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US government clarifies position on electronics rating system

June 18, 2015

US government clarifies position on electronics rating system

The US government has quashed NGO concerns (CW 9 April 2015) that it will stop using a tool that allows federal purchasers to identify electronics products that meet standards on hazardous substances, by confirming its use in an official document.

Last week, the government released instructions for implementing a presidential executive order (13693), which sets out requirements on how federal departments and agencies will increase resource efficiency and improve their environmental performance.

While the executive order did not mention the rating system, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (Epeat), the implementing instructions clarify that it is the only tool that allows the government to meet its sustainability goals for federal agencies.

Furthermore, alternative tools can only be used if the EPA does not have a recommended standard for the product category. The agency already recommends using Epeat on its greener products website.

NGOs, the Electronics Takeback Coalition and the Green Electronics Council [which manages Epeat], were concerned that by “abandoning” Epeat, the government was “opening the door for weaker standards to be used”.

Read more at ChemicalWatch.

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