Goal: Understand the basics of EPEAT certification
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) is a popular way of measuring the sustainability of an electronic product. Though it is designed for physical products, some points relate to your company as well. EPEAT actually has three different certifications for different product types: PCs and displays (IEEE 1680.1), imaging equipment (IEEE 1680.2), and televisions (IEEE 1680.3). The PCs and displays version is a checklist of many points in eight categories:
- Reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials
- Materials selection
- Design for end of life
- Product longevity/life-cycle extension
- Energy conservation
- End of life management
- Corporate performance
Technically this scorecard only applies to computers and monitors, but can also be used to guide design of other consumer electronics. For a full list of criteria, showing which are required and which are optional for EPEAT certification, see the EPEAT website. Though documents describing the current version in detail must be purchased, you can read an older pre-release version for free, below.
*Note that this is the pre-final draft of the 2009 standard. The actual standard must be purchased, but this is close enough for practicing sustainability measurement methods.