Reducing Substances with Significant Environmental Loads
Formulation of Standards for and the Management of Hazardous Chemical Substances in Products
Some chemical substances contained in products have an environmental impact and therefore require proper treatment on disposal. Other substances may have potential health impacts to their users depending on application. For that reason, countries around the world have been strengthening restrictions for chemical substances contained in products in addition to traditional regulations related to chemical substances.
For example, the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS Directive*1), which came into force in Europe in 2006, bans six substances, including lead and hexavalent chromium, for use in products. This directive was revised in 2011 amid calls for more appropriate management.
In recent years, countries around the world have taken steps to tighten the management and regulation of such substances.
Meanwhile, REACH*2, effective from 2007, calls for identification and management of specific chemical substances contained in products.
In response to these regulatory moves, the Yamaha Group established its own Standards for Chemical Content in Products in February 2003. These standards have been used to manage chemical substances in products during design and development and have helped facilitate legal compliance as well as minimize the environmental impact of products.
The standards undergo revisions as and when necessary, in response to legislative change, the accession of voluntary standards, and other factors.
- *1 RoHS: An abbreviation for Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Issued by the European Union, the RoHS Directive restricts the usage of specific hazardous substances (lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl, and polybrominated diphenyl ether) in electrical and electronic equipment.
- *2 REACH: An abbreviation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. It is a comprehensive system for the registration, evaluation, accreditation, and control of chemical substances initiated in Europe, aimed at protecting human health and the environment.
Improving Chemical Substance Management Systems
In order to manage chemical substances contained in products, it is imperative to identify and control the chemical substances contained in the parts and materials making up finished products. In 2008, the Yamaha Group established a system for the management of chemical substances contained in Yamaha products' parts and materials. Additionally, as part of the its green procurement activities, the Yamaha Group conducted a survey of its chemical containing parts and materials with the cooperation of its suppliers, thereby contributing to improved management of these substances.
From fiscal 2010, Yamaha renewed its chemical substance management system, adding compliance with AIS*3, a standard industry format for the identification of chemical substances in products. The new system was likewise designed to comply flexibly with the European Union's ever-growing chemical substance regulations, such as SVHC*4 under REACH, for example, while simultaneously helping to reduce the work load of our suppliers.Yamaha will hold briefing sessions in Japan and internationally to explain to and gain the cooperation of suppliers in implementing its new chemical management system.
- *3 AIS: An abbreviation for Article Information Sheet. A basic communication sheet standardized by JAMP (Joint Article Management Promotion Consortium) for providing information on chemical substances contained in products. Parts makers can use the chemical information they receive from material makers to pass on to those they supply, ensuring the fluid transmission of information downstream.
- *4 SVHC: An abbreviation for Substance of Very High Concern such as carcinogens. Under the REACH regulations, if a product contains more than a certain amount of an SVHC-designated substance, there is an obligation to report and manage the product.
Example of a product with reduced environmental load
Wind instruments using lead-free soldering
Yamaha is also making progress in the utilization of alternatives to lead and other hazardous substances contained in products not designated by the RoHS Directive. Yamaha was also the first in the world to realize a lead-free solder wind instrument.