Ricoh printer is the 3,000th product to be certified under green labelling scheme

A new multi-functional colour printer from Japanese electronics firm Ricoh has become the 3,000th product to be certified under the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme (SGLS).

The company received a certificate of recognition at the National Museum on Wednesday.

The scheme, introduced in the 1990s, is administered by the non-governmental organisation, the Singapore Environment Council (SEC).

The green label helps customers to identify energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products, including electrical appliances, building materials and household products such as soap.

Products have to meet a set of criteria set by the SEC in order to be certified; and companies which wish to do so pay a fee that helps to fund the green label team's operations.

The Ricoh printer which was certified is the MP3554. According to Mr Adrian Lim, a spokesman for Ricoh, the printer uses about 60 per cent less power in energy saving mode compared to older models.

"Engineers who see our products know they're 'green'. But you and me, we're not engineers. We want to know if it's 'green'; so the green label actually helps," he said.

The label is the only eco-certification mark in South-east Asia awarded to as many as 3,000 products. In the late 1990s, only 600 products were certified.

Mr Edwin Seah, executive director of SEC, said that the rise in numbers since then shows an increased consciousness about environmental sustainability among consumers and businesses.

"Today's milestone is a testament that it is possible and makes business sense to integrate environmental conservation with commercial activities," he added.

To encourage more companies to apply for certification, the SEC plans to lower the cost for firms which certify more than five products from the middle of next year.

byseow@sph.com.sg