U.S. EPA selects the Green Electronics Council to manage a new program for the purchase of environmentally friendly laptops, computers and monitors.

February 15, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon – Responding to growing demand by large-volume computer buyers, the Green Electronics Council (GEC) announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency selected GEC to manage a new program for the purchase of environmentally friendly laptops, computers and monitors. The system – called EPEAT – is designed for institutional purchasers to identify and select electronic products that meet strict environmental criteria. The system will be available at www.epeat.net. GEC will receive $375,000 over three years from EPA to help jumpstart the system.

EPEAT - The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool - was developed over two years with funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency. Larry Chalfan, Director of the Zero Waste Alliance that led the development initiative for EPA, stated that “nationwide, more than 50 stakeholders including manufacturers, environmental organizations and purchasers were active in developing EPEAT.”

The goal of EPEAT is to use the power of the marketplace to encourage the design, manufacture, purchase and use of “green electronic products.” Green electronic products eliminate or substantially reduce the use of hazardous metals such as mercury and lead, are easier to upgrade, offer greater recycling convenience, have a longer useable life and are more energy efficient than conventional products. EPEAT includes 23 required and 28 optional criteria in the following performance categories:
• Reduction/Elimination of Environmentally Sensitive Materials
• Materials Selection
• Design for End of Life
• Life Cycle Extension
• Energy Conservation
• End of Life Management
• Corporate Performance
• Packaging

Jeff Omelchuck, Director of the Green Electronics Council, stated that “products meeting the 23 required criteria will be awarded an EPEAT Bronze rating. Products meeting the required criteria plus at least 14 of the optional criteria receive a Silver Rating. Those who achieve the required and at least 21 of the optional criteria receive a Gold Rating.”

The official standard on which EPEAT is based will be released in April 2006 as IEEE/ANSI 1680. Once the standard is released, the Green Electronics Council will start processing applications from manufacturers to list their products. The list of EPEAT registered products will be available to purchasers in June 2006 at www.epeat.net. EPEAT registration is already preferred or required on $16 billion worth of computer procurements from federal and state agencies.

Green Electronics Council. The Green Electronics Council was founded in 2005 to inspire and support the effective design, manufacture, use and recovery of electronic products to contribute to a healthy, fair and prosperous world. Additional information is available at www.greenelectronicscouncil.org.

Zero Waste Alliance. The Zero Waste Alliance is a partnership of universities, government, business and non-governmental organizations working to eliminate waste and toxics using nature as a model. More information is available at www.zerowaste.org.

The Green Electronics Council and the Zero Waste Alliance are programs of the International Sustainable Development Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non profit corporation based in Portland, Oregon.