Additional 'Environmentally Friendly' Computers, Monitors Will Soon Be Available

More environmentally friendly computer equipment will soon be available to large volume purchasers thanks to manufacturers like Dell, HP and others that now have products that meet the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) standard, EPA announced on July 24.

EPEAT-registered computer products have reduced levels of cadmium, lead and mercury to better protect human health, and are easier to upgrade and recycle, in addition to meeting the government's Energy Star guidelines for energy efficiency.

"These new environmental standards can guide the manufacturing of green computers, laptops, and monitors," said James Gulliford, assistant administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. "Now purchasers can factor environmental considerations into their decisions when choosing computer equipment."

EPEAT, a project funded through a grant by EPA and managed by the Green Electronics Council (GEC), promotes continuous improvement in the environmental design of electronic products and informs purchasers of the environmental criteria of electronic products. EPEAT may eventually expand to include individual consumer purchasers.

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

While EPEAT was originally designed to benefit large volume purchasers such as government agencies, private sector companies, and colleges and universities, EPEAT also makes it possible for individual consumers to review environmental considerations before making their own purchases.

EPA has estimated 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.
  • More than 600,000 MWh of energy -- enough to power 6 million homes.

For more information on the EPEAT, go to http://www.epa.gov/epp/pubs/products/epeat.htm.

This article originally appeared in the 07/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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