Public Comment Period Open: EPEAT Clarification #34 – Country Variability

Since 2006 the Green Electronics Council has published Clarifications in response to stakeholder requests for guidance about EPEAT conformity in cases where the underlying standard is unclear. These Clarifications have historically gone into effect upon approval and publication by the independent Product Verification Committee, now known as the “Conformity Decision Panel.” Because Clarifications may affect the interests of different stakeholders, the Green Electronics Council has recently instituted a public comment process before a Clarification goes into effect.

The first Clarification to go through this process, EPEAT Clarification #34: Country Variability of Certain Criteria, is now open for public comment. Comments will be accepted from all interested stakeholders until 30 December, 2015. The Clarification is expected to go into effect on 31 December. The current draft of Clarification #34 and the link to provide comments may be found here.

Verification Round Plan PC-2015-03 Has Been Launched

The Plan for Verification Round PC-2015-03 is now available and can be found here. This Round Verification Round PC-2015-03 will focus on Level 2 and Level 3 investigations, and involve laboratory evaluation of tablets/slates registered in the United States. In total, 77 investigations are planned and the Round has already started.

In Level 2 investigations, the Conformity Assurance Body (CAB) buys or borrows a product without the Manufacturer’s knowledge or involvement, and has the product disassembled and inspected to assess conformance with one or more criteria. In Level 3 investigations, the CAB obtains a product without the Manufacturer’s knowledge or involvement, and has the product analytically tested to assess conformance with one or more criteria.

All products have already been obtained for this Verification Round, and Manufacturers will be notified by their CAB if one of their registered products was selected for investigation

Download Verification Round Plan PC-2015-03

EPEAT in the News: How the Electronics Industry Can Profit by Exploring Deeper Shade of Global Green

October 9, 2015, from

Each year, the computer and electronic manufacturing industry rings up close to $3 trillion in revenue. But at what cost to the environment?

The Portland, Ore.-based Green Electronics Council (GEC) engaged its stakeholders in a conversation centered on that weighty question in late September during the non-profit’s initial Emerging Green Conference.

Part of the three-day event featured the rollout of a report linking Earth-friendly stewardship with return on investment in the electronics industry. The research was conducted by Trucost, a London-based company that specializes in quantifying and valuing the environmental impacts of operations, supply chains, products and financial assets.

It’s encouraging that individual enterprises take eco-steps such as incorporating recycled content into their products, Jonas Allen, GEC director of marketing, tells Waste360 in an interview. But the council wants the electronics sector to grasp the force and financial benefits of circular-economy principles applied on a global scale.

“Years ago, there was lots of concern about greenwashing,” Allen says. “Our organization exists to make sure everybody is on the same page. We’re working toward a world where electronics are part of a more sustainable society.”

The council manages the EPEAT registry, short for the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool. The voluntary standard had its beginnings 14 years ago when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a grant for developing a tool for an electronics environmental assessment via stakeholder consensus. Representatives from manufacturing, public and private purchasing, environmental advocacy, academia, government and the recycling sector collaborated on the project, which launched in 2005.

Companies meeting EPEAT standards can significantly reduce the amount of e-waste generated because their designs minimize hazardous substances and encourage recycling and reuse.

A few days after the conference wrapped up, Allen answered questions from Waste360 about the opportunities and benefits for greener electronics.

Read the full article and interview at

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