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Sustainable Marketplace: Greener Products and Services

Identifying Greener Electronics

Environmental Attributes to Consider

  • Reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials
  • Recycled-content
  • Designed for reuse, recyclability, repair (i.e. battery replacement) and longevity
  • Energy Star Certified
  • Extended product life, upgradeable
  • Reduced packaging
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Environmentally sound take-back and recycling options

How To Buy

  • See electronics standards and ecolabels recommended by EPA.
  • Look for EPEAT registered products.Exit EPEAT registered products meet environmental performance criteria that reduces the environmental impacts of the product across its life cycle. EPEAT registered products meet the technical specifications set by Energy Star, and address the other attributes listed above.  
  • Look for Energy Star qualified products. Energy Star qualified products are energy efficient, helping users to save money. 
  • GSA's Green Purchasing Compilation Tool. This tool identifies the federal green purchasing requirements for all products and services, including electronic products. The tool's "office electronics" aisle covers electricity-consuming products commonly used in an office environment, such as computers and imaging equipment. Products in this category may also apply to the acquisition of electronic leasing, construction, and meeting and conference services. It also offers basic sample solicitation/contract language to help buyers specify Energy Star, FEMP, and EPEAT products.
  • Institutional and Federal purchasers can use this recommended contract language for purchasing EPEAT registered products, and ENERGY STAR's Product Purchasing and Computer Power Management for Federal Agencies, which provides guidance on federal agencies' requirements to purchase energy-efficient products and activate power management settings on their computers.

Government Resources

EPA's Information on the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Exit
Information about EPEAT and how EPA is involved in its development and use.

Federal Green Challenge
The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort under US EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program, challenging EPA and other federal agencies throughout the country to lead by example in reducing the Federal Government's environmental impact.

Federal Print Management Template
Issued by the Federal Environmental Executive on December 15, 2014, this template provides an example of the type of language federal agencies and other large purchasing organizations can include in a print management policy, directive, memorandum, or guidance. The practices outlined in this document are intended to provide a baseline of best practices in print management which can result in reduced energy, copy paper, and toner use, thereby saving money and reducing impacts on the environment.

GSA Advantage!®
GSA Advantage is the federal government's premier online shopping superstore giving you access to millions of commercial products and services available from GSA-negotiated contracts.  Anyone may browse the site to view and compare the variety of products and services offered.  Visit the Environmental Program Aisle search by environmental icons and limit your results to sustainable products.

Supply Chain Sector Spotlight - Center for Corporate Climate Leadership
EPA is seeking to highlight activities to reduce supply chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the sectoral level. As a first initiative, EPA is featuring the electronics sector, specifically flat panel display suppliers' efforts to reduce F-GHG emissions in flat panel manufacturing.

Safer Choice Program
The Safer Choice Program is currently involved in a Flame Retardants in Printed Circuit Boards Partnership. In the past, the program has participated in partnership for lead-free solder, wire and cable, and computer displays.

National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship
By implementing the recommendations presented in this National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship, developed by an interagency Task Force, the Federal Government will lay the groundwork for improving the design of electronic products and enhancing our management of used or discarded electronics. This Strategy provides a roadmap of how the Federal Government can use its authorities and leverage resources to seize this opportunity.

Energy Efficient Product Procurement
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) purchasing specifications for federal purchaser procurement of energy-efficient products. Information about electronic products that meet FEMP's energy efficiency guidelines.

Federal Acquisition Requirements - Compliant Products Lists.
This document outlines the federal green purchasing requirements for federal government purchase of electronic products – including EPEAT registered, Energy Star qualified, and FEMP designated.

Other Resources

State Electronics Challenge Exit
The State Electronics Challenge (SEC) encourages state, tribal, regional, and local governments, including schools and other public entities, to responsibly manage office equipment. The SEC provides resources to assist organizations in the public sector, as well as private schools and colleges, who sign up as “Partners” to become leaders and address the challenges posed by electronics.