"Reduce, reuse, and recycle" should be the guiding principle for managing electronics. Reducing the total quantity of equipment we buy by identifying ways to upgrade equipment for a longer service life, or by productively networking computers, can have environmental benefits and can save money. Green purchasing programs also allow buyers of computer equipment to reduce the amount of toxics and virgin materials they purchase by identifying products that have fewer toxins and are made from recycled materials or use recyclable packaging.
The Electronics Purchasing Environmental Assessment Tool, EPEAT
The Electronics Purchasing Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), has been developed by IT manufactures, users, government, and others, to make it easy to purchase a green PC for your business. The system uses a simple rating system of bronze, silver, and gold to rate the environmental performance of several life-cycle attributes. The program covers business desktops, laptops, and monitors. Keep an eye out for programs for cell phones, TV’s, and imagining devices in the next year.
The Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator (EEBC)
EEBC was developed to give users a way to measure the benefits of green IT management across all three phases of the life cycle, purchasing, use, and end-of-life. Using purchasing, management, and end-of-life information, users can easily identify how their choices impact the environment. Data is given in easy to understand charts or tables to show waste, energy, green house gas, and other reductions.
ENERGY STAR Program
ENERGY STAR has been developed to improve the energy efficiency of many household and office electronic devices. Currently the specification for office computers is in it’s 4th revision. It was released in July 2007, and it looks at how much energy the computer uses in different operating modes, standby, sleep mode, and while computers are being used.