See “Green Purchasing Best Practices: Imaging Equipment” (prerecorded webinar)

NOTE TO PURCHASERS: Setting Specifications: Because EPEAT’s leadership requirements are challenging to meet and are regularly updated, the meaning of the Bronze, Silver and Gold ratings changes during the lifecycle of a given standard.

When a new standard is published, few if any products will receive a Silver or Gold rating. Later, when many OEMs have completed design and engineering work to meet the new criteria, many products may be registered at higher tiers. However, when the standard is updated, the registry may once again contain no Silver or Gold products for a time.

For this reason, it is important that purchasers not be too restrictive in setting multi-year contract specifications, in order to receive bid responses from multiple suppliers and to ensure availability of product throughout the contract term.

We counsel against specifications which disallow Bronze, or restrict products to Gold only. Instead we encourage purchasers (per the model language below) to require EPEAT registration, and then to offer preference for products that meet higher ratings, if desired.

US Federal Purchasers needing model contract language should look for RFP language provided on the EPA’s EPEAT purchasing page at

Model Contract Language

We have developed plug and play language to help you set specifications in your contracts and RFPs requiring your vendors to provide EPEAT-registered products.

Download model contract language.

Download model contract language for mobile phones. (NEW!)

Sample Contract Language

Dozens of governments, enterprises and educational institutions worldwide specify EPEAT as a purchasing requirement or preference for all applicable device categories. A sample of those entities is listed below. Clicking any of these EPEAT Purchasers’ names will show details of their contracting approach.

Model Policy Language

Model Policy Language – Short – Computers/Displays

The policy language below is excerpted from actual organizational policies– it provides a useful model that can be customized to suit the particular needs and contracting approaches of your organization:

1. Beginning DATE, consistent with the environmentally preferable purchasing policy adopted by CITY/STATE/ORG NAME, departments shall only purchase personal computers, notebook computers and monitors that meet at least the EPEAT Bronze rating level, with a preference for Silver or Gold rating.

2. For all ICT equipment not currently rated according to EPEAT standards, such as computer servers, printers, routers, CITY/STATE/ORG NAME’s Office of Contract Administration will propose application of criteria to guide environmentally preferable purchasing practices in consultation with the Chief Information Officer (CIO). These guidelines will seek to minimize levels of toxic components, ensure the highest level of energy efficiency, incorporate recycled content, facilitate end-of-life recycling, and minimize unnecessary packaging.

3. For product categories where an EPEAT standard is in development, now or in future, once a product standard and registration process is in force, all products shall meet the minimum relevant EPEAT standard. Further consideration may be given to those products that meet higher levels of qualification under the product registration system.

4. CITY/STATE/ORG NAME will develop a procedure to develop necessary exemptions to this policy, with the goal of allowing no more than 5% of purchase dollars in the product area(s) covered by the EPEAT rating system to be spent on non-EPEAT-registered products. Such exemptions may be allowed, for example, if no registered products meet the specific performance needs of a purchaser, or if the EPEAT registered product will not be cost-effective over the life of the product.

Model Policy Language – Detailed – Computers/Displays

The policy language below is excerpted from actual organizational policies– it provides a useful model that can be customized to suit the particular needs and contracting approaches of your organization:

(a) General. PURCHASERS must ensure that they meet at least 95 percent of their annual acquisition requirement for electronic products with EPEAT-registered electronic products, unless there is no EPEAT standard for such products.

(b) Personal computer products.

Personal computer products is a category of EPEAT-registered electronic products.

(1) The IEEE 1680 standard for personal computer products—

(i) Was issued by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers on April 28, 2006;

(ii) Is a voluntary consensus standard;

(iii) Meets US EPA guidance on environmentally preferable products and services; and

(iv) Is described in more detail at

(2) A list of EPEAT-registered products that meet the IEEE 1680 standard can be found at

(3) The IEEE 1680 standard sets forth required and optional criteria. EPEAT ‘‘Bronze’’ registered products must meet all required criteria. EPEAT ‘‘Silver’’ registered products meet all required criteria and 50 percent of the optional criteria. EPEAT ‘‘Gold’’ registered products meet all required criteria and 75 percent of the optional criteria. These levels are discussed at

(c) This policy makes EPEAT Bronze registration the minimum standard that all IT hardware purchased by ORGANIZATION must meet. Purchasers are encouraged to make EPEAT Silver registration the required standard for IT hardware in specific purchase contracts, where sufficient products are available from multiple suppliers, with Gold registered products preferred.

(d) PURCHASERS/DEPARTMENTS shall establish procedures for granting any necessary exceptions to the requirement in paragraph (a) of this section, with the goal that the dollar value of exceptions granted will not exceed 5 percent of the total dollar value of electronic products acquired by the Agency/Department, for which EPEAT-registered products are available. For example, agencies may grant an exception if the agency determines that no EPEAT registered product meets agency requirements, or that the EPEAT registered product will not be cost effective over the life of the product.