Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)
EPEAT, which stands for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, is an easy-to-use, on-line tool helping institutional purchasers select and compare computer desktops, laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes.
EPEAT was developed using a grant by EPA and is managed by the Green Electronics Council (GEC). It is dedicated to informing purchasers of the environmental criteria of electronic products. GEC's EPEAT Web site provides guidance for purchasers and manufacturers and hosts the database of EPEAT-registered products. EPEAT-registered computer desktops, laptops, and monitors must meet an environmental performance standard for electronic products - IEEE 1680- 2006.
The first annual report quantifying environmental benefits was issued July 17, 2007, by the Green Electronics Council.
Purchase of EPEAT-Registered Products Required for Federal Government
Executive Order 13423, "Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management (PDF)," (7pp, 108KB, About PDF) was signed by President Bush on January 24, 2007. The executive order requires agencies to acquire EPEAT-registered electronic products for at least 95 percent of electronic product acquisitions, unless there is no EPEAT standard for the product. The Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Management and Budget have issued the Implementing Instructions for E.O. 13423 (PDF) (51pp, 52KB, About PDF).
Launched in 2006, EPEAT was developed in response to growing demand by institutional purchasers for an easy-to-use evaluation tool enabling them to compare electronic products based on environmental performance, in addition to cost and performance considerations. Creation of EPEAT was guided by electronics manufacturers' expressed need for clear, consistent procurement criteria.
As of June 2007, approximately 532 products manufactured by 19 manufacturers (Apple, CTL Corp., Dell, Inc., Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp., Gateway, Inc, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, LG Electronics USA Incorporated, Mind Computer Products, MPC Computers LLC, NEC Display Solutions, Inc., Northern Micro, Inc., Panasonic, Phillips Electronics Ltd, Samsung Electronics America, Sona Computer, Inc., Sony Electronics Inc., Toshiba, and ViewSonic Corp.) were EPEAT registered and listed on the EPEAT Product Registry Web page.
EPA published the following press releases and news briefs related to EPEAT:
- New Report Shows Environmental Benefits from Green Computers (July 2007)
- Greener Computers and Monitors Will Soon Hit the Market (July 2006)
- First U.S. Voluntary Standard for Computers in Place (May 2006)
- Portland, Ore. Organization Gets $375,000 to Identify "Green Computers" (February 2006)
EPEAT Grants Request for Proposal Issued
This grants program will result in one cooperative agreement to support pollution prevention/source reduction and/or resource conservation in the procurement of electronic products, through the development of new environmental standards for electronic products. This grants program will provide up to $300,000 over a five year period for development of four environmental leadership standards to assist institutional purchasers in identifying and selecting environmentally preferable electronic products. This cooperative agreement will build on the work developed through the original EPEAT Project, described above. To view the EPEAT Grants Request for Proposal, go to Grants.gov, click on "grant search", and type in "EPEAT" in the keyword search or go the Grant Solicitation on the P2 Web site.
Calculating Environmental Benefits
Often organizations need to show the benefits of making decisions based on environmental criteria. An Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator can do the task by quantifying the benefits gained by purchasing EPEAT-registered computer desktops, laptops, and monitors. Enter the number of EPEAT-registered products purchased, and the calculator tallies the energy and money savings, as well as reductions in toxic substances, hazardous waste generated, etc. The calculator can also quantify improvements in equipment operation and end-of-life management practices. Currently, this tool is designed to evaluate EPEAT-registered desktop (with a CRT or LCD monitor) and notebook computers. The University of Tennessee developed the calculator under a cooperative agreement with EPA.
For more information on programs related closely to EPEAT and other EPA electronics efforts, please see EPP's electronics page.
Meeting Strategic Goals
EPA's support of the development and use of EPEAT is linked to specific objectives in EPA's 2003-2008 Strategic Plan (239pp, 4.7M, About PDF): to prevent pollution and promote environmental stewardship by government, the public and business. Use of EPEAT will help EPA in meeting its strategic targets. It is also helping other federal agencies with environmentally preferable purchasing programs and policies meet their numeric targets for reducing hazardous and non-hazardous waste and reducing energy use.
Read about EPEAT's 2005-2006 accomplishments.