ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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New Standard Promotes Green Design for Computers


New York, May 23, 2006

The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recently released a performance standard that will help companies, universities, and other organizations purchasing large numbers of computers to make environmentally smart buying decisions.

“Determining which computers are environmentally preferable is a challenge,” said Jeff Scott, EPA waste division director, Pacific Southwest region. “This standard will change the marketplace and measurably reduce the environmental impacts of computers. It is an excellent example of government, industry, environmentalists and academics collaborating to address an issue and improve the environment.”

IEEE 1680, Standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products, is the first U.S. standard to provide institutions with environmental performance guidelines for desktop and notebook computers and monitors. The standard establishes criteria in eight categories: energy conservation; environmentally sensitive materials; product longevity and life-cycle extension; design for end of life; materials selection; end-of-life management; packaging; and corporate performance. The standard is the result of a collaborative effort between electronics industry representatives, environmental advocacy groups, state and local purchasing officials, electronics recyclers, and members of academia.

The standard’s developers expect that IEEE 1680 will encourage manufacturers to design products that are longer-lasting and more energy efficient, easier to recycle, and constructed with fewer environmentally harmful materials.

“IEEE 1680 will foster green product design by setting challenging, yet realistic criteria for environmental performance,” said Larry Chalfan, co-chair of the work group that developed the standard. “It creates mechanisms for identifying and verifying that computer products meet these criteria without delaying time to market.”

Recognizing the benefit of the standard as a means of promoting the environmental performance of their products, public and private purchasing institutions have already referenced IEEE 1680TM in more than $21 billion worth of computer equipment contracts and proposals.

IEEE 1680 and its product registration and verification system are part of the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), which is being managed by the Green Electronics Council under a grant from the EPA. Beginning in June 2006, a registry of IEEE 1680 compliant products will be maintained at www.epeat.net.

A member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), IEEE is awaiting ANSI approval of IEEE 1680 as an American National Standard. The document is undergoing a public review period through July 4, 2006. Interested parties may submit comments regarding the standard to David Ringle, IEEE program manager of governance, policy, and procedures (d.ringle@ieee.org).

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