How green is that product you’re about to buy? Now you can find out. Distributor Ingram Micro Inc. on Tuesday launched a new service that helps solution providers easily identify products that pass the environmental test.
If your customer is a stickler about that whole environmental thing, now you know where to go.
Here’s how it works: When you look up the distributor’s product database, you can check for green ratings where applicable. To set the ratings, Ingram Micro is tapping the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, commonly known as EPEAT, and managed by the nonprofit Green Electronics Council. Plenty of information is available at epeat.net for anyone who is interested.
Products are rated on their environmental merits and ranked as Bronze, Silver or Gold, with Gold, of course, being the greenest of all. Hmmm… it might have made more sense to go with, say, tan, brown and green. Naming the rankings after the precious metals we’ve been stripping off the earth seems wrong.
But that’s not Ingram Micro’s fault; those are the rankings EPEAT uses. EPEAT takes into account 51 criteria, such as reduced levels of hazardous materials, amount of renewable materials and recycled content, to come up with its ratings. Twenty-eight of the criteria are optional. Products included in the ratings system include desktop and laptop computers, monitors and power supplies.
Servers are not yet included, but that’s a matter of time. Presumably when the Environmental Protection Agency finalizes its Energy Star specifications for servers, which it is in the process of doing, EPEAT will include them in its ratings. Energy Star rates the energy efficiency of a range of products, from light fixtures to ceiling fans to dishwashers.
Bob Laclede, vice president and general manager for government sales at Ingram Micro, notes that federal agencies have started requiring EPEAT-registered products for applicable purchases.
“By having these designations in our product database, Ingram Micro is providing the green information needed for our resellers to include on bids for government contracts,” he says. “It also assists others in identifying environmentally friendly products for their end users.”
Jeff Omelchuck, executive director for the Green Electronics Council and EPEAT program manager, says the partnership with Ingram Micro will help expand the green IT market.
As corporate buyers become more attuned to the Green IT ideal, they will put pressure on their IT equipment suppliers to sell them environmentally friendly products. The Ingram Micro service will come in handy in those cases.