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  5. Brother hits “global first” remanufacturing milestone

Blue Angel certification

 Brother officially has one of Europe’s most environmentally friendly remanufactured toner cartridges after being awarded the revised Blue Angel DE-UZ 177 (2021) certification for one of its remanufactured toner cartridges, the first company globally to do so.

Printing and scanning solutions expert Brother has hit another sustainability milestone by being the first manufacturer globally to be awarded with the revised Blue Angel DE-UZ 177 certification, a certification that is achieved based on stringent standards for environmentally friendly products and services.

Brother has been awarded the certification based on a series of independent tests and thorough audits over two years at their remanufacturing facility in Krupina, Slovakia. Blue Angel say that the objective of awarding the environmental label for remanufactured toner cartridges and/or ink cartridges is to reduce the amount of waste and thus make a contribution to the preservation of resources. The environmental label places requirements on the materials used, the colour former (in Brother’s case, the toner used), the emissions into indoor air during the printing process and the performance characteristics of toner or ink cartridges. The TN-3512 RE toner was awarded the certification after proving that Brother is reusing components that account for at least 75% of the weight of the product, can remanufacture each cartridge to as good as new quality and has full traceability of all component parts. 

Craig McCubbin, Managing Director at Brother Industries UK and Brother’s global Remanufacturing Technology Centre said: “We have been working since 2021 to achieve this revised Blue Angel award criteria, which demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental impact and conserving resources. As one of Europe’s leading sustainability certifications, it also affirms the progress we have made in this area and gives a guarantee to our customers that buying and remanufacturing Brother toner cartridges is an environmentally friendly way to print”.

“We are glad to award Brother as the first OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) the certification according to the revised award criteria for “Remanufactured toner cartridges and ink cartridges for printers, copiers and multifunction devices (DE-UZ 177, edition 2021)”. The challenging certification process involves testing the materials used by Brother and serviceability properties of monochrome toner. It must also be in accordance with low-emission office equipment and meet our stringent requirements for the release of fine and ultrafine particles during printing” states Christoph Eßer-Ayertey, Head of RAL Environment.


The award comes at a time when printer manufacturers are under increasing pressure to reduce CO2 emissions, supplies waste and their overall impact to the planet.

“This is an absolutely great achievement and something everyone at Brother is incredibly proud of” added Craig McCubbin. “The fact that Brother are the first OEM globally to achieve this is testament to our hard work, determination, and it proves that Brother’s toner remanufacturing capabilities are in a league of their own.

“Furthermore, this certification has currently only been requested for one of our models. Thanks to the EcoDesign involved in our cartridges, we are able to remanufacture approximately 85% of all collection, and 0% of genuine Brother toner cartridges we receive back end up in landfill due to our zero waste to landfill accredited sites, a huge undertaking considering the volume. As an average, we are also able to reuse more than 75% of the weight in all our models.

“As a company, we have been committed to collecting, recycling and most importantly, remanufacturing used toner cartridges for 18 years, and I can confidently say that no other printer manufacturer is doing it to the same level as us.”

To date Brother has remanufactured close to 40 million genuine Brother toner cartridges, and has ambitious plans to grow this figure, as well as introducing additional remanufacturing processes across their portfolio.

Craig McCubbin added; “we have ambitious plans and are always striving to increase our remanufacturing capabilities, whilst continuing to ensure nothing goes to landfill. We are also committed to working with our customers and partners to develop new ways of sustainably remanufacturing or recycling our printing portfolio.

“This commitment also extends to our wider sustainability activity, and our determination to make our processes as circular as possible. Our circular commitments are reflected in our Environmental Vision 2050, our ambitious 65% CO2 reduction target by 2030[i] and becoming carbon neutral in all business operations by 2050 all of which is certified by the Science Based Targets (SBTi) initiative.”

The Blue Angel certified TN-3512 RE toner is currently being used on exclusive B2B contracts in Europe. If you are interested in hearing more about this model, please email info@brother.ie.


Notes to editors

About DE-UZ 177

Remanufactured toner cartridges and ink cartridges for printers, copiers and multifunction devices (DE-UZ 177)

Blue Angel eco-labelled toner modules help to reduce the amount of waste and, thus, to conserve resources. These toner modules must also meet stringent requirements for the materials used, the monochrome or colour toners as well as for serviceability properties. Last but not least, the Blue Angel eco-labelled remanufactured toner modules made available to interested suppliers and users must - in combination with low-emission office equipment according to DE-UZ 171 or DE-UZ 205 - meet the stringent requirements for the release of fine and ultrafine particles during printing.

About Blue Angel

To learn more about the ecolabel visit Blue Angel | The German Ecolabel (blauer-engel.de) 

[i] Scope 1 and 2 emissions

Blue Angel