More Than 200 Green Computers Available

More Than 200 Green Computers Available

EPEAT, the green computer released in July, has identified more than 200 desktop computers, laptops, and monitors from eight manufacturers.

Some of the products identified in the online EPEAT registry highlight some truly innovative features, including computer monitors made partly out of plant-based materials. A complete listing of EPEAT registered products is available at www.epeat.net.

Compared to traditional computer equipment, all EPEAT-registered computers have reduced levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury to better protect human health and the environment. They are more energy efficient, which reduces emissions of climate changing greenhouse gases. They are also easier to upgrade and recycle. In fact, manufacturers must offer safe recycling options for the products when they are no longer useable.

EPEAT products are identified as EPEAT-Bronze, EPEAT-Silver, or EPEAT-Gold depending on the number of environmental features incorporated in the product.

"We are pleasantly surprised at the enormous response from the computer manufacturing community. Many companies obviously have obviously been working to green their products and EPEAT is allowing them to showcase their environmental improvements," explained Jeff Omelchuck, Executive Director of the Green Electronics Council, which manages the EPEAT program. "Other manufacturers still have significant room for improvement."

More than $30 billion in purchases by organizations seeking more environmentally friendly computers already reference the EPEAT standard and the numbers continue to grow.

EPEAT is a tool to help purchasers rank computer desktops, laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes. The three-tiered EPEAT rating system includes 23 required criteria and 28 optional criteria. The optional criteria are used to determine if the equipment receives EPEAT Bronze, Silver, or Gold recognition.

EPEAT was developed over a three year period in an extensive consensus-based, EPA-funded process that included more than 100 representatives from environmental groups, government officials, large volume computer purchasers, subject matter experts, electronics recyclers, and manufacturers. When developing the standard, the group integrated a wide variety of existing environmental standards and requirements into the EPEAT "umbrella" standard, including the most recent U.S. Energy Star energy efficiency requirements, EPA's Plug-In Guidelines for Materials Management, Rechargeable Battery Recycling Coalition recommendations, Coalition of North Eastern Governors Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation, European Union (EU) restriction on hazardous substances (RoHS), EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment requirements (WEEE), EU battery directives, and various global environmental labeling standards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, using very conservative assumptions, estimates that over the next five years, purchases of EPEAT registered computers will result in reductions of more than 13 million pounds of hazardous waste, more than 3 million pounds of non-hazardous waste, and more than 600,000 MWh of energy - enough to power 6 million homes.