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Updated on September 7, 2016

Management of Chemical Substances

Sony's Proprietary Global Standards for the Management of Chemical Substances

Many of Sony's electronics products contain between a few hundred and a few thousand parts that are made of a variety of chemical substances, some of which may be classified as hazardous and may harm the environment if they are not properly controlled prior to product disposal.

To prevent such environmental harm, some countries and regions have introduced laws and directives, such as the European Union's Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive*1 restricting certain chemical substances in products. In Japan, products that contain certain chemical substances are required to carry the J-Moss mark*2, while in China it is required to disclose information on chemical substances contained in products in line with the Management Methods on the Pollution Control of Electronic Information Products, often referred to as China RoHS*3.

In light of the global nature of its markets and supply chains, Sony has established its own global standards for the management of chemical substances, titled "Management Regulations for the Environment-related Substances to be Controlled which are Included in Parts and Materials" (SS-00259)*4, taking into account the related laws and regulations around the world and simultaneously the opinions of various stakeholders. In line with these standards, Sony ensures globally consistent management of chemical substances in parts and materials.

Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electric and electronic products (RoHS) (Enforced in 2006 and revised in 2011)
Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) for marking the presence of certain chemical substances in electrical and electronic equipment
Management Methods on the Pollution Control of Electronic Information Products is a regulation passed in 2007 in China, to regulate the use of six substances, including lead and mercury, in electronic products and components sold in the Chinese market. All electronics and information devices sold in China must bear the "Environmental pollution control mark," "Information on chemical substances content," and "Packaging materials recycling mark."
Sony standards that are used to give direction to suppliers on chemical substances for items procured by Sony. These standards classify chemical substances as those that must be banned immediately, those for which a period for phaseout is individually set and those for which no deadline is set for ban of use but phasing out is planned. (For details, visit: Management Regulations for the Environment-related Substances to be Controlled which are Included in Parts and Materials (SS-00259).)

Complying with Regulations Governing Chemical Substances in Products

Sony has set up necessary procedures to ensure compliance with the EU's REACH*1 regulation requirements and revised RoHS Directive. In response to its obligation under REACH to provide information to customers, as well as to the CE marking requirement of the RoHS directive, Sony currently uses the Green Procurement Survey Response Tools standard*2 issued by the Japanese VT62474*3 committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). This enables Sony to collect data on specified chemical substances in parts and materials purchased from suppliers for management in an internal database.

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals): Regulation for managing chemical substances introduced in the EU effective June 1, 2008, whereby companies that meet certain conditions are required to, among others, register, apply for authorization, notify, restrict and communicate information on certain chemical substances. Information on REACH can also be found at Environmental Management (only available in English).
Maintaining the electronic data format defined by the Japanese Green Procurement Survey Standardization Initiative (JGPSSI) for material declaration, the Japanese VT62474 committee issued a survey tool that covers additions to the list of declarable substances. The tool includes information on, among others, presence in parts, applications and sites where used.
The Japanese VT62474 committee was established in April 2012 as a subcommittee of the IEC under IEC TC111 technical committee for environmental standardization for electrical and electronics products and systems. Functioning primarily as a screening body in Japan, the Japanese VT62474 committee is responsible for summarizing opinions and providing information for the IEC's VT62474 project team, which is charged with updating the list of declarable substances in the IEC62474 database.

Three Core Principles for Managing Chemical Substances in Products

To guide its efforts to manage chemical substances in products in compliance with Sony's own global standards for management of chemical substances, titled "Management Regulations for Environment-related Substances to be Controlled which are included in Parts and Materials" (SS-00259), Sony has established three core principles:

Upstream management

In 2002, Sony established the Green Partner Environmental Quality Approval Program, which outlines Sony's Green Partner Standards for chemical substance management. Sony audits suppliers based on these standards. Sony purchases electronic parts only from suppliers who have passed this audit and have been certified as Green Partners. Sony also applies the Green Partner Environmental Quality Approval Program to manufacturing partners. To further enhance the efficiency of the system to manage chemical substances, in autumn 2003 Sony introduced the Green Book, a raw materials database, which was made available to Sony's direct suppliers via its electronic supplier portal. In the Green Book, Sony has registered only those materials that it has measured and confirmed compliance with the SS-00259 standards for Sony's designated raw materials such as recycled plastics and wires, and also for molding resins, paints, inks, printed wiring boards, steel sheets, adhesives and other basic materials that are commonly used by multiple first tier suppliers.To assist REACH compliance, Sony started by October 2008 to collect for raw materials listed in Green Book data on the content of certain chemical substances and makes these data available to its suppliers and manufacturing partners.

Management in Quality Control/Quality Assurance processes

New parts and materials are tested to ensure conformity with SS-00259 standards in addition to compliance with conventional quality control standards. Data collected from suppliers based on JGPSSI format* are thoroughly evaluated for this purpose. By implementing these strict management procedures worldwide, incompliant products are prevented from entering the market.

Electronic data format defined by JGPSSI (Japanese Green Procurement Survey Standardization Initiative) for material declaration that includes information on mass contained in parts, purpose of use, sites where used, etc., of declarable substances. Sony is currently promoting the use of the Green Procurement Survey Response Tools standard (formerly JGPSSI) issued by the Japanese VT62474 committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Utilization of chemical analysis

To prevent prohibited substances from accidentally entering products, suppliers are required to submit certificates of non-use attesting that the parts and materials they supply do not contain prohibited chemical substances as well as the JGPSSI data. For some high-risk substances Sony has also implemented internal control systems that involve using, for example, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and other measurement devices, to Sony sites worldwide, to help confirm that prohibited substances are kept out of products.
  • System for Managing Chemical Substances in Products

    For direct suppliers, the Green Book was made available via its electric procurement system in autumn 2003

Substance Management in Xperia™ Smartphones and Tablets

Sony Mobile Communications inc. (SOMC) is promoting efforts to manage chemical substances in its Xperia™ Smartphones and tablets. Starting in 2002 and known as one of the first companies in the industry to phase-out brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in mobile phone (circuit boards, cables and casings).
Since then SOMC has continued the journey and phased out BFRs (all applications), chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Phthalates, Beryllium, and Antimony (except ceramics and solder).
Going forward, SOMC will continue phasing out all brominated and chlorinated compounds as well as Antimony.

For details on the management of chemical substances for Xperia™ see the "Sustainability Substance control" page at this website: Sustainability/Substance control

For details on SOMC critical substances, see the Sony Mobile Critical Substance List at: Sony Mobile Critical Substance list
  • Phase out of critical substances in mobilephones

    Since fiscal year 2013, Sony has also been promoting the phaseout of critical substances in smartphones and tablets in accordance with the timeline shown above.

Information on "Color IQ™"* Incorporated in Some Television Models

BRAVIA™ LCD TV models:
X9200A, X9000A/X900A, W950A, W900A, W850A

The series of LCD televisions above will be launched in various countries around the world, with some models incorporating "Color IQ™." For more details on these models, please visit the appropriate Sony website in each country.

"Color IQ™" is an advanced light-emitting semiconductor technology developed by QD Vision, Inc. By integrating QD Vision's "Color IQ™" optical component with Sony's unique display technologies, this television set achieves a significantly wider color gamut, which provides a far more natural and vivid viewing experience. The "Color IQ™" optical component produced by QD Vision contains a very small quantity of cadmium. This cadmium is fixed within a hardened resin which is sealed in glass inside the television. Customers can therefore enjoy using this television without being exposed to cadmium.

This television complies with all applicable environmental laws and regulations in countries and regions where Sony sells it. Sony's aim is to protect the environment throughout the life cycle of its products. As part of this effort, Sony provides its consumers, authorized repair workshops and recycling companies with information relating to the "Color IQ™" component in order to enable proper collection, handling, recycling and disposal of the component upon repair or disposal of the television, in accordance with applicable local environmental laws and regulations.

"Color IQ™" and the "Color IQ™" logo are trademarks of QD Vision, Inc.

Management of Chemical Substances in Packaging Materials

Sony also takes precautions to increase the safety of its packaging materials and ensure that hazardous substances, including heavy metals, are not mixed into packaging materials by managing materials in line with its proprietary "Management Regulations for Environment-related Substances to be Controlled which are included in Parts and Materials" (SS-00259). The packaging section of SS-00259 is based on, among others, EU directives on packaging and packaging waste. Sony is also actively making use of inks that comply with "Voluntary Regulation Concerning Printing Inks (Negative List Regulations)" put forward by the Japan Printing Ink Makers Association, as well as inks that do not contain Volatile Organic Compounds (less than 1% use of VOCs).
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