Gold Standard: Electronics Stewardship

October 20, 2010


Sandia National Laboratories is a member of the Federal Electronics Challenge. This means we are actively working from many directions to reduce the environmental impacts of electronic equipment used in lab operations. The federal government calls this work Electronics Stewardship and it consists of three phases: Acquisition, Operations, and End of Life.

Pollution Prevention has worked diligently with the Procurement and Computer Support groups within Sandia since 2007 to ensure the purchase of environmentally preferable electronic equipment. An internationally recognized IEEE label called EPEAT or the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool is used by federal entities to identify the most sustainably conceived equipment on the market. Sandia requires the purchase of equipment qualified by EPEAT in all applicable categories.

EPEAT is used to examine 51 criteria ranging from raw materials used, to energy use, to ease of recycling, and rates equipment according how it measures up in those criteria. The best units achieve an EPEAT Gold rating while other equipment meeting fewer criteria are labeled EPEAT Silver and less commonly EPEAT Bronze.

Sandia has requirements in applicable information technology contracts to ensure that only EPEAT Silver or better products are purchased here. For FY2010 a full 81% of Sandia's IT equipment purchases by dollar were rated at EPEAT Gold!