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US China Green IT Workshop - a Positive Exchange | June 2008


Lenovo's MA Jinrong on CSR


US EPA's John Katz Outlines EPEAT


Friendship at the Chinese Classical Garden


HU Tao (l) of the Ministry and MA Zhong of Renmin University Enjoy the Classical Garden

A US China Workshop on the EPEAT green electronics standard was convened on May 29-30 in Portland, Oregon. The event was organized by the China Environmental Certification Center, the US based Green Electronics Council and the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development.

In addition to the workshop organizers, participants in the workshop included delegates from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the China National Institute of Standardization, advisors to China’s Science and Technology Committee from Beijing Normal University, Qingdao University of Science and Technology and Renmin University, the US Environmental Protection Agency and industry representatives from Dell, Hewlett Packard, Intel and Lenovo.

The workshop focused on EPEAT, its environmental benefits and the feasibility of its application in China. The workshop also discussed alternative approaches to eco labeling as a way to incentivize the purchase and design of environmentally preferable products, systems in both countries for the development of eco-standards, and the impact of green purchasing on supply chains and international trade. The workshop participants reached a consensus that the next step in considering EPEAT in China is to conduct a cost-benefit analysis and evaluate the environmental impacts of such an application.

EPEAT (Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool) is a standard developed in the US to help purchasers compare and select electronic products based on their environmental preferability. Based on the IEEE 1680 standard, products are evaluated in eight categories and must meet 23 required criteria to be considered for EPEAT. Products then earn a gold, silver or bronze designation based on how well they do in 28 optional criteria. Today, laptop and desk top computers and monitors can be EPEAT registered. Additional electronic product categories are now in the process of being designated. The federal government has led the way in adopting EPEAT as the US green electronics standard. A growing number of states, cities, universities and corporations have adopted EPEAT in the US. Other countries including Canada and New Zealand are also using EPEAT. The Green Electronics Council manages EPEAT.

The Green Electronics Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and supporting the effective design, manufacture, use, and recovery of electronic products to contribute to a healthy, fair and prosperous world.

The China Environmental United Certification Center (CEC) is a certification body approved by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China. CEC is the sole certification body for China’s environmental labeling.

For further information, please contact the Center at info@chinauscenter.org.