EPEAT Expands to Meet Global Demand for Green IT Products

EPEAT Expands to Meet Global Demand for Green IT Products

Nearly 18 months after opening up the EPEAT certification to the entire world, the Green Electronics Council has appointed six organizations as certified qualifying bodies, allowing for even further expansion of the green IT label.

The six groups, all of which are certification, labeling and testing bodies, are based in the United States, China, Taiwan and Germany, and will serve to bring more products more quickly into the EPEAT registry, as well as get products currently certified in one country accepted into other country-specific EPEAT databases.

[This is] the fulfillment of the pathway we've been on," the Green Electronics Council's Sarah O'Brien explained in an interview. "We've been scrambling to be launched, [then] were immediately growing at an incredibly rapid pace; we kept up with that and maintained quality control, and only over the past year have we been able to articulate this structure and how it will work."

The challenge has been to separate out the GEC's operations from the registry of the EPEAT label. In order to do that, the GEC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with six groups around the world, who will be the first wave of what will eventually be a global network of trusted certifiers that can maintaining and even increase the consistency and quality of the EPEAT registry.

The first six groups are just the start; O'Brien said that additional groups will likely join the registry, especially as the EPEAT certification expands into new fields. The IEEE 1680 family of green electronics standards, which is the underpinning for the EPEAT registry, is currently at work on new green standards for televisions and printers or imaging devices.

Those standards will likely be released next year, bringing large numbers of new products into the registry process, and further highlighting the need for expanding EPEAT's capacity for quickly, credibly and thoroughly certifying new products.