Informed IT purchasing decisions can lessen an organization’s impact on the environment—lower greenhouse gas emissions, less energy use, and less generation of toxic substances and solid waste. The Green Electronics Council worked with ERG’s life cycle assessment specialists and web development experts to give IT purchasers a tool that enables quantification of these and other environmental benefits associated with their purchase of sustainable IT products.
ERG built a web-based environmental benefits calculator covering three product categories: mobile phones, rack and blade servers, and computers and displays. The calculator allows purchasers to assess the environmental benefits associated with purchasing IT products that meet the sustainability criteria of GEC’s EPEAT ecolabel. Before developing the web platform, ERG tested its Excel models with stakeholders to ensure that the user input and output parameters met the needs of public users. The calculator quantifies the benefits realized during product manufacture, use, and end-of-life management. Determining environmental results is a key contributor for motivating staff, demonstrating results to stakeholders, and helping purchasers expand green procurement efforts.