New EPA Report Published: Polystyrene Foam Recycled at Low Rates in US

This summer the EPA published a report entitled, “Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures 2013.”  This report is one EPEAT checks for recycling rates in the US.  Criterion in both the 1680.2 and the 1680.3 standards.  Analysis of this report shows that polystyrene foam (PS or Styrofoam) is still not considered recyclable because it doesn’t meet the required national recycling rate of at least 15%.  Criterion (Packaging 90% compostable/recyclable) considers a material “recyclable” if it meets one of 3 criteria in a country. The 2015 EPA report (using data through calendar year 2013) provides evidence for the US that polystyrene (PS) does not meet the 1st criterion: material is recycled at a national rate of at least 15% by weight.

This report (Table 7, p. 58) breaks down polystyrene packaging into 3 categories, plus aggregate of 3 categories with the following % recovery:

Plastic containers No data
Bags, sacks, wraps Negligible
Other plastic packaging        9.7%
Total 5.7%

Polystyrene for packaging of electronics would fall into the last category. While this category has the highest recovery rate (9.7%), it falls short of the 15% recovery rate required in this criterion.

If you have questions please contact Erin Gately at

Verification Round Plan PC-2015-04 to be Launched in Early October 2015 – Training Available

The Plan for Verification Round PC-2015-04 is now available and can be found here. This Round will target specific criteria (,, and for which, in a previous investigation, corrective actions did not fully address other products potentially impacted by the issue causing the non-conformance for the investigated product. The Round will also focus on two criteria ( and that have not been targeted for investigation in the last 24 months. In total, 34 investigations are planned.

A “snapshot” of the Registry was taken in order to identify Manufacturer declarations at that point in time. Using this “snapshot,” products have already been selected for investigation. Manufacturers will be notified on October 2, 2015 if their products were chosen.

Verification Round PC-2015-04 will include Level 0 investigations (for only) and Level 1 investigations. In Level 0 investigations, Auditors examine publicly available information to determine if conformance can be established. The Level 0 investigations require no Manufacturer participation, and have already been completed.

For those Level 0 investigations where information was not available or was inconclusive, the Auditors will proceed with a Level 1 investigation and will be contacting Manufacturers for documentation to support conformance.

To help Manufacturers improve their understanding of the criteria and prepare documentation for this Verification Round, the Green Electronics Council (GEC) will hold interactive training webinars on,,,, and Three times are scheduled for the webinar – one each for European, American, and Asian business hours. Please click here to register.

Additionally, EPEAT’s Online Learning Center has pre-recording training modules for every criterion in the 1680.1 standard. These modules are designed to de-mystify the criteria’s requirements, and to illustrate the types of information needed during a Verification Round. Participating Manufacturers with questions about what information is needed to demonstrate conformance to a specific criterion may also want to review these modules. If you do not yet have access to the Training Center, please contact Andrea Desimone and she will help you get started.


Criteria Training for Verification Round PC-2015-04

Susan Herbert, the Green Electronics Council’s Conformity Assurance Manager for Computers and Displays, will be holding interactive training webinars on the criteria included in Verification Round PC-2015-04:

  • Optional – Elimination of intentionally added lead in certain applications
  • Optional – Batteries free of lead, cadmium, and mercury
  • Optional – Minimum 90% reusable/recyclable
  • Optional – Renewable energy accessory available
  • Required – Self-certified environmental management system for design and manufacturing organizations

This interactive session will help Manufacturers improve their understanding of the criteria and prepare for the Verification Round. The webinar schedule is provided below – you can register for these sessions by clicking on the provided links:

  • Asian business hours: October 6, 2015 at 09:00 CST/Beijing – REGISTER NOW
  • European business hours: October 6, 2015 at 16:00 CET/Amsterdam – REGISTER NOW
  • Americas business hours: October 6, 2015 at 1:00PM EDT/New York – REGISTER NOW

Verification Round Plan IE-2015-01 Level 1 Investigations Begin this Week

The first Imaging Equipment Verification Round began in June with Level 0 investigations.  Level 0 investigations look for publicly available information to determine conformance.  There were several questions which needed to be answered during the round which extended the round considerably.  Now all Level 0 investigations have been completed and those investigations which were determined to be inconclusive (because publicly available information was not found) now move on to Level 1 investigations.  There were decisions of both Conformance and Inconclusive of the Level 0 investigations. In the event a decision of Inconclusive was found, a Level 1 investigation will be kicked off this week.

Download Verification Round Plan IE-2015-01

Outcomes Report for Personal Computers and Displays Verification Round PC-2015-01 is now available

The Outcomes Report for Personal Computers and Displays Verification Round PC-2015-01 is now available, and can be found here. This Round investigated randomly chosen products and criteria, and 74 Level 1 investigations were completed – 47% for required criteria and 53% for optional criteria.

Download Outcomes Report Round PC-2015-01


Register Now for Conformity Assessment Training in Portland, OR

November 2-5, 2015 in Portland, OR, USA

Attendees will learn about the EPEAT® system, and conformance to the IEEE 1680.1 Standard for Computers and Computer Displays, the 1680.2 Standard for Imaging Equipment and the 1680.3 Standard for Televisions, from product declaration through verification. Those who successfully complete the full 4-day training and pass the certificate exam will meet the training requirement to perform conformity assessment and verification investigations for an EPEAT-approved certification body.

Manufacturers who take this course will gain in-depth knowledge of the system operations, the environmental requirements of the standards, and how to achieve and demonstrate conformance. You will learn in detail the product declaration process; the product, service and corporate criteria; and the verification process.

Register Now 

Celebrating the First Anniversary of EPEAT Launch in India

Today the Green Electronics Council and the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development celebrate the one-year anniversary of their collaborative launch of EPEAT, the definitive global rating system for greener electronics, in India.

Nearly 3 million (2,962,734) EPEAT-registered electronic products were purchased from India-based manufacturers between July and January 2014 . These products’ environmentally sensitive design, energy efficient functioning and responsible management support at end-of-life will result in significant environmental benefits and energy savings over their lifetime, as depicted in this infographic.

Since July 2014, the number of EPEAT-compliant devices has risen from 145 PC and display models to 266 PC and display models and 35 copiers, printers and multi-function devices, bringing the total number of India registrations to 301 – a 108% increase since the program’s inception.

“We partnered with GEC to launch EPEAT in India and introduce this useful tool to enhance the environmental stewardship of Indian Industry and to also provide an opportunity for them to come at-par with globally recognized product standards,” said Seema Arora, Executive Director of the CII-CESD. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with GEC to sensitize Indian Industry, including bulk consumers, about greening their electronics purchasing and ICT operations.”

Participating manufacturers registering products in India include Acer, Dell, HP, Ricoh and Bangalore-based VXL Instruments.

“In our direction towards a sustainable society, Ricoh is proud to use EPEAT in leading the way to higher, more reliable and comprehensive levels of environmental excellence for our internal operations and for reducing the carbon footprint of our customers,” said Manoj Kumar, Managing Director and CEO of Ricoh India Ltd.

“As an India-based company, VXL has found EPEAT registration to be an important qualification for Global market access, given the numbers of potential customers who require compliance with this global standard. We are very happy that EPEAT is also available to help Indian consumers simply and easily improve their environmental performance through procuring environmentally superior products. Furthermore, as we look to the future, we remain committed to the expansion of EPEAT registered products as part of our ongoing sustainable environmental strategy,” said Arun Bhuwania, Chairman, VXL Instruments.

Electronics producers in India have welcomed the opportunity to certify their products’ environmental attributes. Bulk consumers in Indian government and enterprise sectors are increasingly looking to EPEAT specifications to identify high-performance, environmentally preferable computers, monitors, copiers and printers, integrating EPEAT specifications in a growing number of public and private tenders in India for electronic products.

“The Indian electronics hardware sector is not only growing rapidly but also maturing in terms of its involvement with sustainability,” said Anwar Shirpurwala, Executive Director of MAIT. “EPEAT provides our members with a very useful framework for quantifying and communicating environmental value to their customers. We expect use of the EPEAT system will continue to expand rapidly in India for that reason.”

Measurable Benefits for the Environment

Over their lifetime, EPEAT-registered products purchased in India in 2014, compared to non-compliant products, will:

  • Reduce use of primary materials by 98,933 metric tons, equivalent to the weight of 2,727 cargo trucks
  • Reduce use of toxic materials by 46 metric tons, including enough mercury to fill nearly 26,971 household mercury fever thermometers
  • Avoid the disposal of 1,785 metric tons of hazardous waste, equivalent to the weight of 14,515 refrigerators
  • Eliminate the equivalent of more than 1,092 U.S. households’ annual solid waste—2,042 metric tons

Energy-Related Savings

EPEAT’s requirement that registered products meet the latest ENERGY STAR specifications means these products will consume less energy throughout their useful life, resulting in:

  • Savings of over 27.6 crores kWh of electricity—enough to power 259,740 average electrified Indian homes for a year
  • Decrease of more than 391 metric tons of water pollutant emissions
  • Reduction of nearly 49,366 Metric Tons Carbon Equivalent (MTCE) of greenhouse gas emissions—equivalent to taking more than 35,492 average U.S. passenger cars off the road for a year

Critically for purchasers, who must attend to both economic and environmental savings, bulk consumers of India-registered EPEAT products will save an estimated USD $85 lakhs (~54.3 crores of rupees) in energy costs in the first year of use alone, reducing energy usage by 85,490,530 kWh compared to use of products that do not meet the latest ENERGY STAR specifications.

“We are very happy to see the rapid growth of EPEAT awareness and use in India since last year’s launch,” said Robert Frisbee, CEO of the Green Electronics Council. “Embracing sustainable products is consistent with India’s continued leadership in the global ICT sector. And the remarkable benefits to end users and the environment from these first six months’ purchases are just the beginning.”

New Report: Advancing Safer Chemicals in Products: The Key Role of Purchasing

The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts has partnered with the Green Electronics Council, the Responsible Purchasing Network, and the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council to create a new report, Advancing Safer Chemicals in Products: The Key Role of Purchasing.  This report describes the potentially harmful environmental and health impacts associated with some of the chemicals in products commonly used by public agencies and businesses, and how six organizations—Seattle City Light, Oregon Environmental Council, Perkins+Will, Danish retailer Coop, Kaiser Permanente, and the National Institutes of Health — are taking leadership roles to identify and screen out toxic substances in the products they purchase. The report discusses the role that ecolabels play in helping purchasers source safer products, and also the lessons learned from the experiences of these leading organizations who have gone beyond ecolabels.

Among the lessons learned are:

  •    Understand and identify the potentially harmful substances in the products your organization is purchasing, and set priorities to phase them out
  •    Create a strong toxics reduction policy based on these priorities, and follow up with specifications that will put your policy into action
  •    Include a broad range of chemicals and products
  •    Engage employees and suppliers in your efforts to ensure that your goals are understood, safer products identified, and there are open channels for feedback
  •    Build a broad network that can help you understand changing science and keep up with best practices.

Keep your eye out for notices about a webinar on the report hosted by the sponsoring organizations after the summer!