Friday, 17 April 2009

EPEAT success

The US Federal government has reported major steps towards greening its IT purchases. In the 2008 progress report submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE) it showed a significant commitment across the government to using EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) for green IT purchasing.

The EPEAT programme evaluates computer desktops, laptops, and monitors based on 51 environmental criteria developed through a stakeholder consensus process supported by the US EPA. It is managed by the Green Electronics Council.

There is a new Federal Acquisition Regulation’ (FAR) clause that requires US agencies to prioritise purchase of EPEAT-registered IT products and apparently 13 of the 22 Federal agencies reported meeting the goal of 95% or higher EPEAT purchasing in their 2008 IT acquisitions. These 13 agencies between them purchased more than 500,000 EPEAT-registered desktops, laptops and monitors.

The success is significant because it really is down to the public sector, around the world, to set an example on environmental matters. If governments set targets in areas such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions then they must be seen to be actively pursuing those targets through their own administrations. The various economic stimulus packages, which do have some specific green focus, will help in the economy as a whole, but expect to see the public sector itself increasingly adopting greener processes and solutions and becoming much more prominent in the area of green IT. Those IT companies active in this market need to be prepared.

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