Government Technology

U.S. Federal Government Increases Commitment to EPEAT Green Computing



January 10, 2008 By

"Integrating an EPEAT purchasing requirement into the FAR is the next logical step in the process, and we are happy to see it proceeding."

In another step to ensure that all Federal agencies purchase and use the 'greenest' computers available, the U.S. federal government has integrated a requirement for use of EPEAT (the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) into the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) -- the 'bible' of the federal purchasing sector. A Presidential Executive Order in January 2007 called on federal agencies to ensure that 95 percent or more of all computers they purchase are qualified under the EPEAT green computer purchasing standard; the proposal to include this requirement in the FAR will make it standard practice for all federal government purchasers.

"The FAR provides every federal purchaser with a blueprint for action," said Jeff Omelchuck of the Green Electronics Council (GEC), the nonprofit group that manages the EPEAT system, "We are thrilled that the federal government's commitment to using the EPEAT green computer purchasing system will be embodied in these regulations."

The EPEAT system, which was developed and implemented through a stakeholder process supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, evaluates computer desktops, laptops, and monitors based on 51 environmental criteria. All EPEAT-registered products must meet 23 mandatory environmental performance criteria. An additional 28 optional criteria are used to determine whether products earn EPEAT Bronze, Silver or Gold recognition. The EPEAT standard is ANSI approved and was formally adopted in 2006 as Standard 1680 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Total purchases of EPEAT-registered green computers during the first six months after the system's July 2006 launch resulted in remarkable environmental benefits, at a time when the EPEAT registry contained far fewer products than are now listed. Compared to conventional products, purchasing EPEAT products:

  • Saved 13.7 billion kWh of electricity, enough to power 1.2 million U.S. homes for a year
  • Saved 24.4 million metric tons of materials, equivalent to the weight of 189 million refrigerators
  • Prevented release of 56.5 million metric tons of air pollution, including 1.07 million metric tons of global warming gases -- the equivalent of removing 852,000 cars from the road for a year
  • Prevented release of 118,000 metric tons of water pollution
  • Reduced toxic material use by 1,070 metric tons, including enough mercury to fill 157,000 household fever thermometers
  • Avoided the disposal of 41,100 metric tons of hazardous waste

"Because of the immense potential for environmental benefit, we are committed to make EPEAT purchasing a standard practice for every federal government purchaser," commented Ed Pinero, the federal environmental executive, "Millions of dollars are already being used to purchase EPEAT products. NASA, the Departments of Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, and Interior, the General Services Administration, EPA, and the Executive Office of the President, among other federal agencies, are already using EPEAT. Integrating an EPEAT purchasing requirement into the FAR is the next logical step in the process, and we are happy to see it proceeding."

The FAR proposal is an interim final rule -- meaning that it takes effect immediately, though it is open for comment by interested parties until February 25.


| More

You May Also Like

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Maintain Your IT Budget with Consistent Compliance Practices
Between the demands of meeting federal IT compliance mandates, increasing cybersecurity threats, and ever-shrinking budgets, it’s not uncommon for routine maintenance tasks to slip among state and local government IT departments. If it’s been months, or even only days, since you have maintained your systems, your agency may not be prepared for a compliance audit—and that could have severe financial consequences. Regardless of your mission, consistent systems keep your data secure, your age
Best Practice Guide for Cloud and As-A-Service Procurements
While technology service options for government continue to evolve, procurement processes and policies have remained firmly rooted in practices that are no longer effective. This guide, built upon the collaborative work of state and local government and industry executives, outlines and explains the changes needed for more flexible and agile procurement processes.
Fresh Ideas In Online Security for Public Safety Organizations
Lesley Carhart, Senior Information Security Specialist at Motorola Solutions, knows that online and computer security are more challenging than ever. Personal smartphones, removable devices like USB storage drives, and social media have a significant impact on security. In “Fresh Ideas in Online Security for Public Safely Organizations,” Lesley provides recommendations to improve your online security against threats from social networks, removable devices, weak passwords and digital photos.
View All

Featured Papers