In a recent blog from Technology Forecasters Inc., a research firm in Alameda Calif., Harvey Stone, managing director of the Goodbye Chain Group, points to 2008 as the beginning of a new wave of environmental regulations that will extend over a “tumultuous next 10 years.”
Stone says we got off easy in 2007. China and Korea introduced their own versions of RoHS, but otherwise it was a quiet year for environmental regulations. There were no major RoHS or WEEE enforcements and a bill to expand California’s RoHS legislation was vetoed.
He pointed to five changes in 2008 that will put environmental issues back on the front burner:
- We have reached the “greening of industry” tipping point. One example is that hundreds of corporate executives are calling for mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions and virtually every leading company is launching energy-related initiatives regarding products, facilities and logistics.
- It appears we will finally see China RoHS’s Phase 2 Catalog which will point to products that need pre-market testing.
- We will see the first wave of implementing legislation from the European Union’s (EU) Energy Using Products Directive, which will require energy reductions for products.
- Results of the EU’s review of the RoHS regulation will be published. That could mean that some medical devices as well as control and monitoring instruments will be added to RoHS.
- The EU’s REACH regulation will kick into high gear with a 2008 pre-registration period and subsequent registration deadlines over the coming 10 years.