EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) is the green electronics rating system from The Green Electronics Council in the US and is the clear leader in assessing how green IT products are.
The program evaluates computer desktops, laptops and monitors on 51 environmental criteria. Thin client devices and workstations were added in 2009 and new standards for printers are being developed. EPEAT now covers 41 countries and includes nearly 50 manufacturers and more than 2,000 unique products (10,000 product registrations in all since the same product can be registered in various countries - 3,700 have been registered at the Gold level).
Anyway, the organisation has published a report of its success in 2009 and what it means in terms of environmental benefits. The headline achievements are that unit sales of EPEAT registered products in the US grew by 10%, to a total of 44.5 million products. Overall, combined unit sales of EPEAT registered notebooks and desktops constituted close to 17% of sales of these products worldwide and 42% of combined product sales in the US.
The full report is here, but among the highlights are that, compared to non-EPEAT products, these purchases will:
• Reduce use of toxic materials, including mercury,
by 1537 metric tons, equivalent to the weight of
• Eliminate the use of enough mercury to fill 372,000
• Avoid the disposal of 72,000 metric tons of
hazardous waste, equivalent to the weight of 35
• Eliminate the equivalent of more than 14,500 US
households’ annual solid waste — over 29,000
And since EPEAT registered products meet the latest Energy Star efficiency specifications, these products will also:
• Save over 10 billion kWh of electricity —
enough to power 900,000 US homes for a year.
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 2 million metric tons — equivalent to taking nearly 1.4 million US cars off the road for a year.
So there you have it. Buy EPEAT-registered products and help save the world - a growing number of organisations are and it’s spreading worldwide. Achieving 42% of the US market is certainly impressive.