Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Fujitsu Pioneers Use of Biodegradable Plastic in Notebook Computers
-- Use of Plant-Based Materials Reduces Environmental
Impact and Reliance on Petroleum-Based Products --
Tokyo, June 5, 2002--Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories
Ltd. today announced the development of the world's first
eco-friendly notebook computer housing to use plant-based
biodegradable plastic. This technology will be used for
some of the components in Fujitsu's FMV-BIBLO NB computer,
and Fujitsu expects to apply it to the entire housing in
Today there is increasing global recognition of the need
to address the environmental burden created by the disposal
of computer and consumer electronics products. In Japan a
number of environmental regulations have been enacted in
recent years, covering areas such as eco-friendly procurement
policies*1, recycling*2 and pollution controls*3. Fujitsu
and other companies have established and are vigorously
promoting recycling systems for magnesium and plastic
housings used in notebook computers, for example. However,
some products manage to evade these systems, so it is
difficult to completely prevent their disposal as waste.
Furthermore, given that petroleum-based plastic is based
on a non-renewable resource, it has long been a goal to
find a substitute raw material.
Fujitsu's newly developed biodegradable plastic uses an
optimized formula to produce a polylactic acid polymer*4
derived from the starch of corn, potatoes or other plants.
The result has about the same strength and rate of shrinkage
as PC/ABS*5 plastic. Should the product in which it is
used bypass recycling efforts and end up in a landfill, the
plastic is naturally metabolized by microorganisms into CO2
and water. In addition, the use of this material not only
eliminates emissions of dioxins and other harmful chemicals
if incinerated, it reduces the use of petroleum products
from the start. Furthermore, it takes less energy to
produce-about half that of conventional plastic components-
making the production process itself more environmentally
friendly, and, by using all natural materials, contributes
to lower consumption of petroleum.
The Fujitsu Group is committed to promoting sustainable
development, and is proud to be in the forefront of the IT
industry in developing environmentally friendly products
employing advanced and innovative technologies.
- *1. Green procurement policies
In April 2001 Japan enacted the Law Concerning the Promotion
of Eco-friendly Goods and Services by the State and Other
Entities (also known as the Law on Promoting Green Purchasing)
to promote purchasing and procurement of environmentally
friendly products by national, prefectural, and local
governments, corporations, citizens, and manufacturers, in
order to promote sustainable development.
- *2. Revised recycling laws
To promote a recycling-oriented economy, in April 2001 Japan
enacted the Revised Recycling Law, which requires companies
to recover and recycle their products, reduce material inputs
and increase product lives to generate less waste, and reuse
components from recovered products.
- *3. Pollution controls
In March 2000 Japan enacted the Pollutant Release and
Transfer Register (PRTR) Law, which requires companies to
report outflows of chemical emission quantities and waste
matter to the government. This information is published
with the goal of reducing environmental risks resulting from
chemical by-products and pollutants.
- *4. Polylactic acid polymer
A plant-based biodegradable plastic derived from lactic acid
from the starch of corn, potatoes and other plant matter.
- *5. PC/ABS plastic
A polymer alloy comprising polycarbonate and ABS resin
(acrylonitrile, butadiene, styrene copolymer). Commonly
used for notebook computer housings.
Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and
communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-
setting technologies, high-reliability/performance computing
and telecommunications platforms, and a worldwide corps of
systems and services experts make Fujitsu uniquely positioned
to unleash the infinite possibilities of the broadband
Internet to help its customers succeed. Headquartered in
Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated
revenues of 5 trillion yen (about US$38 billion) for the
fiscal year ended March 31, 2002. For more information,
please see: http://www.fujitsu.com/
About Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu
Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier
research centers in the world. With a global network of
laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe,
the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied
research in the areas of IT Core Systems, IT Media,
Networks, Peripherals, Advanced Materials and Electronic
Devices. For more information, please see: http://www.labs.fujitsu.com/en/
Kikuya Hanazato, Robert Pomeroy
Fujitsu Limited, Public & Investor Relations
Tel: +81-3-3215-5259 (Tokyo)
Fujitsu Limited, Personal Business Group
Mobile Computing Div., Engineering Dept. II
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