ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Online Registry for Green Computers Launches

New York, Jul 24, 2006

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Green Electronics Council launched today an online tool that allows consumers and institutional purchasers to select environmentally “smart” computer products. Developed with funding from the EPA, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) currently recognizes more than sixty desktop computers, laptops, and monitors for meeting strict criteria for environmental performance.

“This initial list of EPEAT-registered products is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Jeff Omelchuck, executive director of the Green Electronics Council, which manages the EPEAT program. “We’re thrilled to see the race to the top as manufacturers compete to develop the greenest possible computers.”

EPEAT is a three-tiered rating system that classifies a computer product as bronze, silver, or gold based on its adherence to required and optional criteria. The EPEAT system is based on IEEE 1680, Standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products, which details criteria in eight categories: energy conservation; reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials; life-cycle extension; design for end of life; materials selection; end-of-life management; packaging; and corporate performance. [See related article: New Standard Promotes Green Design for Computers]. IEEE 1680 was developed by ANSI member and accredited standard developer the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

ANSI members Dell and Hewlett-Packard (HP) are among the first manufacturers to have environmentally conscious products recognized by EPEAT. Representatives from both companies participated in an EPEAT kickoff event last Friday in Portland, Oregon.

“HP’s commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our products, services and operations enables both HP and our customers to operate in ways that better support sustainability,” said Jeri Callaway, vice president and general manager North America of Hewlett-Packard’s commercial solutions, personal systems group.

Computer products often contain high levels of substances such as cadmium, lead, mercury, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which are known to pose significant risks to human health and the environment. To reduce such risks, the standard establishes threshold limits for these and other hazardous substances. EPEAT-registered products must also demonstrate energy efficiency and reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses that contribute to unnatural climate changes.

To meet criteria outlined by the standard, computer and component manufacturers must offer safe recycling and end-of-life management options: EPEAT registered products must be simple to upgrade and easily disassembled. The standard prohibits the use of paints and coatings that are incompatible with recycling systems. In addition, manufacturers are required to identify the percentage of recycled and/or plant-based content in their products.

“Having a consistent standard makes it easier for customers to evaluate the environmental features of the technology they purchase,” said Mark Schaffer, manager for Dell worldwide environmental affairs.

EPEAT has already been referenced by the public and private sectors in IT contracts totaling more than $31 billion. Purchasers include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and the EPA.

The EPA estimates that over the next five years, purchases of EPEAT registered computers will relieve the environment of more than 13 million pounds of hazardous waste, 3 million pounds of additional waste, and conserve 600,000 MWh of energy.

The registry of IEEE 1680 compliant products will be maintained at

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