Taiwanese IT heavyweights take actions to meet new EU environment directives

Jan 17, 2005 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Ken LPM, CENS
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Taipei, Jan. 17, 2005 (CENS)--Heavyweight Taiwanese information-technology (IT) suppliers including Acer Inc., Asustek Computer Inc., First International Computer Inc. and Mitac International Corp. will work out manufacturing plans that comply with European Union's new environmental-protection directives.

EU will start Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive and Restriction of Hazardous Substance Directive (RoHS) in July 2006. Both directives aim at environmental problems caused by electronics and electrical products.

Acer started implementing a new environmental-protection standard on the first day of this year requesting all of its contract suppliers to meet WEEE and RoHS requirements. If they fail to meet the standard, they will be excluded from Acer's contract-supplier list.

Mitac, Asustek, First International and other local IT manufacturers will roll out a plan which they dub as "Plan G" to set up a green-verification platform as the first step of their "green-supply chain management". They said they would first set up an environmental-protection examination standard that is compliant with the EU's new directives.

Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) of the government-based Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) estimated the new EU environmental-protection regulations would take a serious toll on Taiwan's electronics and electrical production bounded for Europe and Japan. The center forecast the Taiwan's exports to Europe and Japan to rise to NT$1.2 trillion (US$37.5 billion at US$1:NT$32) in 2006, up from 2004's NT$900 billion (US$28 billion).

Taiwanese industry watchers pointed out that the sooner Taiwanese IT manufacturers equip themselves with environmental-protection manufacturing capabilities compatible with the new EU standards, the more advantageous will be for them to operate in the business.
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