Environmental protection is a concern for manufacturers of every stripe. From construction to heavy machinery to medical computers, consumers and governments expect products to be developed and manufactured to preserve the environment and reduce resource consumption. 

To this end, major regulatory bodies like the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Union have instituted environmental regulations for computers and their manufacturers. By meeting these regulations, computer manufacturers help ensure that both the environment and human health concerns are protected. 

Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP)

As per EPA regulations, manufacturers and other significant sources of emissions in the US are required to report how much CO2 they generate. This CO2 is a major component of the greenhouse effect that causes global warming, making tracking how much is produced critical. For medical computer manufacturers, most CO2 is produced during the production and machining process, as the raw plastic and metal is shaped and worked into the physical components of the computer. 

This data is used by businesses and regulatory bodies to track emissions, identify opportunities to cut pollution, and minimize wasted energy. The GHGRP requires reporting from both direct emitters and upstream suppliers, ensuring that emissions do not go unmonitored. 

Energy Star Compliance

Another major standard the EPA implements is Energy Star, which sets requirements for energy efficiency in electronic products such as medical tablets. Energy Star regulations also exist for new and existing homes, commercial buildings, industrial plants, and more. 

The overall aim of Energy Star is to ensure all these energy consumers do so efficiently and without waste. This reduces the energy required nationwide and, in turn, the amount of pollution created to generate that energy. Energy Star-compliant computers are certified by third parties to be energy efficient and use up to 40% less energy than comparable models. 

National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)

The NESHAP regulates several types of toxic gasses, several of which are produced during computer manufacturing. Halogenated solvents, magnetic tape, and semiconductors all play a part in computer manufacturing, and sadly, all of them produce hazardous air pollutants like methylene chloride, toluene, and hydrochloric acid. These gasses must be captured and contained per maximum achievable control technology, or MACT. 

Ozone-Depleting Substances and SNAP

One of the greatest triumphs in environmental regulation has been the reduction of ozone-depleting substances, namely chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These chemicals were once widely used in computer manufacturing, particularly as cleaning agents, but damaged the Earth’s ozone layer. This meant more of the sun’s ultraviolet rays could penetrate Earth’s atmosphere, leading to a higher risk of sunburn and skin cancer 

(among many other health and environmental concerns).

Fortunately, almost all CFCs and HCFCs have been phased out of use and can no longer be produced or imported into the United States. The Significant New Alternatives Policy program, or SNAP, is a constantly evolving list of alternatives for CFCs and HCFCs the EPA provides. This list is continuously updated as the EPA better understands the environmental and human health impacts of various substitutes. 

Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive 

A European Union initiative aimed at reducing the amount of hazardous substances in computers, RoHS focuses on materials like lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium. These substances threaten human health and the environment if mishandled or used excessively. 

RoHS explicitly limits the amounts of these substances used in computers, especially those that can be substituted with safer alternatives. For example, lead and mercury are restricted to 1000 ppm (parts per million) within a device, ensuring they remain within tolerable levels. It also heavily promotes the recyclability of electronic devices, which ties into the following major environmental regulation…

Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive

The EU’s second central environmental regulation for electronics, WEEE, mandates the collection and recycling of devices to prevent the materials regulated under RoHS from causing pollution. WEEE aims for sustainability by requiring the separate collection and treatment of electronic waste, preventing illegal waste exports that offload the burden onto other nations, and standardizing electronic waste collection and reporting across the EU. 

By following WEEE guidelines, manufacturers minimize the use of hazardous materials and make it easier to recycle and reuse them. 


With the use of computers growing more and more widespread in every sector imaginable (including healthcare), the necessity of strong environmental regulations will only continue to grow. By cooperating with regulatory bodies and adhering to their guidelines, medical computer manufacturers can help ensure human health and environmental concerns are protected. 

If you’re looking for a medical computer manufacturer that meets the highest environmental safety standards, contact the Cybernet Manufacturing team. We’d happily explain further how our products meet international regulations without sacrificing quality or production capability. 

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