head
circle
Core Criteria



1. PREFACE

This document offers "Core Criteria for personal computers" for GEN members' programs. Members are encouraged to consider inclusion of these core criteria in their own program criteria documents and processes.

Based on the basic principles of GEN, the criteria have been selected to be comprehensive more than futuristic, and acceptable to each country's ecolabel in different situations.

Definition of Personal Computers (PC's)
"Personal computers": Desktop (or Desk-side) computers and portable computers, integrated (combined type) computers; except workstation

In reality, there are three types of products as mentioned above. Additionally, the displays as output devices have two types: CRT and LCD, and the combination of these with the control unit make various forms. We should consider definitions and classifications of PC's in the future in accordance with the situation.

Duration of the criteria:
4 years from the date established

top


2. CORE CRITERIA FOR PERSONAL COMPUTERS

2-1. Energy Savings

(1) Monitors
REQUIREMENTS
Ecological Criteria
<Table 1-A: Monitor, Energy Saving>
Low-Power Mode Maximum Watts in
Low-Power State
Power Management Preset Default Times
First Low-Power
"Sleep" Mode
10 Watts 30 Minutes
Second Low-Power
"Deep Sleep" Mode
5 Watts 70 Minutes

Verification
An applicant shall declare the compliance of the product with the requirements. An applicant shall provide a report of the measurement of the power consumption in both the low-power modes.

Test Methods
The measurement of the energy consumption shall be in conformity with the Energy Star Memorandum of Understanding (monitor).

Note
Both the first low-power mode and the second low-power mode are defined as the reduced power states that the monitor enters after a period of inactivity. A blank screen and reduction in power consumption characterize the first low-power mode, while a significant reduction in power consumption characterizes the second low-power mode. These definitions are in accordance with those used in the Energy Star program.

COMMENTS
Ecological criteria
Ref1) The former draft set 15 W, 5 W
Ref2) The EU New Revised Criteria set 10 W, 5 W

The 1st GEN draft was " 15 W, 5 W", respecting the figures of ENERGY STAR established in 1999. However, after reviewing the following four points, it is decided that establishing the above-mentioned figures as the Criteria would be relevant.
  • The Energy Savings items for the above-mentioned monitor have been established as the Ecolabel Criteria.
  • The former EU criteria was " 10 W, 3 W", and the EU New Revised Criteria is " 10 W, 5 W". This figure has already been recognized as the EU standard.
  • There is an opinion that the criteria should be "10 W, 3 W".
  • Technological innovations have been progressing in this field after the figures of ENERGY STAR were established, and the figures for the Ecolabelling Criteria are required to be stricter than the existing figures of Energy Star.

Verification
Since most programmes require the measurement shall be in conformity with Energy Star Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), it will be reasonable to require a report of a measurement test in accordance with the Energy Star MOU.

Since the compliance with Energy Star is self-certificated, no specification for a testing laboratory will be included in the verification requirements.

top


(2) Control Unit
REQUIREMENTS
Ecological Criteria
<Table 1-B: Control Unit, Energy Savings>
Power Supply
( = a :Maximum continuous output power rating)
Maximum Watts
in Sleep Mode
Power Management Preset
Default Times
a 200 Watts 15 Watts 30 Minutes
200 Watts < a 300 Watts 20 Watts 30 Minutes
300 Watts < a 350 Watts 25 Watts 30 Minutes
350 Watts < a 400 Watts 30 Watts 30 Minutes
400 Watts < a 10% of the maximum continuous power rating of the power supply 30 Minutes
B Type* 15% of the maximum continuous power rating of the power supply 30 Minutes
*B Type: Computers that are shipped with the capability to be on networks that currently require the computer's processor and/or memory to be involved in maintaining its network connection while in sleep mode. These computers are expected to maintain identical network functionality in and out of sleep mode.

Verification
An applicant shall declare the compliance of the product with the requirements. An applicant shall provide a report of the measurement of the power consumption in the sleep mode.

Test Methods
The measurement of the energy consumption shall be in conformity with the Energy Star Memorandum of Understanding (computer).

Note
The Sleep Mode in the requirements is defined as the reduced power state that the computer enters after a period of inactivity. This definition is in accordance with that used in the Energy Star Program.

COMMENTS
Ecological criteria
Some members insist that because Energy Star is like a de-facto standard, more ambitious target values should be chosen.
However, considering the following two points, it is decided that figures based on Energy Star (or maintaining the 1st Draft) would be relevant.

  • In the EU New Revised Criteria, this Criterion (Personal Computers) should "meet the current Energy Star power consumption requirements."
  • Most members are likely to support the current Standard (current EU, Energy Star) for the Ecolabel.

With regard to the definition of the modes, the Sleep Mode in the requirements above is defined so as to be in conformity with that of the low-power mode in Energy Star as described in "Note" in the above requirements.

top


(3) Integrated Computer System / Portable Computer
REQUIREMENTS
Ecological Criteria
<Table 1-C: Integrated Computer System, Energy Savings>
Maximum Watts in Low-Power State Power Management Preset Default Times
35 Watts 30 Minutes

Verification
An applicant shall declare the compliance of the product with the requirements. An applicant shall provide a report of the measurement of the power consumption in the low-power state.

Test Methods
The measurement of the energy consumption shall be in conformity with the Energy Star Memorandum of Understanding (computer).

Note
The low-power mode is defined as the reduced power state that the computer enters after a period of inactivity. This definition is in accordance with that used in the Energy Star Program.

COMMENTS
Ecological criteria
There are opinions that the maximum watts in low-power state should be distinguished between (small) portable computers and computers which are not normally portable.
However, considering the following five points, it is decided that the definitions and figures based on the Energy Star requirements would be appropriate.

  • The greatest factor that influences the power consumption of computers is the type of displays (CRT or LCD). In that sense, the newly defined figures should be determined according to the display type in the Energy Savings category in the future.
  • In the situation where definitions most appropriate to such Energy Savings have not been established on a global level, it is likely that the definitions and figures of the Energy Star Program, which are the current global standard, are the best to gain global approval.
  • Integrated Computers are included in Personal Computers in the EU New Revised Criteria. The Criteria of those Energy Savings iSleep Modej stipulates to "meet the current Energy Star power consumption requirements."
  • The EU New Revised Criteria stipulates the Energy Savings Criteria unique to Portable Computers. However, it does not define the power consumption of the "Sleep Mode" of Energy Star but does stipulate the power consumption of "Off Mode" (=ACPI S3).
  • Portable Computers are increasingly becoming popular, and based on its characteristic of "portability (using the charged electricity)", each manufacturer has naturally been pursuing technical development for Energy Savings. Further, since the criterion definition has not been established on a global level, it is very difficult to establish specific figures.

top



2-2. Design for the Environment

(1) Design for Exchangeability / Upgradability
REQUIREMENTS
Ecological Criteria
  1. Modular Design
    The product should have a modular structure.
  2. Accessible with Common Tools
    The product shall be accessible with commonly available tools. The user can change the modules without any special tools.
  3. Upgradability/Exchangeability
    The product design should take upgradability and exchangeability of modules into consideration.
Verification
An applicant shall complete the Checklist provided in Appendix.1

Note
A module is defined as a part that can be separated from the product and treated as a single unit for the purpose of recycling.

COMMENTS
Ecological criteria
A. Modular Design
Ref (1) current Blue Angel:
The products have a modular structure.
Ref (2) current EU Ecolabel on personal computers (before revision: 1999/205/EC)
The system unit shall have a modular design, allowing components to be easily accessible;
Ref (3) current EU Ecolabel on portable computers (before revision: 1999/698/EC)
The portable computer shall have a modular design, allowing components to be easily accessible.
There is an opinion that it must clearly be defined what is meant by modular.
However, this Draft is the "Core" Criteria of GEN and does not specify the details of the standard.
There is an opinion that it must clearly be defined what is meant by modular.
However, this Draft is the "Core" Criteria of GEN and does not specify the details of the standard.

C. Upgradability/Exchangeability
Some specific checkpoints are added in the Checklist according to a member's opinion for the first Questionnaire.

Verification
Completion of a Checklist is required in some programmes. Though some programmes do not require the checklist, it is likely that the completion of the checklist will not impose much effort on the applicant, rather help confirmation.
There is a programme that requires an account for the tools used for dismantling in addition to the declaration of the compliance. However, since those common tools may differ from country to country, this requirement will not be included in the common criteria.

top


(2) Design for Recyclability
REQUIREMENTS
Ecological Criteria
  1. Dismantling
    One qualified person, alone, shall be able to dismantle the product.
  2. Plastics / Metals Recycling
    90% (by weight) of plastic and metal materials in the housing and chassis shall be technically recyclable.
  3. Polymer Type
    Single plastic parts (over 25g) in the housing / chassis shall consist of one type of polymer (homopolymer or copolymer) or recyclable plastic blend
  4. Metal Inlay
    No metal inlays that cannot be separated from plastic parts (over 25g).
  5. Plastic Parts Marked
    Plastic parts provided with the marking in accordance with ISO 11469 (except < 25g or < 200 mm2 in areas of the flat part)
Verification
An applicant shall complete the Checklist provided in Appendix 1. In addition to the Checklist, the applicant shall provide a copy of dismantling report for verification of Requirement A, and an account for polymer types used in the product for verification of Requirement C.

COMMENTS
Ecological criteria
A. Dismantling
Ref (1) The 1st draft was
"The product shall be easily dismantled by qualified personnel."
Ref (2) EU New Revised Criteria
"One qualified person, alone, shall be able to dismantle it."
The expression is changed from the 1st draft without changing the meaning of the Criteria to "One qualified person,...", avoiding the term "easily". This "qualified" means "skilled" and not necessarily "having qualification".

B. Plastics / Metals Recycling
Ref (1) The 1st draft was:
"Recycling of plastics/metals ( 90%(wt)) in the housing/chassis has to be technically feasible."
Ref (2) EU New Draft:
"90% (by volume) of plastic and metal materials in the housing and chassis shall be technically recyclable."
Ref (3) The 2nd draft was:
"90% (by volume) of plastic and metal materials in the housing and chassis shall be technically recyclable."
Ref (4) EU New Revised Criteria:
"90% of plastic and metal materials in the housing and chassis shall be technically recyclable."
The expression "feasible"in the 1st draft is avoided following the opinion provided in the questionnaire.
The recyclable rate is specified in volume in the 2nd draft and EU Drafts. However, it is changed to "90% (by weight)" in this criterion considering the opinion that points out the difficulty to determine the rate by volume. Furthermore, the term - "by volume"- is eliminated in EU New Revised Criteria.

C. Polymer Type
Ref (1) The 1st draft was:
"Single plastic parts (over 25g) in the housing / chassis shall consist of one type of polymer (homopolymer or copolymer) or recyclable plastic blend."
Ref (2) EU New Revised Criteria is:
"Plastic parts shall be of one polymer or compatible polymers, except for the cover, which shall consist of no more that two types of polymers which are separable."
There is an opinion that the term - "not exceed 2 types of polymers which are separable" - should be added to the criteria. However, this requirement has been supported by many programs that sent us comments for the above-mentioned Questionnaires.

F. Documents
Ref (1) The 1st draft was:
"Documents are required for tools for dismantling, plastics and plastic blends used in the housing and chassis."
This criterion is eliminated based on the provided opinion.
However, the details of the criteria have not been changed. Detailed items are disclosed by filling in the Verification/Checklist added to some of the Criteria.
As proposed in the 1st Draft, information (i.e. documentation) related to Design for Recyclability is necessary.

Verification
Since a disassembly report helps with disassembly, and a record must be taken to certify the disassembly requirement, the report is included in the verification documents.
Since the information on the materials used in the product is necessary not only for the polymer type requirement, but also for the hazardous material requirement, it is included in the verification requirements.

top



2-3. Take-back and Recycling

REQUIREMENTS
Ecological Criteria
(1) Take-back
The applicant has to have a take-back system for used products or must be connected to an official take-back system or an equivalent.
(2) Recycling
The applicant has to arrange a recycling system for the used products.

Verification
The applicant shall declare the compliance with the requirements

COMMENTS
Ecological criteria
The liability of the applicant for Take-back and Recycling differs according to the law of each country. There are specific systems in some of the regions, but the global standard has not been established yet.
Therefore, various discussions for the Criteria are expected in accordance with the stance of each country and the progress of the measures on a global level.

In this criterion, an equivalent of an official take-back system is added as an acceptable system so that this criterion would not hinder the establishment of reliable but unofficial take-back systems.

Verification
Some programmes specify a statement with explanation of the system, while other programmes require only declaration for verification.
Since the information on the take-back system shall be provided to the users in the "User information " and the corresponding pages of the user manual are provided as verification, no further explanation of the system is necessary.

top



2-4. Hazardous Materials

REQUIREMENTS
Ecological Criteria
(1) Hazardous Materials Separation
Incompatible and hazardous materials shall be easily found and removable.
(2) Plastics
  1. Cadmium / Lead
    Cadmium or lead may not be intentionally added to plastic parts (over 25 g)
  2. Flame Retardants
    PBB, PBDE, chlorinated paraffins shall not be contained in plastics (over 25g).
  3. Halogens
    Any single plastic part of the housing or chassis over 25 g must not contain halogen except maximum 0.5 % fluoroorganic additives.
(3) Batteries / Accumulators
The contents of certain heavy metals in batteries and accumulators may not exceed the following limits:
Substance Limit
mercury max 1 ppm
cadmium max 10 ppm
lead max 100 ppm
(4) Display
Cadmium or mercury must not be contained in displays, mercury is allowed in the illumination lamps of LCD display only.

Verification
For the verification of Requirements (1) - (4), the applicant shall complete the Checklist provided in Appendix 1. In addition to the Checklist, the applicant shall provide specified documents. The applicant shall provide a statement from the manufacturer certifying that it does not use the specified flame-retardants in the plastics. The applicant shall provide a statement from the battery/accumulator manufacturer that proves the compliance and identifies the types of batteries/accumulators used.If the display manufacturer is not identical with the applicant, the applicant shall present a statement from a display manufacturer.

Note
(2)C is amended from ' Any single plastic part of the housing or chassis that weighs 25g or more c' to 'Any single plastic part of the housing or chassis over 25gc' for wording unification.

COMMENTS
Ecological criteria
(2) Plastics
A. Cadmium / Lead
Ref (1) The 1st draft criteria was:
"Cadmium or lead may not be actively added to plastic parts (over 25g)."
Ref (2) EU New Revised Criteria:
"Plastic parts shall have no lead or cadmium intentionally added."
Based on the provided opinion, the term -"actively"- in the 1st draft is changed to "intentionally". The opinion to include plastic parts weighing 25g or less seems to be of value for consideration, looking at the current EU criteria.
However, considering the agreement on a Global Level and the results of the Questionnaire, the Criteria are not revised.

B. Flame Retardants
Ref (1) the 1st and 2nd drafts:
"PBB, PBDE, chlorinated paraffins shall not be contained in plastics."
Ref (2) EU New Revised Criteria:
"Plastic parts heavier than 25 grams shall not contain the following flame retardants..."
The term - "over 25g" - is added in this criterion based on the provided opinion in the questionnaire and the EU new revised criteria.

C. Halogens
Ref (1) The1st draft criterion was:
"Any single plastic part of the housing or chassis that weighs 25 g or more must not contain halogen except FL (fluoroorganic additives). "
The exception clause is revised from the 1st draft based on the opinion provided in the first questionnaire.
Although there is an opinion to delete this criterion due to the confusion with Requirement B, this criterion is maintained. It is because:
There are programmes where both criteria are specified; and
It is likely that most members agree with this criterion.

(3) Batteries / Accumulators
This criterion is not revised from the 1st draft, because most members are likely to support the criterion.

(4) Display
Ref (1) The 1st draft criterion was:
"Cadmium or mercury may not be added to the picture tube of the CRT display. Cadmium may not be added to the LCD display."
Ref (2) EU New Revised Criteria:
Personal Computer: Mercury content of a liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor
The background lighting of the LCD monitor shall not contain more than 3mg of mercury per lamp (on average).
Based on the provided opinions, the criterion is revised to "mercury is allowed in the LCD display only". In the 1st Draft, the clause was "Cadmium may not be added to the LCD display," allowing mercury to the LCD display, but this expression is changed.
In addition, the term - "in the illumination lamps" - is inserted for clarification based on the provided opinion.
The specific maximum figure of mercury is not included in the criterion. The EU New Revised Criteria stipulates the maximum figure per lamp, but the criteria in other countries do not include this.

Verification
The certification document is required for the verification of the flame-retardant requirement in some of the programmes. It is likely that the applicant has some documents provided by the plastic manufacturers to identify the flame-retardants used in the plastics, which can be used as a verification document. It will be also applicable for batteries and displays.

top



2-5. Influences on the Human Body and Living Environment - Noise

REQUIREMENTS
Ecological Criteria
The "declared sound level", according to paragraph 3.2.5 of ISO 9296, shall not exceed: 48dB in the idle operating mode; and 55dB when accessing a disk drive.

Verification
An applicant shall declare the compliance of the product with the requirements. An applicant shall provide a report of the measurement. The report shall state the measured levels of noise emissions, which are in conformity with ISO 9296.

Test method
The measurement of the noise emission shall be in conformity with ISO 7779.

COMMENTS
Ecological criteria
Ref (1) EU New Revised Criteria:
The "Declared Sound Power Level" of the personal computer system unit, according to paragraph 3.2.5 of ISO 9296, shall not exceed:
48dB(A) in the idle operating mode
55dB(A) when accessing a disk drive
There was no Criterion about NOISE in the 1st Draft, but it is added because some wanted it to be added. The members are expected to actively exchange opinions on the NOISE clause.
It is decided to add this clause in the 2nd Draft considering the following points:
Some programmes currently include the same criterion requirement levels - "48dB, 55dB".
These levels are incorporated in the EU New Revised Criteria, and the clause - "noise is becoming more important on the environmental agenda..." is stipulated in the EU Draft final report.

Verification
Most programmes that have criteria for the PC require a report of the measurement test as the verification.
Some programmes do not refer to conformity with ISO 7779 and ISO 9296. In addition, there is an opinion that testing can be made in accordance with the programme's national relevant testing regulations. The basic policy in the establishment of Core Criteria is to conform with the international standard if available. Considering this policy and the fact that some programmes stipulate ISO 7779 and ISO 9296 as the conformity standards, the conformity with these standards is included in the requirements.

top



2-6. Public Information

REQUIREMENTS
Ecological Criteria
(1) User Instruction
Printed user instructions should be attached to the product so that information on the product or service can be provided to users.
(2) Information on Product
  1. A. Power Management
    This should contain the minimum and maximum energy consumption of the control unit in operation; information on sleep, deep sleep, and off-mode; and a statement that the PC product consumes zero power only while it is not physically connected to any power outlet.
  2. B. Upgradability / Exchangeability
    The applicant shall give advice on how the user can upgrade / exchange modules.
(3) Information on Service / System
The applicant shall give advice on how the user can make use of the take-back guarantee.

Verification
The applicant shall complete the Checklist provided in Appendix 1and provide corresponding pages of the user's instruction manual.

COMMENTS
Ecological criteria
(2) Information on Product
A. Power Management
With regard to the definition of the modes, the Low-Power Modes and the Sleep Mode in the requirements are defined so as to be in conformity with those of the low-power modes under the Energy Star Program.

Verification
While a copy of the User Manual is required for the application in some programmes, only the excerpts are required in others. The excerpts of the corresponding pages are satisfactory as verification and make the examination process more efficient.

top



2-7. Test laboratories (if necessary)

REQUIREMENTS
The analyzing laboratory should operate in accordance with the general standard ISO 17025 or ISO-IEC Guide 25, or have an official GLP approval. The manufacturer's laboratory can be accepted if the test is supervised by the authorities, or the manufacturer has a certified quality system including test control.

COMMENTS
This requirement is added to ensure that any tests are performed by impartial and competent laboratories. Some programmes specify EN45001, which was superseded by ISO17025, as the standard to be met by the test laboratories. One programme accepts ISO/IEC Guide 25, an official GLP approval and manufacturers' laboratories provided that the specified conditions are satisfied. Another requires official recognition, without specifying a standard. Considering the situations in various countries, including those without the requirements for laboratories, this requirement accepts various types of laboratories.

top


Appendix 1. Checklist

COMMENTS
The items in this Checklist are in accordance with the requirements, though there is a discussion to include detailed requirements in the Checklist. This is to make the core criteria as simple as possible and to avoid confusion.

With regard to the formulation of the Checklist, an opinion is provided that items in the Checklist should be formulated in affirmative sentences so as to avoid misunderstandings. This opinion should be taken into consideration in the future.


Appendix 1
Checklist

DESIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Comply Does not
Comply
(1) Design for the Exchangeability/Upgradability
A. Modular Design
The product should have a modular structure.
B. Accessible With Common Tools
The product shall be accessible with commonly available tools. The user can change the modules without any special tools.
C. Upgradability /Exchangeability
The product design should take upgradability of modules into consideration.
The hard disk should be exchangeable.
The CD-ROM drive should be exchangeable (if included).
The DVD-ROM drive should be exchangeable (if included).
(2) Design for Recyclability
A. Dismantling
One qualified person, alone, shall be able to dismantle the product.
B. Plastics /Metals Recycling
90 % (by weight) of the plastic and metal materials in the housing and chassis shall be technically recyclable.
C. Polymer Type
Single plastic parts (over 25g) in the housing / chassis shall consist of one type of polymer (homopolymer or copolymer) or recyclable plastic blend.
D. Metal Inlay
No metal inlays that cannot be separated from plastic parts (over 25g).
E. Plastic Parts Marked
Plastic parts provided with marking in accordance with ISO 11469
(except < 25g or < 200 mm2 in areas of the flat part).


TAKE-BACK AND RECYCLING Comply Does not
Comply
(1) Take-back
The applicant has to have a take-back system for used products or must be connected to an official take-back system or an equivalent.
(2) Recycling
The applicant has to arrange a recycling system for the used products.


HAZARDOUS MATERIALS Comply Does not
Comply
(1) Hazardous Materials Separation
Incompatible and hazardous materials shall be easily found and removable.
(2) Plastics
A. Cadmium / Lead
Cadmium or lead may not be intentionally added to plastic parts (over 25g).
B. Flame-Retardants
PBB, PBDE, chlorinated paraffins shall not be contained in plastics (over 25g).
C. Halogens
Any single plastic part of the housing or chassis that weighs over 25g must not contain halogen except maximum 0.5 % fluoroorganic additives.
(3) Batteries / Accumulators
The contents of certain heavy metals in batteries and accumulators may not exceed the following limits:
Substance Limit
Mercury max 1 ppm
Cadmium max 10 ppm
Lead max 100 ppm








(4) Display
Cadmium or mercury must not be contained in displays; mercury is allowed in the illumination lamps of LCD display only.


PUBLIC INFORMATION Comply Does not
Comply
(1) User Instruction
Printed user instructions should be attached to the product so that information on the product or service can be provided to users.
(2) Information on Product
Power Management
This should contain the minimum and maximum energy consumption of the control unit in operation; information on sleep, deep sleep, and off-mode; and a statement that the PC product consumes zero power only while it is not physically connected to any power outlet.
Upgradability / Exchangeability
The applicant shall give advice on how the user can upgrade / exchange modules.
(3) Information on Service / System
The applicant shall give advice on how the user can make use of the take-back guarantee.

top
space
October 13, 2001