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Product Environmental Information Management System Links Economy and Ecology



Given that 2010 is the mid-point of the first commitment period (2008-2012) under the Kyoto Protocol, Epson regards it as a key year in terms of both national environmental policies and corporate environmental measures. Our Action 2010 Comprehensive Environmental Policy sets out the goals we aim to achieve by 2010, and in fiscal 2006 we are launching specific initiatives to meet these goals. Our initiatives will be underpinned by a product environmental information management system, one element of which is the new Seiko Epson Environmental Management System (SeeMS) introduced in April this year.

Action 2010: basic principles
Action 2010 aims to boost our overall corporate capabilities by promoting business activity that directly connects economy with ecology. The basic measures are outlined in the three points below and will be backed by technology development linked to the 3Rs (reduce/reuse/recycle).

(1) Managing operations from the dual perspectives of ecology and economy to enhance resource/energy productivity and boost business capabilities.


(2) Developing products that take both economy and ecology into consideration, such as energy-saving appliances and low-power devices to enhance environmental conservation efforts and product capabilities.

(3) Disseminating information from both ecological and economical perspectives, while strengthening networks for gathering and circulating information to boost sales capabilities.

Outline of SeeMS
Product environmental information management systems provide a platform for environmental management. They enable global management of data relating to every stage in the product life cycle so that we can factor environmental issues into product quality across every area of corporate activity. This process not only ensures that cost and delivery targets are met but also directly links ecology with economy. In future new modules will be added, such as systems for managing life cycle assessment (LCA), calculating CO2 emissions in the distribution chain, and administering collection and recycling of products. SeeMS was introduced in April this year as part of our product environmental information management systems, to enable unified management of environmental data (environmental load/cost data) for each Epson site.

Data in the following seven categories can be managed via this system: (1) energy, (2) waste, (3) water, (4) greenhouses gases, (5) voluntary activities to reduce chemical use, (6) pollution, (7) effectiveness of environmental measures. This data can be collated and displayed as needed, for each category of business unit, for example.


Effects of introducing SeeMS
Introducing this system will facilitate globally unified information management, enabling us to identify both the environmental load and the costs of any activity across the full spectrum of our operations. It will also encourage members of the Epson Group to share information and reports on the results of their activities, leading to greater efficiency. Specifically, the following four effects are anticipated.

(1) Strict regulatory compliance around the world
(2) Flexible responses to requirements to gather increasing volumes of data
(3) Greater accuracy in collection and analysis of environmental data
(4) More efficient environmental management

Current and future system usage
Following its introduction in April, the system is now in use at all sites in Japan and more than 90 percent of sites in the Americas. In the rest of Asia it is in use at most manufacturing sites, but at only about half of non-manufacturing sites (mainly sales offices). All manufacturing sites in Europe are using the system, while sales offices and other non-manufacturing sites have begun to use it.

According to Katsumi Kimura of the Trustbased Management Department, the system should be in use at all Epson sites around the world and generating concrete results by the end of the fiscal year. "With the introduction of this system we have built a platform for environmental management," he says. "It will enable unified management, accurate analysis and efficient use of environmental information. We also intend to use the system to help meet our environmental objectives (as set out in the Action 2010 Comprehensive Environmental Policy) and to reduce environmental load on a worldwide scale."

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