Chemical Substance Management

More than 80% of environmental impacts in the product life cycle is determined in the design phase. We believe that integrating the concept of circular economy into the product design phase, introducing environmentally friendly design, and more active management on the use of chemicals in the production process can improve the recycling and reuse of products and substances.

Numerous chemicals would be added to the product to ensure quality and safety. Along with advancing analysis on scientific hazards and risks, however, some chemicals that are currently approved for use may be determined as necessary to control in the future, which could interrupt the circularity of the products or components. The use of safer chemicals will help the circulation of resources and reduce environmental pollutions at the end of the product's life cycle, and create a safer disposal process to protect the personnel.

To safeguard human health and the environment, ASUS uses all chemical substances carefully. We follow regulations that control their use, formulate technical standards that strictly require our suppliers to forbid their use. ASUS defines a hazardous chemical substance as a material characterized by persistent, bio-accumulative, toxic, carcinogenic, or mutagenic features, as well as possible reproductive toxicity or environmental hormone disruption.

As an international well-known brand of electronic products manufacturer, ASUS supports the precautionary principle set forth in the Rio Declaration of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). We expect that the regulations on chemical substances will become stringent. On the other hand, existing products or parts may contain potentially harmful chemical substances, and it might fail to comply with the regulations when they are discarded for recycling and thus could not enter the circular economy. Therefore, in addition to comply with the global regulations on chemicals substances, we also voluntarily control chemicals that possess potential risks to humans and environment.

Hazardous Chemical Substance Management

ASUS is committed to meet the regulations of international chemical substances as the primary goal and also proactively considering the risks of increasingly strict regulations by controlling those that are potentially harmful to the human body or the environment. ASUS has introduced ISO 9001 Quality Management System since 1999, supplemented by IECQ QC 080000 Hazardous Substance Process Management System Requirements for chemical management. Through the third-party testing laboratory, the onsite audit performed by ASUS personnel, the audit and re-audit of the management system and else, the development of the entire product starts from a truly environmentally friendly design, and we are able to provide consumers with products that are safe for both the human body and the environment.

GreenASUS Hazardous Substances Free(HSF) Technical Standard has aligned with RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) since 2002, and all new products have fully complied with the requirements of the EU RoHS Directive since January 1, 2006. In addition to lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), hexavalent chromium (Cr6+), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) regulated by the RoHS Directive, and DEHP, BBP, DBP, and DIBP by RoHS 2.0, the technical standard also includes but not limited to nickel, beryllium, antimony, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), tetrabromopropanediol (TBBP-A), ozone hazardous substances, radioactive substances and other harmful substances. In the future, if there are suitable alternative raw materials, we will gradually expand the replacement plan to PCB board, PVC in external wire, BFR and CFR. After years of revision, the standard not only far exceeds the requirements of international mandatory laws and regulations, but also covers the requirements of international eco labels and IEC 62474 Material Declaration Standard. Along with ASUS' rigorous management system, ASUS could ensure chemicals containing in the products comply with the restrictions and threshold defined in the standard. From 2021, big data management will be introduced, and data analysis trends will be used to predict and evaluate the risks of substances, parts and materials, and improve audit quality and management efficiency.

According to our Precautionary Policy for Green Design, we control the hazardous substances from sources - that is, of the enormous supply chain. To improve efficiency, we use our own eGreen platform to efficiently manage our green supply chain for component approval process and ask our suppliers to provide the third-party test report along with the hazardous substances warranty letter. With this comprehensive management, ASUS products can comply in advance with the global regulations on hazardous substances and enjoy the reduction of environmental tax in some countries, which has enhanced the competitiveness of green products. Due to the proactive management of the chemical control, ASUS was rewarded the environmental tax reduction by Sweden from 2017 to 2021 at an amount exceeding US$6.4 million cumulatively. It proves that we can contribute to the environment and receive benefits when enhancing the competitiveness of green products.

In order to comply with EU REACH Directive which went effective in 2007, ASUS takes the manufacturer responsibility for disclosing the information of SVHC in our products. Please click HERE for the related information.


ASUS Hazardous Chemical Substance Management Milestone


ASUS uses 4 management levels - GA, HF, EL and HE - to control the hazardous substances.

"GA" is the fundamental requirements of ASUS. We combine industry regulations and trends of relevant non-mandatory control on chemical substances to formulate an internal technical standard which covers and manages more than 300 chemical substances, and further control the use of beryllium, antimony and red phosphorous in advance. In addition to restricting the use of hazardous substances, we also cooperate with our supply chain to evaluate the alternative chemicals to further reduce the environmental impact brought by the current usage.

"HF" is an abbreviation for Halogen Free Halogen Free, which is one of the key target of ASUS’ chemical management. In order to reduce the environmental hazard of halogen flame retardants in plastic materials, ASUS's voluntarily reduces or prohibits the use of related halogen flame retardants in the components.

"EL" is the management level with requirements based on global eco label standards so that ASUS products could be qualified to join international green procurements.

"HE" is the highest management level covering the previous 3 management levels. Over the years, we have developed innovative technologies with our suppliers, driving them to improve the environmental characteristics of the provided components and products, as well as the management.

ASUS' Halogen-Free Management

In recent years, plastic pollutions has attracted the most attention. ASUS' approach is to improve the recyclability of plastics, and one of the key elements is the flame retardants. In order to protect users and improve the fire resistance characteristics of the product, flame retardants are added to the plastics of electronic products. Among them, halogen flame retardants have the advantages of wide application and high flame retardant efficiency, which are the main reasons for their widespread use. However, it has been confirmed internationally that halogen flame retardants will produce extremely toxic dioxin, which is harmful to the environment and human health, if improperly recycled and processed, and the parts containing halogen cannot be reused due to halogen acid.

Based on the precautionary principle, ASUS included halogenated compounds such as BFRs, CFRs, TBBP-A and PVC into the HSF standard and formulated "Halogen-Free Technical Standard" according to IEC-61249-2-21L2003, which define the allowance concentration of halogens as followed: 900 ppm max for Cl, 900 ppm max for Br, and 1500 ppm max for total halogens. ASUS is committed to continuously reduce the use of halogen flame retardants when technically and economically feasible, provided that the performance and quality of products remain unaffected.

Halogen-Free Achievements

  • 2009: Launch halogen-free demo models in various product lines
  • 2010: Voluntary introduction of halogen-free policy
  • 2011: Launch the world's first Halogen-free display VW247H-HF, and establish Halogen-free Standard
  • 2017: Prohibit halogenated flame retardants in plastic casings of electronic products
  • 2018: Prohibit the use of chlorine in the bleaching process of paper packaging
  • 2019: Introduce halogen-free hard disks and batteries
  • 2020: Phase-out of PVC in Type-C charging cables of next-generation mobile communication products
  • 2021: Introduce halogen-free printed circuit board

In 2021, 85.1% of the products shipped was comply with the Halogen-free technical standard", and we will continue to move towards a higher goal.

Management of Packaging Materials and Substances Used in the Production Process

International regulations on hazardous substances change rapidly. With regard to the packaging materials that come into direct contact with consumers, we require them to meet the EU Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste (PPWD). In 2021, we also required suppliers not to use mineral oil as printing materials and imposed additional restrictions on the use of Phthalates and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PFAs). ASUS actively manages current and future international standards for hazardous substances and reduces the environmental hazardous factors that come in direct contact with humans.

We also work toward PVC reduction and the removal of chlorine in the bleaching process for paper packaging materials. Before we can overcome the shortcomings of PVC substitute materials in the wires, including easy yellowing, reduced elasticity, and being easy to break, ASUS still treats quality as a priority. Therefore, we started by eliminating PVC in the internal wires in notebooks and gradually extending to other products that release hazardous substances during production, application and even disposal.

If chlorine is used in the paper-bleaching processes, it will produce toxic chlorine-containing organic compounds such as chloroform, dioxin, and other carcinogens. The accumulation of these in the environment will pose a risk to the organisms, environment, and human body. To promote the reduction of the total amount of chlorine used and the chlorine-free bleaching technology and policy in upstream pulp and paper mills, ASUS began to require paper packaging material manufacturers to ban the use of chlorine-bleached papers in 2018.

In addition to controlling hazardous substances in products, ASUS cares about whether the materials or auxiliaries used in the manufacturing process might cause potential danger to the production line workers and the environment. Moreover, ASUS controls the use of benzene and n-hexane in the cleaning and decontamination solutions in the manufacturing process, ASUS has gradually introduced low-VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) raw materials such as paint and ink since 2020. To reduce the factors in manufacturing processes that are likely to affect the human body or indirectly cause environmental hazards, ASUS continues to ban all substances in the U.S. Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) and fulfill social responsibilities.

Other Chemical Substances Management

According to ASUS Precautionary Policy, we not only banned substances that restricted in global regulation such as RoHS and REACH, but also controlled any substance that pose a threat to human health or the environmental. ASUS hold to a rigorous standard of environmental compliance as GreenASUS HSF Technical Standard to remove and replace toxics further and include them in our supplier contracts.

Beryllium is Alkaline-earth metal and belongs to Group IIA of the periodic table. The substitutes are not found yet for its good metallic characteristic. Beryllium oxide has good performance in electrical physics, thermal physics and mechanical properties, so it is important to the use of electronic products. However, beryllium has an adverse impact on the human body during exploitation or waste disposal. In animal experiments, beryllium and its compounds is carcinogenic and toxic. ASUS had listed beryllium as Level 1 restricted substance, which meant immediately prohibit of usage, by early 2013.

Antimony belongs to Group VA of the periodic table. Antimony trioxide is used for flame retardant. It is very popular in the market for its good characteristic and thus is difficult to phase out in a short-term. However, it could stimulate the respiratory and gastrointestinal and is toxic, and it is also a carcinogenic substance. In early 2013, ASUS had listed antimony as Level 1 restricted substance, but with exemption in certain parts.

Full Material Declaration

Purpose of management

  1. Inventory materials and substances used on the production line to assess material risks
  2. Actively respond to international environmental regulation changes ahead of schedule

In the past, we frequently conducted surveys on supply chain and product with the passive response to international regulations or customer requests. We have gradually moved towards active substance management since 2018 by adapting the Full Material Disclosure (FMD) program. By investigating all materials used from the source to the assembly line, we could analyze the data and evaluate the risks of using materials.

FMD (Full Material Disclosure) is the method of enhancing the transparency of the chemical supply chain in the production process. ASUS works with the supply chain and prioritizes the FMD of mainstream products. We must work more closely with suppliers and upstream parts of the supply chain to implement FMD. ASUS helps suppliers create operating procedures for substances in the plants. We also use ASUS's current material management system with FMD inventory operations. The current FMD response rate is over 90%.



Take the laptop as an example. With FMD, we learn that it uses more than 300 chemical substances, which can be classified into plastic (about 38.1%), metal (about 28.9%), glass (about 11.3%), and other ingredients (about 21.7%). During the analysis process, high-risk substances can be immediately identified, and resources can be concentrated to look for alternative materials to ensure environmental and social safety.

ASUS shifts to an active substance management approach, with which we can accurately grasp the information of chemicals used in products and make chemical usage data the most valuable intellectual property of ASUS. The data will help ASUS to expand the management scope to upstream, immediately manage the risk in materials, and respond to the government policy and environmental regulations worldwide more quickly and more effectively.

For example, the EU's updated "Waste Framework Directive" (WFD) requires products with SVHC (substances of very high concern) content higher than 0.1% to complete the reporting of the SCIP (Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products)) by January 5, 2021 to effectively monitor materials in the supply chain. Before the enforcement of the Directive, ASUS had completed the submission of all products so that we are well prepared for frequent updates of the list.

Environmental Friendly Materials

In addition to improving the recyclability of resources, we are also gradually applying sustainable materials in the products. The "Plastic & Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet" report published by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) estimated that plastic products would grow at an annual speed of 3.5% before 2050. With such speed, 2.8 Gt of CO2e will be discharged in 2050, which is equivalent to the total emissions of 615 500MW coal-fired power plants.

Among ASUS products, mainstream products contain more than 30% plastic of total weight, which accounts for the largest amount of materials used. Therefore, we cooperate with the suppliers to explore the opportunities that increase the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic as much as possible without compromising quality, function, and durability. The average PCR plastic content of ASUS' business laptops is 5%. Moreover, ASUS developed PCR plastic with antibacterial functions by applying our innovative R&D skills. Since 2017, we have used more than 1,064 tons of PCR plastic and reduced carbon emissions by 1,915 tons CO2e.

In addition, when selecting packaging materials, priority is given to those containing recycled materials, such as the cartons with more than 80% recycled materials. At the same time, in response to the global trend of plastic reduction, the foam was reduced and the keyboard was covered with non-woven fabric. Not only the product itself but also the accessories achieve the goal of environmental friendliness.

In the future, ASUS will continue to expand the use of sustainable materials in products and take real actions to support the circular economy and sustainability in the future.