EPEAT's Annual Report Charts Big Energy, Materials Savings in Green IT

EPEAT's Annual Report Charts Big Energy, Materials Savings in Green IT

What a difference five years can make: 78.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity use, for example -- the amount consumed by nearly 6.6 million U.S. households in a year.

That is the top-line savings from the first five years of sales of EPEAT-certified electronics, according to the EPEAT annual report, published this morning by the Green Electronics Council.

Since its launch in June 2006, EPEAT has rapidly expanded in every category. At first, just three manufacturers had 60 products in the registry; as of 2010 there are 54 manufacturers who have earned the certification for more than 3,000 unique products. And EPEAT has expanded around the globe as much as it's expanded across the industry, now including specific registries for 41 countries.

All told, there have been more than 411 million EPEAT-certified products sold in the past five years, leading to massive global savings on energy, materials, emissions and waste, and the latest EPEAT report spells out all of those benefits for each region as well as the world as a whole.

EPEAT is a tiered certification that covers desktops, laptops, integrated systems, displays, workstations and thin client devices; certifications for imaging systems and televisions are in the final stages of approval. In order to land one of three levels of certification -- Gold, Silver or Bronze -- products must meet all 23 required criteria and then a proportion of 28 optional criteria to move higher up the certification level.

Interesting to note in the trends from EPEAT is that there has been something of a race to the top for manufacturers, with more products earning Gold-level certification than any other. In 2010, Gold registrations grew by 94 percent, compared to 84 percent growth for Silver registrations. The chart below tracks the growth of all products and Gold products.

epeat chart

Among the other savings as laid out by the Green Electronics Council, EPEAT purchases in 2010 will:

  • Reduce use of toxic materials, including mercury, by 1,156 metric tons, equivalent to the weight of 192 elephants.
  • Reduce use of primary materials by 15.7 million metric tons, equivalent to the weight of 48 Empire State Buildings
  • Eliminate use of enough mercury to fill 437,048 household mercury fever thermometers.
  • Avoid the disposal of 59,525 metric tons of hazardous waste, equivalent to the weight of four Eiffel Towers.
  • Eliminate the equivalent of more than 16,052 U.S. households' annual solid waste -- 31,991 metric tons

"The documented 2010 results from sale of more than 93 million registered products reinforce EPEAT's remarkable track record of expansion and impact," Jeff Omelchuck, EPEAT Executive Director, said in a statement. "The growth in EPEAT product registration and sales across all 41 covered countries shows that consumers and manufactures alike recognize the need to address electronics' environmental impact, and that strict environmental standards can benefit both the environment and producers who demonstrate environmental responsibility and innovation."

The full report is available for download from EPEAT.net.