EPA, industry launch green IT buying initiative

The Environmental Protection Agency and an industry trade group formally unveiled a new standard and registry that help large purchasers of IT'namely, government' make environmentally sound decisions when buying computer equipment.

The standard, developed by EPA, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers of Piscataway, N.J., state and local governments, and academics, gives developers a list of criteria to meet for environmental soundness, and the registry gives purchasers a list of products meeting the standard.

At a news conference today, Jeff Scott, Waste Division director in EPA's Pacific and Southwest region, said eight government agencies including the departments of Homeland Security, Interior, Energy and Veterans Affairs, the Army, EPA, and NASA are already using the standard in IT equipment solicitations of more than $21 billion.

The standard is an attempt to 'create something that is going to be real and have a lasting impact,' Scott said.

The government's IT budget for fiscal 2007 is slated for more than $64 billion, making it a prime candidate to use this new system and help improve the environment, Scott said.

EPA estimates that the standard, if used widely, could result in significant reductions in waste and energy usage. Specifically:
  • More than 4 million pounds of hazardous waste
  • More than 1 million pounds of non-hazardous waste
  • More than 200,000 megawatt-hours of energy, enough to power 2 million homes.

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