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Economist research suggests long-term environmental management is best

Taking a long-term approach to environmental management will help companies minimise costs and gain competitive advantages, according to research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Investigating the effect of the impending Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive on electronics manufacturers and high-tech firms, the report is based on interviews with senior industry figures and discussions with industry experts.

It suggests integrating compliance with WEEE and RoHS into company environmental policies set to worldwide internal standards and therefore not tied to individual directives; assessing the effects of compliance on the supply-chain; and building platforms for sustainable compliance such as IT systems, and regulation task forces.

Electrolux for example has compiled a comprehensive list of restricted materials, informing suppliers of banned or restricted chemicals and materials; and also has a database of compliance-related documents within a groupware system, so employees are able to quickly retrieve information on directives and relevant papers.

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