2008-02-20 at 2:34:00 pm #21034
The greening of your copy machine
SAN FRANCISCO – The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency is launching this week the first steps toward new green standards for copiers and other imaging devices. This effort builds on the success of EPEAT – an on-line tool to help institutional buyers identify and buy greener electronic equipment.
On February 20, 2008 EPA will host a two-day roundtable to kick-off the development process for the new environmental standards. The forum will bring together representatives from manufacturers, suppliers, public and private sector purchasers, public interest groups and experts in electronics design to define the scope of the products to be covered, look at other standards and labels, and begin to develop potential environmental performance criteria for the new standards.
“EPEAT is a trusted resource for buyers looking for greener computers, because it was developed by all the stakeholders,” said David Jones, Associate Director of the Waste Division in EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “The success of EPEAT has led to significant environmental benefits. EPA is committed to supporting stakeholder efforts to now reduce the impact of printers and copiers as well.”
EPEAT – the electronic product environmental assessment tool – was launched in 2006, focusing on desktop and laptop computers and monitors. It includes a set of environmental criteria and a system for registering and verifying equipment that meets those criteria. EPEAT-registered computers have reduced levels of toxics, are more energy efficient, are easier to upgrade and recycle, and use more sustainable packaging than conventional equipment. EPA supported the development of EPEAT, but it is now a largely self-sustaining system operated by the Green Electronics Council.
Purchasers have embraced EPEAT enthusiastically. Nearly all electronic equipment purchases by the U.S. government must be EPEAT-registered. In addition, more than six states and dozens of local governments and colleges and universities have adopted EPEAT in their procurement for computers. Major private companies are using the tool as well. That success has driven demand by purchasers for additional products to be added to EPEAT.
The February 20th workshop will begin a 12-18 month process to craft the criteria for imaging devices. EPA will not develop the new standard itself, but is providing funding and staff support to bring stakeholders together to do so. The standard will be finalized the IEEE Standards Association.
For information on the EPEAT standard and the searchable database listing all EPEAT-registered computer products, visit: http://www.epeat.net. Additional information on the Green Electronics Council is available at http://www.greenelectronicscouncil.org.