Printer and copier makers boost energy efficiency by one-fifth within two years in Europe

The makers of inkjet printers and copiers for homes and small businesses have boosted energy efficiency by more than 20% in two years due to an industry self-regulation initiative adopted in 2011, according to a report by an independent inspector.

In its latest Energy Efficiency Report, ERA Technology said energy consumption from so-called OM products was reduced by 20,8% between 2011 and 2013. Overall, the imaging equipment industry has reduced the energy consumption of its products (sold between 2011 and 2013) by 10,5%. The reduction of energy consumption is the outcome of measures taken by all major manufacturers of the imaging equipment to decrease their environmental footprint (Voluntary Agreement on Ecodesign).

The agreement developed by EuroVAprint (the association grouping all major manufacturers of imaging equipment that operate in Europe) is binding for its 16 signatories. Since 2011, compliance to environmentally-friendly design requirements of imaging equipment products has been continuously increasing: from 93,92% in 2011 to 97,63% at the end of 2013 (figure provided by ERA Technology).

"Our industry is a vivid example of how self-regulation can work in Europe. The Ecodesign measures provide the right conditions for industries to take universal and immediate action to reduce energy consumption. Our voluntary agreement allows different manufacturers to work together for energy saving targets and achieve immediate results" said EuroVAprint President Maxime Furkel of Lexmark.

The agreement, backed by the European Commission, obliges manufacturers to comply with a strict set of design and information requirements, related to energy consumption, recyclability, and use of compatible cartridges. Manufacturers agreed to undertake measures to encourage the use of automatic duplex (double-sided) and "N-up" printing (several pages on one sheet) to save more paper. The agreement also lays down a series of requirements for environmental information that needs to be made available to customers.

The Voluntary Agreement also has the effect of reducing the administrative burden for authorities: the administrative costs of the Voluntary Agreement are lower compared to European legislation (e.g. Regulation) and are directly borne by the industry, not the tax payers.

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