EPEAT green IT registry expanding to mobile phones

The system should be in place by the end of the year and could push phone manufacturers to make changes

The Green Electronics Council plans to expand its EPEAT environmental rating system later this year to include smartphones, the council said Tuesday.

The move could push phone makers to change the way they manufacture, package or distribute their devices because some companies and governments require preference be given to EPEAT-compliant devices when products are purchased.

EPEAT is a rating system intended to help identify greener electronics equipment. The standard for mobile devices is expected to be ready by the end of this year and will be based on Underwriters Laboratories' UL110 standard covering the environmental and human health aspects of a mobile phone's lifecycle. The UL110 standard is currently a draft, and the Green Electronics Council said it's collaborating with the organization to ensure it is suitable for adoption as the basis of the EPEAT standard.

"We want to ensure it's balanced, open and includes participation from the NGO community," said Sarah O'Brien, director of stakeholder engagement at the Green Electronics Council.

The UL110 standard addresses several areas including the materials used in the device, manufacturing and operations at the company, health and environment criteria, packaging, energy use, and end-of-life management and life extension.

Several major phone makers have already contributed to the UL110 standard, including Samsung, HTC, LG, Kyocera and ZTE. It's also attracted the interest of U.S. phone carrier Sprint.

While phone companies don't need to actively support development of the standard, most major manufacturers are expected to evaluate and list their products on the EPEAT registry because of purchasing requirements. For example, the U.S. government mandates that 95 percent of purchases by federal agencies must be of EPEAT-listed products, if they exist for that category of product.

EPEAT currently includes standards for computers and displays, imaging equipment and televisions. Products are given ratings of bronze, silver and gold, and details are listed on its website.

The organization is perhaps best known recently for an incident a year ago in which Apple withdrew products from the green IT registry and then, in the face of public pressure, relisted them. Apple never said why it withdrew the products, although there was speculation that construction techniques for new MacBook computers didn't match EPEAT requirements.

As a result of Apple's action, which made international headlines, EPEAT launched a review of all thin and light laptops including the MacBook machines and found they all complied with its ratings.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Government use of ITtelecommunicationconsumer electronicsCarrierssmartphonesGreen Electronics CouncilUnderwriters LaboratoriesgovernmentenvironmentElectronics manufacturing

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?