More computer products go green

The number of certified eco-friendly computer products available to government agencies has grown rapidly since a new green seal of approval was released in July.

Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Sony are among the eight manufacturers that have registered more than 200 products that meet a new voluntary manufacturing standard, which the Environmental Protection Agency funded.

The government is encouraging federal information technology managers to look for products that adhere to the standard, rated by the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), when procuring new computer systems.

Some of the items, which are all desktop and laptop computers and monitors, contain plant-based materials.

To better protect health and the environment, all EPEAT-registered computers contain reduced levels of cadmium, lead and mercury compared with traditional computer equipment. In addition, they are more energy efficient, which cuts emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases, and easier to upgrade. All participating manufacturers must provide safe recycling options to customers who buy their EPEAT-registered products.

“We are pleasantly surprised at the enormous response from the computer manufacturing community,” said Jeff Omelchuck, executive director of the nonprofit Green Electronics Council, which developed the standard with EPA funding and now manages the EPEAT registry. “Other manufacturers still have significant room for improvement.”

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