San Jose is a trendsetter in many ways, and computer purchasing is no exception. The City of San Jose has worked to green its procurement for nearly two decades, adopting a Source Reduction and Recycling Procurement Policy in 1991 and an Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy in 2001. A cross-agency Implementation Team continually looks for new opportunities to make use of credible environmental standards to green the City’s procurement. In early 2006, city environmental and procurement staff recognized that the nascent EPEAT system could help green the City’s bottom line. With help from EPA and the Green Electronics Council, the Team worked to incorporate EPEAT requirements into a March 2006 RFP for computers. This took faith, coming fully three months before the first products appeared on the EPEAT registry.
Calculated Risk Pays Off
San Jose’s leadership has resulted in significant environmental dividends. Since the contract was awarded in June 2006, the city has purchased 1015 EPEAT-silver rate desktop computers and 1042 EPEAT-silver rated monitors. Using the Electronics Environmental Benefits (EEB) Calculator – which measures the environmental benefits from purchase and use of EPEAT products – San Jose has been able to quantify those benefits, which are summarized in the featured table.
EPEAT helped San Jose maintain their “green edge.” The city’s experience with the simplicity of using EPEAT, by demonstrating that changing purchasing practices can be easy, also created momentum for additional positive actions by city staff and managers.
Original publication date: 2011