The Green Electronics Council today announced the expansion of the EPEAT environmental rating system to India, where purchasers spent $9.5 billion on computing hardware alone in 2013. Manufacturers have already begun the process of qualifying PCs and Displays, Imaging Equipment and Televisions for India. Information on products registered in the country will be publicly accessible in the second quarter of 2014. India will be the 43rd country in which EPEAT registration and verification services are available to help purchasers select products that reduce their environmental impact.
EPEAT, which stands for “Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool,” rates products on a lifecycle basis. The system addresses the elimination of toxic substances, the use of recycled and recyclable materials, product design for recycling, product longevity, energy efficiency, corporate performance and packaging attributes. Manufacturers register their products in EPEAT on a country-by-country basis to ensure all product and service criteria are supported and verified for local markets.
By 2016, the total amount spent on information and communications technology (ICT) in India is predicted to grow to $14.3 billion. “Indian industry and enterprise use ICT products to create new efficiencies and sustainability benefits,” said Seema Arora, Executive Director of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development. “The availability of EPEAT registration will enable business purchasers to easily identify and select environmentally preferable electronics and increase the net benefit of these activities.”
Leveraging the EPEAT system, Indian purchasers will be able to “green” their purchasing and reward manufacturers for environmental initiative, as do the national governments of the United States, France, Canada and Australia, hundreds of healthcare, education and enterprise purchasers around the world, and local and regional governments around the globe.
“The ICT sector in India is very concerned with the environmental impacts of product design, manufacturing and end of life recovery” said Anwar Shirpurwala, Executive Director of the Manufacturers’ Information Technology Council (MAIT). “Participation in EPEAT’s globally recognized environmental rating program will support Indian manufacturers’ ability to reap market rewards in both internal and external markets based on their products’ environmental performance. It shall provide a globally accepted, transparent and effective method to ensure greener electronics.”
“India plays a vital role in the global technology market. We are very eager to collaborate with all Indian stakeholders to support EPEAT’s adoption as a key environmental purchasing benchmark,” said Robert Frisbee, CEO of the Green Electronics Council.
To qualify for EPEAT registration, a product must meet 23 to 33 required environmental performance criteria depending on the product category. Products achieve higher EPEAT ratings by meeting up to 30 additional optional criteria. Rating criteria are developed in public stakeholder consensus processes involving broad representation from the environmental, purchasing, research, governmental and manufacturing sectors.
EPEAT is used as an environmental purchasing requirement by eight national governments, including the United States, as well as educational and healthcare systems and multinational corporations. Over their lifetime, the 646 million EPEAT-registered electronics purchased globally since 2006 will deliver significant environmental benefits compared to products not meeting EPEAT criteria, including conserving more than 100 million megawatt hours of electricity, and eliminating more than 167,000 metric tons of solid waste (equivalent to more than 85,000 U.S. households’ annual trash) and nearly 400,000 metric tons of hazardous waste.