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Brother today launches the world’s first printer to achieve the coveted TCO’99 global standard.

Passing stringent ecological, health and safety and ergonomic requirements, the new HL-7050 mono laser printer is the most rigorously tested printer in the world.

The move comes in the wake of government calls for a fundamental shift in the way businesses operate to cut waste, reduce consumption and limit the damage the UK inflicts on the environment.

Speaking at a conference on business and society earlier this month, Margaret Beckett, secretary of state for the environment, stated that the government is reliant on business to deliver the innovation, enterprise and creativity to make the shift to more efficient use of resources a reality - and that alternative products, services and technologies may well be needed. She also warned that the government was willing to use the law to persuade businesses to change their ways.

And as the terms of the European WEEE (Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directive start to take effect, IT managers and manufacturers in the UK are having to rethink their environmental strategy. Specifying TCO badged products gives the guarantee that the product meets the toughest environmental and quality standards in the world. Around 50 per cent of all flatscreen monitors sold worldwide are TCO certified – and printers are set to follow suit.

Says Chris Hinds, printer product manager at Brother: “UK managers have a duty of care towards their employees – specifying a TCO-badged printer demonstrates that they are taking their responsibilities seriously.

“As the debate on the potential risk of radiation exposure for humans continues, IT specifiers would be well advised to take precautionary measures to protect staff now, rather than waiting to find out later – and emission levels on the HL-7050 are 50 times lower than the UK’s leading workgroup printer.”

Chris Hinds continues, “Achieving this standard has been a huge investment for Brother. We had to totally rethink our research, design and manufacturing processes across 18 factories worldwide.

“Gaining the TCO badge is a lengthy process that involves passing 50 tests across the areas of ergonomics, energy consumption, emission levels and ecological soundness.

“For example, plastic components of the HL-7050 are labelled for recycling purposes and ozone-depleting chemicals are not allowed in the manufacturing process. We will now begin to implement the processes across other products.”

The HL-7050 uses Brother’s innovative consumable technology to deliver low
long-term running costs, as well as clear environmental benefits. Separate toner and drum units mean that users need only buy a new toner cartridge, without needing to remove the waste drum every time the toner runs out. The ‘save toner’ option reduces print cost per page by 30 per cent when printing draft documents and significantly increases the life of the toner cartridge.

As well as TCO’99 compliance, the HL-7050 has passed the Energy 2000 standard for maximum energy – and associated cost – efficiency.

Jan Rudling, managing director of TCO Development says, “Brother has invested considerable time and resources in achieving TCO certification and now sets the example for other manufacturers to follow.

“Choosing a TCO badged product allows a company to increase employee health and safety, improve corporate responsibility and demonstrate a better environmental policy.”

The HL-7050 is the only printer on the market to include a Braille control panel version. In addition, this version includes a series of encoded alert tones relating to different functions, enlarged type on the control panel for partially-sighted users and different coloured alert messages on the LCD panel to help deaf users.

Designed for workgroups in the corporate and industrial environment, the HL-7050 is a 28 page per minute mono laser printer and has an expected street price of £749.99 inc VAT and the network version HL-7050N, £899.99 inc VAT.

For more information, contact Brother on 0870 544 3075, or visit the Brother website at

Ends 21 February 2003

For press information, please contact Alison Owen or Sasha Stewart at Staniforth Communications on tel 0161 274 0100 or email

Notes to editors

- Brother is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of printer and fax technology.

- The TCO label was born out of the massive debate concerning health risks effects of radiation, sight problems, strain injuries) caused by computer display monitors.

- Based in Stockholm, the company is owned by TCO (Tjänstemännens Centralorganisation), the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees which is an umbrella organisation for nineteen member unions. Through this affiliation their activities can draw upon the collective experience and knowledge of 1.3 million professionals in various office environments.

- TCO Development works in close conjunction with scientists, product users and test laboratories all over the world.

- TCO’s quality and environmental standards for business equipment are the toughest in the world.

- The company’s goal is to define the blueprint for the office of the future. All TCO badged products have been tested to the world’s most rigorous standards in terms of environmental excellence, health and safety and ergonomics.

- For more information see

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Staniforth Communications (Manchester) in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit