as set out by the Steering Committee it shall no longer be allowed to participate in the voluntary agreement and shall be deleted from the list of signatories.