EPEAT passes 1,000-product milestone

The EPEAT green computer rating system registered its 1,000th environmentally preferable computer product last week: the EPEAT Gold Sony VGN-SR290PDB laptop PC.

This is the latest milestone in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool’s growth from its launch in July 2006 to its status as an expansive and influential green IT product rating system, EPEAT officials said.

EPEAT is designed to make it easier for private- and public-sector organizations to buy green electronic products. The Federal Acquisition Regulation requires federal agencies to purchase at least 95 percent of EPEAT registered products in all relevant electronic product categories.

With the tool, federal managers can evaluate, compare and select monitors and desktop and laptop computers based on their environmental attributes.

The EPEAT Registry includes products that manufacturers say comply with the environmental performance standard for electronic products, known as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers 1680-2006 standard. EPEAT operates a verification program to assure the credibility of the registry.

“The EPEAT rating system provides a simple, credible way to measure “green” when it comes to electronic products, and that has enabled thousands of purchasers to significantly reduce the environmental impact of their computing.” said Jeff Omelchuck, EPEAT executive director.

From its beginning with 3 participating manufacturers and a roster of 60 registered products, the EPEAT system has grown to include over thirty manufacturer participants registering more than 1000 environmentally preferable desktops, laptops and monitors in the system, Omelchuck said.

The EPEAT system evaluates electronic products according to three tiers of environmental performance: Bronze, Silver and Gold, based on a total of 51 environmental criteria. Key benchmarks include elimination of toxic materials, design for recycling, extended product longevity, increased energy efficiency, and availability of takeback and recycling services.

EPEAT was developed as a project of the Zero Waste Alliance between August 2002 and May 2006 under a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. It is now administered by The Green Electronics Council.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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