Consumers choosing green products

11 August 2008

Consumers are increasingly choosing environmentally friendly items

As consumers vigilantly seek out environmentally friendly products, a new service to identify green computer products could affect manufacturing.

Technology distributor Ingram Micro has launched the service to help resellers identify green electronic products. EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) managed by the non-profit Green Electronics Council, is an environmental rating system that evaluates desktop computers, notebooks and monitors based on 51 environmental performance criteria.

The company’s North American product database now includes EPEAT ratings information rankings of bronze, silver or gold, along with other product data to enable resellers to choose their products. EPEAT registered computers and monitors must meet 23 environmental performance criteria, and are ranked according to the number criteria met, which includes Energy Star’s efficiency specifications, and a system for recycling at end of life.

The system was developed through a stakeholder process underwritten by US EPA that included environmental advocates, manufacturers, government and private purchasers, electronics recyclers, and academics. The EPEAT standard is ANSI approved and was formally adopted in 2006 as Standard 1680 of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers). The Green Electronics Council partners with environmental organisations, government agencies, manufacturers and other interested stakeholders in a bid to improve the environmental and social performance of electronic products. In April 2006, it received a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency to promote and implement the EPEAT green computer system. Finally, Ingram Micro serves 150 countries, making it a global IT distributor with operations in Asia.

Bob Laclede, Vice President and General Manager for government sales at Ingram Micro said: “Federal government agencies are requiring EPEAT registered products to ensure their electronics purchases are compliant. By having these designations in our product database, Ingram Micro is providing the green information needed for our resellers to include on bids for government contracts. It also assists others in identifying environmentally friendly products for their end users.”

Jeff Omelchuck, Executive Director for the Green Electronics Council and EPEAT programme manager added: “We are very excited that a distributor of Ingram Micro's size and scope has become the first distributor to partner with EPEAT. Their leadership will help resellers respond to purchaser demand for green IT options, expand the green IT market, and provide end users with an easy way to determine at point of purchase which products are environmentally preferable.”

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