On Monday, July 24, the EPA will officially launch EPEAT©, a new program that identifies high-performance, environmentally friendly computer equipment through an online, searchable database. This procurement tool was specifically designed to help institutional purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, notebooks and monitors based on their environmental attributes. EPEAT also provides a clear and consistent set of performance criteria for the design of products, and provides an opportunity for manufacturers to secure market recognition for efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its products.
EPEAT was developed through a three year stakeholder process that was managed by a non-profit organization – Zero Waste Alliance. EPEAT is implemented through two separate and interlinked ventures:
1. IEEE 1680-2006 is an ANSI standard, adopted and owned by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. The standard includes the environmental performance criteria and outlines the principles by which the system is implemented. Click here to purchase IEEE 1680.
2. This EPEAT Web site is maintained by a non-profit organization – EPEAT, Inc. This organization operates the system for product registration and verification, and provides a one-stop-shop – the EPEAT registry – for purchasers to identify products that conform with the standard.
EPEAT evaluates electronic products according to three tiers of environmental performance – Bronze, Silver and Gold. The complete set of performance criteria includes 23 required criteria and 28 optional criteria in eight categories. To qualify for acceptance as an EPEAT product, it must conform to all the required criteria. Manufacturers may pick and choose among the optional criteria to boost their EPEAT baseline “score” to achieve a higher-ranking level as follows:
Product meets all required criteria.
Product meets all required criteria plus at least 50% of the optional criteria that apply to the product type being registered.
Product meets all required criteria plus at least 75% of the optional criteria that apply to the product type being registered.
EPEAT is an easy-to-use evaluation tool that allows the comparison and selection of electronic products based on environmental attributes, in addition to cost and performance considerations. EPEAT-registered products meet minimum performance standards in areas such as energy efficiency, toxicity reduction and material selection.
EPEAT is already referenced in $32.25 billion worth of computer contracts, including contracts issued by the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of San Jose, California.