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TSA Purchases EPEAT Silver PCs

October 24, 2007


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently refreshed the computers at 450 airports where the agency has offices. TSA purchased EPEAT Silver rated PCs. The computers meet the energy efficiency provisions of President Bush’s January 2007 Executive Order: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.

Joe Peters, TSA’s deputy chief information officer, says “The combination of capabilities, technology, environmental concerns, ergonomics and price all played a role in the decision process,” he said. Manufacturers are working to market greener products at a lower cost, he added, “so from that perspective, it was an easy decision.”

Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) is a program of the Green Electronics Council, a member Responsible Purchasing Network. Agencies can use EPEAT to evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, laptop PCs, and monitors based on environmental attributes.

The federal government is the largest purchaser of IT products, and consequently contributes the most to the e-waste stream, said Holly Elwood, EPEAT program manager at the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters. The government also has a huge influence on the IT market, she added.

Fifteen manufacturers now list 386 registered products that meet the EPEAT standard, Elwood said. The Homeland Security Department, of which TSA is a part, will provide EPEAT products through its FirstSource and Eagle contacts.

In March, the EPA awarded blanket purchase agreements to Dell for EPEAT-certified PCs and with resellers for other EPEAT-certified hardware. “Unless you are buying a high-end machine, there is no price differential” for EPEAT computer equipment, said John Katz, pollution prevention coordinator in EPA’s Region 9 in San Francisco. The number of companies offering EPEAT products keeps the prices competitive.

To find out more about purchasing EPEAT certified PCs visit the Responsible Purchasing Guide for Computers OR Contact RPN Extern and EPEAT Outreach Manager, Sarah O’Brien directly.

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