The eco-label is a simple, innovative tool developed by Legrand. It answers three of the main questions asked by most site owners: How much money do we save? How much CO2 do we save? What is the return on investment? This product allows customers to quickly and easily identify the savings made, in terms of both cost and energy.
This label is physically present on each product and sustainable development solution, and lists the actual savings and the return on investment time. It is a decision-making aid for all participants interested in improving the energy efficiency of buildings. For example, when installing three energy meters and a measuring unit combined with corrective actions, the following information is shown on the eco-label: Potential savings for 300 m2 office space; annual savings €799; maximum amortization time 16 months; savings per year 1000 kg CO2 equivalent of all pollutant gases (CO2, methane, carbon monoxide, fluorinated gases, etc.).
As this article has shown, is no longer just a possible alternative: it is the path of reason. Several means of action already exist. Decisions involving their implementation concern all the economic participants. Each person on his own level can be a participant in this gigantic project, which will affect the lives of future generations. Through its public-spirited innovation policy, the Legrand Group provides equipment that combines highly desirable savings with the protection of natural resources, which are all the more precious because they are becoming so rare. Let’s make the most of it!
Copyright protection through articles L. 111-1 and L. 123-1 of the intellectual property code.
Product manufacture is an important stage in contributing to environmental performance. The design and development of high environmental performance products must be based on a certain number of action foundations, from materials management to eco-design. These environment-friendly products thus constitute energy-saving solutions and therefore contribute to sustainable development.
Every country in the world seems to view the standard of living in the USA at the start of the 21st century as the ideal objective. The means of achieving this objective comes up against a simple equation. This equation provides an evocative illustration: the USA (accounting for 5% of the world's population) consumes 25% of the world's oil production! Most specialists agree that, at current rates of consumption, oil reserves will run out within 50 years. It is therefore obvious that the development model of the United States of America, on which the European model is based, cannot be applied on a worldwide scale. Energy-wasting practices must therefore be replaced by a sustainable development model.
Elaine Aye, IIDA, LEED 2.1 AP
Senior Environmental Design Consultant, Green Building Services
Aye has always been one to live her life according to environmentally sustainable practices. But it wasn’t until seven years ago that she realized her nearly 20-year career as an interior designer wasn’t necessarily living up to the green standards she had set in her personal life. “It occurred to me that there were things I could be doing, in terms of wasting less, using resources wisely and being more conscious of my material selections,” Aye says.
For us, staying out front involves tracking trends in the workplace, understanding technology, and implementing sustainability. The elegance of any design solution is a consequence of its appropriateness. Our talent lies in observations leading to inspiration that is synthesized into solutions for our clients. Our diligence in keeping a step ahead of what is happening now makes our next idea our best idea.
In the field of sustainable development, there are many major challenges to be addressed. They require us to re-think our economy and our growth in favour of a society that is more economical in its use of raw materials and energy. Some of these challenges include: climate change, energy consumption, waste production, threats to public health, poverty, social exclusion, management of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and land use. In this context, sustainable development approaches are now essential obligations.
Sustainable development must mainly be able to respond to the various problems raised by demographic growth, the planet’s limited capacity, and social inequality. In 2100, the world’s population will be close to 10 billion, but the Earth does not have unlimited resources, especially since individual consumption has been increasing considerably because the less developed countries wish to catch up with the others. Greenhouse gas emissions are one of the main consequences of human activity that accelerate global warming. This warming carries risks of shortages and the disruption of certain natural cycles such as fresh water, impoverishment of agricultural soil, deforestation, and reduced biodiversity. This means that the future development of all species living on earth, ultimately including human beings, is under threat.
In order to be sustainable, development must also be harmonious. At least a certain amount of social cohesion must exist on a planetary scale in order to create the conditions for the peace we need. Major differences between the situations of economic players are sources of tension and conflict. The North/South economic divide and the unequal distribution of the consumption of the planet’s natural resources between the world’s populations are notable potential causes of tension. Will the 10 billion men and women inhabiting our planet in 2100 be able to live as well as the 750 million people in industrialized nations do today?
The management of WEEE and RoHS corresponds to two European directives. D3E (2002/96/EC) deals with the framework for the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment in Europe. The RoHS directive (2002/95/EC) (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) concerns the composition of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). According to Article R.543-172 of the French Environmental Code, EEE represents equipment operating on electrical current or electromagnetic fields, as well as equipment that produces, transfers, or measures such currents and fields. It thus concerns equipment designed for use at a voltage not exceeding 1000 volts AC and 1500 volts DC.
One of the aims of these directives is to inform users of the rules to apply and the means available to manage waste electrical and electronic equipment in strict observance of sustainable development. These directives also identify the needs and problems of users and service providers, and solutions that exist or need to be created. There are approved bodies, known as environmental organisations, such as ECO-SYSTEMES, ECOLOGIC, ERP, and RECYLUM. These organisations have been created by and for producers, in partnership with all participants in the sector. The aims are to handle the economic management of the WEEE sector, to organise the collection and processing of WEEE, and to implement awareness, information, and communication actions.
There is a difference between WEEE regulations and RoHS, which has more restricted applicability. Unlike the WEEE directive, the RoHS directive excludes medical devices (except implants or infected products), monitoring and control instruments (smoke detectors, etc.), batteries and accumulators.
There are two categories of WEEE: household and professional. As the name implies, household WEEE comes from home, and can include similar equipment used for professional purposes because of its nature and the channels through which it is distributed. Professional WEEE is equipment typically used in company activities, such as vending machines, medical equipment, or measuring instruments. Certain equipment is similar to household equipment, but remains suited to professional requirements, e.g., supermarket chiller cabinets, portable air conditioning units, and professional computer screens.
WEEE includes a wide variety of waste, and their typical composition is too complex to be fully defined. The waste electrical and electronic equipment collection and processing system has been operational for household WEEE since 15 November 2006. It has been operational for professional WEEE since 13th August 2005. It is based on the principle of the extended responsibility of manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment. This waste essentially consists of ferrous and non-ferrous metals (10 to 85%), inert materials excluding cathode ray tubes (0 to 20%), plastics whether or not containing halogenated flame-retardant materials (1 to 70%), and specific components that are potentially hazardous to health and the environment (CFCs and other greenhouse gases). Nonetheless, many fractions of WEEE can be recycled, thereby preserving natural resources and limiting the amount of waste placed in landfill sites or incinerated.
But according to a November 2004 survey by magazine, the U.S. building industry is still largely ambivalent about green design. Nearly all 498 design and construction professionals responding said they saw the green-building movement growing. However, more than 40 percent said sustainable design was believed to increase initial costs substantially — and that the market was unwilling to pay. More than 50 percent reported that clients had rejected green design because they weren’t interested and it wasn’t required.
Published on 1st November 2010, this is an international standard which is by definition for voluntary application and which gives the main guidelines concerning social responsibility with regard to sustainable development. This is the first big step towards CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), and it proposes a method for its adaptation and implementation in an organization. It provides an international behavioural framework for any type of organization (companies, communities, NGOs, unions, etc.) irrespective of size or field of activity.
The ISO 26000 standard observes the major international founding texts, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the articles of the International Labour Organisation, etc. It clarifies, explains, gives additional information, and prevents misunderstandings or arbitrary situations. It was drawn up by consensus, which means that it cannot favour the interests of a limited group of players; on the contrary, it favours the greatest possible number of players.
The ISO 26000 standard is thus a common international tool for any player wishing to build ‘responsible’ legitimacy. It invites organisations to express their approach according to seven central questions in order to define the scope of their responsibility to society: the governance of the organisation, human rights, working relationships and conditions, the , best business practice, questions concerning consumers and the societal commitment. These central questions aim to identify the relevant areas of action the organisation will be able to focus on to set its priorities and implement its own actions.