At a time when making the most affordable purchases can take priority over everything else, it can be easy to forget about making the most responsible ones. However, electronics maker Toshiba America Consumer Products LLC recently brought its environmental efforts back on center stage for 2009, expanding its commitment to sustainability of the environment with plans for more energy efficient products and new recycling programs, in addition to revised green procurement guidelines.

By dedicating additional resources to create environmentally conscious products, Toshiba says it will not only be able to meet established criteria, but also minimize the environmental impact of its products with a nationwide recycling program.

"Consumers are thinking more and more about their impact on the planet, and as a result they are looking for brands and products that are committed to the environment," says Maria Repole, Toshiba's corporate communications director. "This year Toshiba is putting even more emphasis on improving its environmental practices and demonstrating its commitment to sustainability."

Throughout the product design phase, Toshiba plans to further evaluate resource conservation, energy savings, reduction in the use of toxic substances, and end of life reuse and recycling. Incorporating this design concept during the planning stage decisively, the company says, will help reduce its environmental impact throughout the product lifecycle.

Adding to its greener design plans, Toshiba also has its sights set on significantly reducing the environmental impact of its products in cooperation with suppliers by reducing the use of chemical substances and hazardous materials throughout its supply base.

A key element in Toshiba's efforts to create ECPs is the evaluation of the procurement of its products, parts and components, processed materials and raw materials. The company has revised its green procurement guidelines to meet and exceed the European Union's RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive, which bans the use of certain chemical substances in products.

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