LG takes lead in environmental

LG plans to abolish the use of all hazardous substances, such as lead in all products by the end of 2004.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  December 30, 2003

With its decision to phase out the use of all hazardous substances by the end of 2004, global electronics vendor, LG Electronics, expects to lead the industry in moves towards environment-friendly homes. LG plans to abolish the use of all hazardous substances, such as lead in all products by the end of 2004. “Any improvement in the way industry treats the environment is welcome and we hope our peers will soon follow suit in adopting similar policies,” M.B. Shin, president of LG Electronics Middle East and Africa operations, told Construction Week. “The knock-on effect to the air conditioning industry in the Middle East and Africa will not initially have a physical [environmental] impact, but more of an emotive one,” he said. The first LG products to benefit from the policy will be its range of IT and digital display products. “For instance, circuit boards for LGE monitors and televisions will be made using lead-free solder from 2004. LG’s commercial and residential A/C imports to the Middle East and Africa will start using environmentally-enhanced processes and components during 2004,” Shin pointed out. According to Shin, LG’s existing cooler units and residential A/C units already make use of current environmental production processes and coolant gas. LGE will be phasing in more environmentally friendly processes, components and coolants to its production lines during 2004. There is no policy yet to update existing units in the market. LG product prices will not go up as a result of this policy. “All costs associated with the changes implemented will be borne by LG Electronics. The benefits offered to LGE by the adoption of these practices will far outweigh any small increase in costs,” he said. The move to ban use of all hazardous substances is seen as part of vigorous steps to pre-empt increasingly stiff environment legislation from the EU, the US, China and other nations. Using EU guidelines, LGE will structure a EU-mandated system to collect and treat waste products improving the reuse rate, developing environment-friendly products and expanding its green-purchasing system. “[lge] has adopted environmentally friendly practices for a number of years. But we cannot rest on our laurels,” said Shin. “Europe and the US are employing advanced environmentally-friendly technologies and policies and it is our duty to stay on par if not ahead of current requirements,” he added. LGE’s environmental strategy will result in radical changes to current production systems. The company has brought online laboratories designed to analyse product components that are due to be banned by EU mandates by July 2006, such as +6 chrome, cadmium, and mercury.

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