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U.S. EPA, Green Electronics Council recognize Green Electronics Champions

Release Date: 10/02/2007
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez 415-947-4248

Over 4,800 tons of greenhouse gases, $5 million saved using EPEAT computer purchasing

SAN FRANCISCO (10/02/07)During a ceremony at San Jose City Hall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Green Electronics Council recognized an elite group of pioneering organizations for using EPEAT, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, when purchasing electronic products -- saving the companies over $5 million combined.

The EPA’s Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri and Green Electronics Council Director Jeff Omelchuck presented the Green Electronics Champions Award to the city of San Jose, Kaiser Permanente, California Integrated Waste Management Board and Department of General Services, San Francisco-based McKesson Corporation and the city of Phoenix for using the EPEAT green purchasing standard to buy desktop computers, laptops and monitors that meet strict environmental standards.

“We are pleased today to recognize these organizations who are leading the way in purchasing green computer products,” said Nastri. “These Green Electronic Champions are putting their environmental values into action -- targeting their dollars to help protect the environment, and in turn, greening their bottom line.”

The five organizations collectively bought more than 91,930 desktop computers and notebooks and 72,394 monitors – all registered with EPEAT. Their combined purchases reduced 4,800 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions -- equivalent to taking 3,800 cars off the road, saved 61,000 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power 5,400 homes, reduced the use of more than 12,000 pounds of toxic chemicals, and saved 243 million pounds of primary materials -- the equivalent of 856,000 refrigerators, and saved a combined $5.3 million.

By requiring EPEAT-registered products, the organizations recognized today are giving manufacturers a market-based reason to build greener products,” said Omelchuck, of the Green Electronics Council, the nonprofit organization that manages the EPEAT system. “We are here to recognize that success, and to encourage other purchasers to follow the lead of these EPEAT pioneers in easily and effectively greening their IT procurement.”

Compared to conventional computer equipment, all EPEAT-registered computers have reduced levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury to better protect human health. They are more energy efficient, which reduces emissions of climate changing greenhouse gases. They are also easier to upgrade and recycle. Manufacturers must also offer safe recycling options for the products when they are no longer useable.

The Green Electronics Champions awarded today include:

City of San Jose
San Jose was the first city in the country to specify EPEAT-registered computers and added EPEAT requirements into its computer contract four months before the first products appeared on the EPEAT registry. With help from the EPA and the Green Electronics Council, the team incorporated EPEAT requirements into a March 2006 purchasing contract for computers, and has since bought more than 2,000 EPEAT-registered desktop computers and monitors. Through its purchases, the city reduced energy use by 803,000 kWh -- the electricity needed to power 75 U.S. average households per year, reduced greenhouse gases equivalent to removing 53 cars from the road per year, reduced hazardous waste by 5.36 tons, avoided 168 pounds of toxic materials and saved $73,957.

Kaiser Permanente
As the largest health maintenance organization in the country, Kaiser Permanente used its market strength to demand green products. Kaiser’s national environmental purchasing policy is a model for other organizations. In 2006 Kaiser focused on IT technology, and changed its contract for computers and software to require EPEAT-registered equipment. Kaiser was the first in the health care community to make this commitment, and several health systems have since followed. Since July 2006, Kaiser has purchased 60,239 desktops, 66,470 monitors, and 8,775 EPEAT-registered notebook computers. Through its purchases, Kaiser has decreased energy use by 55,185,675 kWh -- enough energy to power 4,866 households per year, reduced greenhouse gases equivalent to removing 3,438 cars from the road per year, reduced hazardous waste by169.4 tons, avoided 10,398 pounds of toxic materials, and saved $4,784,598.

California Integrated Waste Management Board and Department of General Services California’s 2003 e-waste legislation, SB20, required the state to develop purchasing guidelines to buy greener electronic products. In June 2005, the California Integrated Waste Management Board adopted EPEAT as the state’s official purchasing policy. The Department of General Services has since worked to incorporate the guidelines into an upcoming contract for IT equipment, and pressured vendors to provide EPEAT-registered products within their existing contracts. Currently, one vendor has added more than 25 products to the EPEAT registry. Since July 2006, the state has bought 3,756 desktops, 3,318 laptops, and 1,629 monitors. Through its EPEAT purchasing, the state reduced energy use by 1,732,792 kWh – enough to power 153 households per year, avoided greenhouse gases equivalent to removing 108 cars from the road per year, avoided 10 tons of hazardous waste, reduced 559 pounds of toxic materials, and saved $150,233.

McKesson Corporation
San Francisco-based McKesson Corporation is a Fortune 500 health services and consulting that has more than 30,000 employees across the country and the world. It has aggressive energy efficiency and recycling programs across all its facilities. After learning about EPEAT in 2007, the company quickly adopted EPEAT registration as a criterion in selecting its PC vendor. McKesson currently integrates EPEAT-Gold level performance as a benchmark for future purchasing decisions. Since July 2006, the company has purchased 3,506 desktops and 7,821 laptops. McKesson has reduced energy by 1,301,750 kWh – enough to power 115 households per year, reduced greenhouse gases equivalent to removing 81 cars from the road per year, reduced 11 tons of hazardous waste, avoided 526 pounds toxic materials, and saved $112,862.

City of Phoenix
Staff in the Phoenix Environmental Services Department wanted to buy greener computers when EPEAT launched in 2006, but the city already had an existing computer contract. So the city trained procurement staff to purchase EPEAT-registered equipment on the current contract where possible, and made sure all future purchases were EPEAT-qualified. Since July 2006, the city has purchased 3,253 computers and 247 notebooks. Through its purchases, the city has reduced energy use by 2,701,969 kWh – enough electricity to power 238 households annually, reduced greenhouse gases equivalent to removing 168 cars from the road per year, reduced 8.6 tons of hazardous waste, avoided 538 pounds of toxic materials, and saved $234,261.

EPEAT, operated by the Green Electronics Council, is an easy-to-use tool to help purchasers rank computer desktops, laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes, that include:
      • reduction or elimination of environmentally sensitive materials
      • material selection
      • design for end of life
      • product longevity or extended life cycle
      • energy conservation
      • end-of-life management
      • corporate performance
      • packaging
    EPEAT was developed over a three year period in an extensive consensus-based, EPA-funded process that included more than 100 representatives from environmental groups, government officials, large volume computer purchasers, subject matter experts, electronics recyclers, and manufacturers.

    All EPEAT products must meet strict mandatory criteria for environmental performance. They are then identified as EPEAT-Bronze, EPEAT-Silver, or EPEAT-Gold depending on the number of optional environmental criteria incorporated in the product.

    The Green Electronics Council partners with environmental organizations, government agencies, manufacturers and other interested stakeholders to improve the environmental and social performance of electronic products

    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.

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