The Singapore Green Labelling Scheme (SGLS) is administered by Singapore Environmental Council (SEC) and was launched in May 1992 to endorse industrial and consumer products that have less undesirable effects on the environment. The scheme spans across 28 countries with over 3000 products certified.

The Singapore Green Label is a seal of endorsement on its environmentally-friendly claims to prevent the abuse of green-washing. This has proved to be advantageous for Green Label certified products that have become more marketable and readily accepted by consumers or businesses when making a purchase. The application of such scheme is applied to both local and foreign companies.

Further, SEC is a member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN). Consisting 25 other member countries from various parts of the world, GEN allows for SGLS endorsed products to be more recognised and accepted by other member countries of the Eco-labelling network. 

Singapore Green Building Product (SGBP) labelling scheme

Singapore Green Building Product (SGBP) labelling scheme is administered by the Singapore Green Building Council. This labelling scheme is recognised under the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Scheme which allows certified products to accrue additional points that count towards a project’s eventual rating. This scheme is jointly executed by TÜV SÜD PSB Pte Ltd (TÜV SÜD PSB) and SGBC Pte Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Singapore Green Building Council to carry out certification programmes) in 2014 to improve and fortify the SGBP labelling scheme.

An example of the type of test required under such SGBP certification are as follows:

 

 

S/No Test SGBC crtieria for Coating
1 Heavy metals: Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, Chromium (VI) N.D. (Pigment)

< 0.01% or < 0.1%*

2 Hydrocarbon Solvent < 20% by weight
3 Aromatic Solvent Not detected
4 Halogenated Solvents Not detected
5 Ethylene Glycols Not detected or < 0.1% **
6 Phthalates Not detected
7 Epichlorohydrin Not detected
8 N-methyl pyrrolidone Not detected
9 Halogenated Benzenes Not detected
10 Alkyl Phenol Ethoxylates Not detected
11 Formaldehyde Content Not detected
12 VOC Content < 50 g/L ***

Note:

‘*’ : Exempted are impurities of the elements in raw materials or components in trace levels <0.01% for Pb, Hg, Cd and Cr (VI) <0.1%

‘**” Exempted from this requirement are trace amount <0.1% for ethylene glycol, that may be present in raw materials or component

‘***’ For Water Based Coatings (Interior: Matt <25g/L ; Low Sheen <30g/L; Semi Gloss to Gloss <75 g/L)

For Water Based Coatings (Exterior :Matt <50g/L; Low Sheen <50g/L ; Semi Gloss to Gloss <75 g/L)

For Solvent Based Coatings (Solvent Paints and stains <200g/L; Solvent Varnishes <250g/L)

How can SECS testing and monitoring services assist you?

Our team of Consultants and Chemists in SECS will be able to advise you on the type of scheme to apply based on the target market that the company intends to outreach. We will conduct all the tests under our accredited partner laboratories whose test reports are recognised by Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC).

If you need additional information or quotation to the various Green Initiatives, please write to linda@secs.sg

Understanding the difference between RoHS vs. REACH Compliance

There are often regulations and directives that govern the environmental safety of products in the manufacturing industry. Customers and Regulators are demanding for  RoHS and REACH Compliance products. Both directives will look the same or very similar. We will like to highlight the difference based on our professional opinion:

RoHS Compliant

RoHS stands for Restriction oHazardous Substances. RoHS can be pronounced “Ar, Oh, Ach, Es” or like “rose.”

This is a European Union directive rather than a regulation, meaning it is an instruction for those involved, but there isn’t an enforcer or regulator of how the results are achieved. The sole purpose is to address the global issue of consumer electronics waste.

With the forever evolving technology world, many electronics are disposed and end up in landfills which end up causing environmental and human health hazards. This directive pertains to manufacturing of various types of electronic and electrical equipment without the use of six different hazardous materials:

  1. Lead (Pb)
  2. Mercury (Hg)
  3. Cadmium (Cd)
  4. Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+): Used in chrome plating, chromate coatings, and primers
  5. Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB): Flame retardant in plastic
  6. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE): Flame retardant in plastic

According to RoHSGuide.com, the maximum levels in non-exempt products are 0.1% or 1000 ppm (except for cadmium and mercury, which are limited to 0.01% or 100 ppm) by weight. These limits do not apply to the weight of the finished product, or even to a component, but to any single substance that could, theoretically, be separated mechanically—for example, the sheath on a cable or the tinning on a component lead.

The directive applies to the following types of equipment:

  1. Large household appliances.
  2. Small household appliances.
  3. IT & Telecommunications equipment (although infrastructure equipment is exempt in some countries)
  4. Consumer equipment.
  5. Lighting equipment—including light bulbs.
  6. Electronic and electrical tools.
  7. Toys, leisure, and sports equipment.
  8. Medical devices (exemption removed in July 2011)
  9. Monitoring and control instruments (exemption removed in July 2011)
  10. Automatic dispensers.
  11. Semiconductor devices

Regardless of where the product is made in the European Union or imported, it is the responsibility of the company who puts the product on the market to comply with the directive. Therefore many companies will pass down the directive to their manufacturing suppliers and subcontractors in order to maintain full compliance throughout the manufacturing process.


REACH Compliance

REACH stands for:

Registration: Chemical producers are required to register safety data for all chemicals produced.

Evaluation: Experts from member states and the European Agency evaluate safety data for higher volume chemicals and other chemicals of concern.

Authorization: Chemicals that are of “very high concern” are to be phased out and replaced with safer alternative chemicals.

Restriction of Chemicals: Chemicals may be completely banned or some uses of the chemicals can be restricted.

This is a European Union regulation. The sole purpose of REACH is to address the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment. REACH requires all companies manufacturing or importing chemical substances into the European Union in quantities of one tonne or more per year to register these substances with European Chemical Agency (ECHA). Manufacturers, importers and also their customers are required to communicate information on chemicals throughout the supply chain in order to be aware of information relating to health and safety of the products supplied.

Some of the chemicals that are of “very high concern” include:

  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens
  • Reproduction toxins
  • Persistent, bio-accumulative, and toxic chemicals

Difference Between RoHS and REACH

Therefore the main difference between RoHS and REACH is that RoHS bans substances that are present in electrical equipment that is within the directive. REACH, however, pertains to all chemicals including those used to make a product. This can include materials, solvents, paints, chemicals, and more. The information is served as a guide and may be subjected to changes in the Directives.

How can SECS testing and monitoring services in ROHS/REACH assist you?

Our team of Consultants and Chemists in SECS will be able to advise you on the test requirements and assist you to develop your products to meet the Directives in ROHS/REACH. We will conduct all the tests under our accredited partner laboratories whose test reports are recognised by worldwide in countries under the Singapore Accreditation Council’s extensive network of MRAs that include 90 partners that provide international recognition, so companies can also avoid costly retesting, reinspection or recertification for overseas market access. (for more information on MRA, please visit www.sac-accreditation.gov.sg)

All the testing methods deployed will be in accordance to:

  • RoHS – 2002/95/EC
  • US EPA – 3052, 3050B, 6010B, 3060A
  • WEEE – 2002/96/EC
  • Phthalates – 2005/84/EC
  • Azocolourants – 2002/61/EC
  • Packaging & Packaging Waste – 1994/62/EC
  • End of Life Vehicles – 2000/53/EC

If you need additional information or quotation to the various Green Initiatives, please write to linda@secs.sg