Bush order tightens IT environmental practices

Executive Order: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management

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Agencies will have to purchase and use information technology equipment in a manner that minimizes its environmental impact, under an Executive Order President Bush issued Jan. 24.

The order requires agencies to:

* Ensure that at least 95 percent of the electronic products that an agency acquires have an Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) rating.

* Use the Energy Star feature on agency computers to reduce power consumption.

* Dispose of electronic equipment when necessary through using environmentally sound practices.

The order, which also sets similar rules for hazardous chemicals, water consumption and electricity use, makes department heads primarily responsible for ensuring the agency complies.

Agency leaders must improve their organization's energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 percent a year through fiscal 2015, or by 30 percent by the end of that year, relative to the agency's baseline energy use in fiscal 2003, the order states. 

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