At the Sartorius sites in Germany, the electronic signature system for hazardous waste is in place. This means waste products resulting from production, such as solvents or cooling lubricants, and proof of their recovery or disposal are digitally documented and made traceable from end to end. Even concerning its electronic products, such as balances, scales and laboratory instruments, Sartorius complies with the European directives and regulations for environmentally friendly recycling. As a result, device components, such as heavy or precious metals, do not end up in a landfill, but are reused as raw materials.
European Regulation on Chemicals and Their Safe Use (REACH)
This Regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals in Europe is unique in its breadth and impact. With many sites based in Europe, Sartorius is also subject to compliance with its provisions. Accordingly, Sartorius primarily ranks as what is called a “downstream user”; i.e., a company that does not place any chemical substances or preparations on the market, but instead, is a ”producer of articles” containing such substances. The differences between being a “producer of articles” and a manufacturer of chemical substances are that Sartorius makes products that are defined by their form and function, unlike chemical compounds, and no such substances are released when these products are used as intended. Polymer-based membranes are specifically exempt from the scope of applicability of this Regulation. Hence, any registration involving complicated data collection is not required for Sartorius products. However, as a user of chemicals, Sartorius might be indirectly subject to certain restrictions. The range of chemical substances currently in use is under continuous scrutiny to be able to identify any areas requiring further action. For example, the issue must be clarified with the respective suppliers as to the future availability of substances subject to authorization under REACH. Overall, the extent to which Sartorius is affected is limited and the scope of the measures it is required to take is manageable.
European Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
In both Germany and several other European countries, Sartorius takes back old electronic equipment from its customers and arranges for environmentally friendly recycling of these instruments. For this purpose, Sartorius as a contractual partner is committed to participating in the national collection and recycling systems.