Product-related Protection of our Environment

You care about environmental protection?

We do, too! Even during the early development of new products, we make sure resources are used responsibly, thus protecting our environment. Our management has firmly integrated this objective in our corporate guidelines.

For the manufacturing of Sennheiser components, we rely on innovative technology which minimizes the environmental impact. The same strategy applies for the application of our products by the consumer. Sennheiser customers can thus be assured that they are selecting premium-quality products.

The protection of our environment covers the entire life-cycle of a product. Investments for this area are helping us to stay competitive in the long term and to secure our jobs. We benefit from our highly motivated employees and experienced specialists: We have qualified and specially trained experts at all our production sites who exclusively take care of all issues related to occupational health and safety as well as environmental protection.
Sennheiser’s product-related environmental protection covers the three main areas material conformity, recovery/re-use/recycling, and energy efficiency.

Material conformity

Substances which may be hazardous to human safety and/or to the environment are prohibited by law, or limit values have been defined for them. Regulations are constantly updated based on technological progress as well as current research. This covers both national and international regulations. Sennheiser complies with all regulations that may exist for our various products in the different markets, and we verify our compliance according to processes specially developed for this purpose. Some of the key requirements are briefly described below.

REACh

The RoHS Directive described above restricts the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. The European Regulation for the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACh) however has been set up in order to protect the human health and the environment in general against all substances categorized as critical. As the REACh regulation is extremely complex, Sennheiser is in close contact with our suppliers in order to jointly meet the required tasks. Some of the key obligations are briefly described below:

  • Registration
    As we are manufacturing products according to the REACh regulation, we are not directly affected by the registration. However our suppliers are subject to this obligation and we are working closely with them.

  • Substances of Very High Concern - SVHC
    The currently applicable SVHC list (candidate list) defines substances for which there is a registration obligation to customers and downstream users. It can be found on the website of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA):
    http://echa.europa.eu/web/guest/candidate-list-table
    According to article 33 of the REACh regulation, the manufacturing company shall “supply to the consumer all information available to him concerning the safe use of the product, and shall at least supply the name of the relevant substance“.

  • Substances of REACh Appendix XIV and XVII
    Based on the substances defined in the candidate list, the EU discusses which of these substances require authorization. These are then published in Appendix XIV:
    https://echa.europa.eu/authorisation-list
    In cooperation with our suppliers, we are launching appropriate activities in case that our products contain substances listed in Appendix XIV so that they have to be replaced.
    Restrictions are listed in Appendix XVII:
    https://echa.europa.eu/substances-restricted-under-reach
    The restrictions are very specific and often combined with limit values. Again, Sennheiser is in close contact with our suppliers in order to ensure compliance with the material restrictions. You will find more detailed information related to REACh at
    http://echa.europa.eu/

RoHS

The European RoHS Directive defines the “Restricted use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment“.

The requirements of the RoHS Directive are constantly adapted by means of European law. We are launching RoHS-compliant products thanks to the early adjustment of manufacturing processes and material selection by both Sennheiser and Sennheiser suppliers. RoHS compliance is internally monitored at Sennheiser and verified both by us and by our suppliers. In order to document our RoHS compliance, the CE Declaration can be opened and downloaded from our website.

Energy efficiency

One of the most famous and controversially discussed examples of energy saving is the ban on light bulbs imposed by the EU.
Did you ever ask yourself how much energy shall be saved by removing certain light bulbs? In 2007, light bulbs alone caused an annual energy consumption of approx. 112 TWh throughout the EU (Tera Watt hours, i.e. one trillion [1012] Watt hours). This is equivalent to 45 mega tons of carbon emissions. As a comparison: The carbon emissions of the city of Hanover in the energy field (without traffic) amounted to 4.6 mega tons in the reference year 1990. Predictions assume that consumption will increase to 135 TWh in 2020 if no specific action is taken. The energy efficiency regulation is supposed to reduce energy consumption by 20% until 2020.

Energy consumption can however be reduced not only via lighting components. All over the globe, there are more and more product groups with considerable energy saving potential provided that the following statements are true: The products are consuming a relatively large amount of energy, they are sold in big quantities, and there is a potential to redesign them and to considerably increase their energy efficiency. For Sennheiser, these energy efficiency requirements relate to external power supplies, standby products, and battery chargers.

Due to the current rapid change of technologies it can be assumed that additional energy efficiency requirements will be established in the future.

Disposal

Recovery, re-use and recycling. Sennheiser products are not only designed to be free of hazardous substances and consume little energy. They are furthermore designed to have as little as possible impact on the environment at the end of their life cycle, and to be recovered or recycled as far as possible. Sennheiser therefore conveys old products, batteries, and packages to appropriately qualified conditioning systems.

Two things are required to ensure a smooth and correct recycling and disposal:

  • Sennheiser pays for the future recycling when putting products into circulation – as nobody can tell when a consumer will decide to get rid of his device
  • Sennheiser undertakes to provide all necessary information required for the recovery or recycling of our products. This information is made available to all Sennheiser subsidiaries around the globe to make sure that the products can be correctly registered in each country according to applicable local disposal regulations.
  • Should re-use centers or treatment and recycling facilities require disassembly information, free information will be provided at the address below via the Contact Center. Dismantling information is e.g. information on re-use, preparation for re-use or treatment.

WEEE

The objective of the EU Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is the promotion waste recycling in order to reduce the amount of waste to be disposed and also to preserve natural resources. It is an additional synergy effect that environmental pollution is reduced at the same time.

Sennheiser pays attention to ecological recycling and re-use of our electronic devices and is duly registered at the German national register for waste electronic equipment (Stiftung EAR) for devices put into circulation in Germany. The WEEE registration number is:

  • DE 47419280 for Sennheiser
  • DE 41402700 for Georg Neumann

The sample label displays a crossed-out wheeled bin, the WEEE logo. WEEE is the acronym for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. This means that waste electrical devices may not be disposed as domestic waste, but rather have to be separately collected and disposed via collection stations. Such professional disposal obligation should actually be a matter of course and it also includes batteries – which should never be found in domestic waste!

Packaging

Packaging regulations usually have several objectives. On the one hand, the impact of waste on the environment shall be minimized in all member states as well as in third countries, thus providing a high level of environmental protection. There are for instance restrictions on hazardous substances in packaging materials. On the other hand, smooth trading on the Single European Market shall be facilitated and trade restrictions as well as distortion and restriction of competition must be prevented. Waste prevention therefore is top of the list, followed by re-use and material recycling. The other types of recycling are bottom of the list.

The registration number for packaging put into circulation in Germany is:
DE2262469214372 for Sennheiser
DE 3700 7915 4461 9 for Georg Neumann

Batteries

Batteries and accumulators may not be put into circulation if they contain certain hazardous substances. On top of that, there are requirements for the collection, the treatment, the recycling, and the removal of waste batteries and accumulators. These regulations in many cases complement national waste removal regulations and support a high level of collection and recycling. Objectives of these regulations include not only the improvement of the batteries’ environmental balance, but also the protection of all persons involved in the life-cycle of batteries and accumulators, i.e. manufacturers, distributors and consumers. In addition, it is also intended to improve working conditions for treatment and recycling.

The registration number for batteries and accumulators put into circulation in Germany is: DE222970880
The registration number for the Battery Law Register of the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) is: 21004719.