Program Areas
Quick Reference
Electronics Stewardship


The Electronics Stewardship Program Area addresses the life-cycle management of electronics from procurement to disposal.

(NOTE: Executive Order 13834. Efficient Federal Operations was revoked [except for Sections 6. Duties of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, Section 7. Duties of Heads of Agencies, and Section 11. General Provisions] by Executive Order 13990 Climate Crisis; Efforts to Protect Public Health and Environmental and Restore Science. FedCenter is awaiting implementing instructions from CEQ before updating this page with the current Executive Order.)

Executive Order (EO) 13834, Efficient Federal Operations, was signed by President Trump on 17 May 2018. Section 8 of this EO revokes EO 13693.

In relation to energy and environmental performance, EO 13834 states that it is the policy of the United States that agencies shall meet such statutory requirements in a manner that increases efficiency, optimizes performance, eliminates unnecessary use of resources, and protects the environment.

Section 2, paragraph (g) of EO 13834 supports the continued acquisition, use, and disposal of electronics in accordance with statutory mandates for purchasing preference, Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements, and other applicable Federal procurement policies.

The Implementing Instructions for EO 13834, issued April 2019, provides instructions to Federal agencies regarding the implementation of EO 13834 including agency planning, reporting requirements, and accountability. Note that in these implementing instructions, the terms "must" and "shall" convey statutory or regulatory requirements; "instruct" conveys directions to implement EO 13834; "should" or "may" convey recommended best practices for efficient and effective implementation (Section 1, para B.)

In relation to Electronic Stewardship, the implementing instructions instruct agencies to manage electronics in accordance with E.O. 13834 goals for Energy Reduction (Section 2(a)), Waste Management (Section 2(f)), and Acquisition (Section 2(g)).

Chief Information Officers (CIO), in coordination with CSOs, should ensure that appropriate life cycle management strategies for electronics assets are implemented in accordance with statutory requirements and E.O. goals. CIOs are instructed to:

  • Acquire equipment that meets statutory requirements for energy efficiency;
  • Identify and implement best life cycle management business practices for electronic equipment that minimize consumption of energy and supplies; and
  • Ensure that equipment is appropriately managed in accordance with Federal guidance on reuse, donation, transfer, sale, de-manufacturing, and recycling of electronics.

Agencies should enable power management on all computers and displays to put hardware into a low power mode after a period of inactivity, to the extent practicable and consistent with ENERGY STAR resources, to reduce energy use and costs.

To implement both Electronics Stewardship and Waste Management principles Agencies should implement print management policies and practices, consistent with, GSA FMR Bulletin B-37, Federal Print Management Practice , which establishes guidelines and best practices to reduce number of printers, total printer cost of ownership, ink/toner, and paper usage.

Agencies are directed to dispose of Federal electronic assets according to GSA FMR Bulletin B-34, Disposal of Federal Electronic Assets. FMR Bulletin B-34 identifies the following hierarchy:

  • Reuse, either within an agency or through transfers, donations, and sales.
  • Recycling, through manufacturer take-back programs or certified recyclers,28 to include Federal programs offered by UNICOR and U. S. Postal Service BlueEarth.
  • Disposal of excess and surplus electronics at appropriate facilities. Electronics, which may contain toxic or hazardous components, should not be disposed in landfills or incinerators.

Agencies may track disposition of electronics using data reported under GSA FMR Bulletin B-27, Annual Executive Agency Reports on Excess and Exchange/Sale Personal Property.

Links to statutory requirements, reporting mechanisms, and additional CEQ guidance is provided below. Please use the links to quickly jump to the information area needed or scroll down to view all items.

Regulations, Guidance, and Policy
This strategy, released on July 20, 2011, specifies Federal actions for ensuring electronic stewardship in the US. An interagency task force co-chaired by CEQ, EPA and GSA developed recommendations that focus on incentivizing design of greener electronics, ensuring the Federal government leads by example in acquiring, managing, reusing and recycling its electronics, increasing domestic recycling efforts, and reducing harm from US exports of electronic waste and improving safe handling of used electronics to developing countries.
National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship (PDF), published in 2011, called for a on-line benchmarks of projects that lists each of the projects and the associated tasks. The NSES Benchmarks Progress Report is periodically updated to show the progress and status for each task. Last update March 2015.

In July, 2014, the Interagency Task Force on Electronics Stewardship released Moving Sustainable Electronics Forward: An Update to the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship(PDF), to highlight the progress made on the National Strategy.

Full text of the Energy Independence and Security Act, signed December 19, 2007 by President Bush, for the purposes of moving the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government.
This act was signed into law on August 8, 2005. the Act contains a multitude of provisions covering energy production, distribution, storage, efficiency, conservation, and research. The Act requires efficiency standards for certain large appliances and extends Daylight Saving Time to reduce consumption. It provides funding to improve efficiency in low-income housing and expands the Energy Star program. It also requires the federal government to increase the efficiency of its buildings and vehicles and provides tax credits for certain energy efficient purchases or improvements. Other topic of note are: renewable energy, expanding of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, fuel production access in federal lands, the banning of drilling in the Great Lakes, electricity reliability, hydrogen vehicles, vehicle efficiency and alternative fuels, ethanol and motor fuels.
Federal agencies are required to purchase either energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified, or EPEAT-registered products(computers, monitors, and laptops). The activation of power management settings on computers is also required. This page is designed to assist you in fulfilling these requirements.
Energy Efficient Standby Power Devices
31 Jul 2004
This EO directs Federal agencies to purchase low wattage standby power devices.
Efficient Federal Operations
17 May 2018; Revoked by: EO 13990, 20 January 2021 – except for Sections 6, 7, and 11
It is the policy of the United States that agencies shall meet such statutory requirements in a manner that increases efficiency, optimizes performance, eliminates unnecessary use of resources, and protects the environment. In implementing this policy, each agency shall prioritize actions that reduce waste, cut costs, enhance the resilience of Federal infrastructure and operations, and enable more effective accomplishment of its mission. This EO rescinds EO 13693.
These instructions issued by the Chairman of the CEQ to Federal agencies for meeting energy and environmental performance requirements in a manner that increases efficiency, optimizes performance, eliminates unnecessary use of resources, and protects the environment, as required under E.O. 13834.
This CEQ website links to relevant U.S. codes, public laws, guidance, and resources to assist agencies in implementing E.O. 13834.
Part 23 details the environmental and occupational safety aspects of Federal Acquisitions. This includes Sustainable acquisition policy, energy and water efficiency and renewable energy, the use of recovered materials and biobased products, contracting for environmentally preferable products and services, and ozone depleting substances and greenhouse gases.
Dated 29 February 2012, this bulletin provides guidance concerning the documentation of, and appropriate disposal of Federal Electronic Assets (FEA). Property items designated as FEA include: copiers; telephones, fax machines, and communication equipment; electronic equipment components; electrical and electronic properties measuring and testing instruments; digital cameras; desktop and laptop/portable computers, computer monitors, displays, printers, peripherals, and electronic components; televisions and other displays; and other items that clearly utilize solid-state electronics technology or vacuum tubes to perform.
Dated 15 April 2013, this GSA bulletin provides guidance for agencies to implement policies and procedures on printers and print management practices.
This document provides a policy template for Federal agencies to use in their internal print management guidance.
This take-back guidance was developed in collaboration with the member agencies of the Federal Electronic Stewardship Working Group (FESWG), drawing on their collective experience and expertise. The General Services Administration (GSA) reviewed this document for consistency with applicable federal property management laws and policy. Published September 2015.
Supporting Information and Tools
Databases/Software Tools
The EPEAT helps purchasers evaluate, compare and select electronic products based on their environmental attributes, and enables manufacturers to obtain market recognition for design and manufacturing of greener electronic products. EPEAT currently covers computers (desktops, notebooks, integrated desktops, workstations, thin clients, and tablets/slates), displays/monitors, imaging equipment (copiers, printers, scanners, fax machines, and multifunction devices), and televisions.
Use this EXCEL spreadsheet to estimate typical savings from activating power management features that automatically place computers and displays into a low-power "sleep" mode after a period of inactivity. The calculator is a Quick Link on the right-hand side of the screen and labeled "Estimate your PC power management savings".
The Green Electronics Council (GEC) EPEAT Benefits calculator will support public and private sector purchasers in calculating the environmental benefits of purchasing EPEAT registered mobile phones, servers, and computers and displays. The calculator helps organizations quantify impacts such as reductions in energy use, greenhouse gases and water consumption, as well as cost savings. The EPEAT Environmental Benefits Calculator results can be used by organizations as part of their CDP and GRI reporting.
These calculators allow users to enter their own input values (e.g., utility rates, hours of use, etc.) to estimate the energy cost savings from buying a more efficient product. Calculators are available for, but not limited to: compact fluorescent lamps, commercial unitary air conditioners, air cooled chillers, water-cooled chillers, commercial heat pumps, boilers, refrigerators, freezers, beverage vending machines, computers, monitors, faxes, printers, copiers, faucet/showerheads, toilet/urinals, central air conditioners, gas furnaces, electric/gas water heaters, clothes washers, and dish washers.
This is the customer interface to the Federal Disposal System (FEDS). GSAXcess® provides agencies a means of electronically reporting excess personal property to GSA. By using GSAXcess®, customers seeking property can avoid the cost of new procurements by acquiring the same or like items that have been reported as excess by another federal activity. Agencies may search GSA's worldwide inventory through a process known as screening and may request property for transfer by selecting specific items. The property system is available to three groups of users: Federal agencies; Authorized nonfederal recipients; and Surplus customers.
This EXCEL spreadsheet was developed by U.S. EPA and DOE to estimate the energy consumption and operating costs of office equipment and the savings with ENERGY STAR. It includes computers, monitors, displays, imaging equipment, multifunction devices, and VoIP phones. Scroll down the page in order to access the calculator.
No items available
This is a library of resources for Federal acquisition, use, and disposal of electronics. This library is still available as of May 2015 even though the FEC is no longer a partnership program. These resources provide valuable best practices, but may be out of date in reference to updated Federal requirements.
This site is a collection of the laws, regulations, and guidance for the management of personal property.
The Green Electronics Counsel (GEC) has created this Guide to help institutional purchasers identify potential sustainability gains associated with their procurement of cloud services by posing questions to Cloud Service Providers regarding their performance in several relevant areas.
EPA encourages all electronics recyclers to become certified by demonstrating to an accredited, independent third-party auditor that they meet specific standards to safely recycle and manage electronics. Currently two accredited certification standards exist: the Responsible Recycling ("R2") Standard for Electronics Recyclers and the e-Stewards® Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment© ("e-Stewards®"). This website provides links to maps and lists of certified electronics recyclers.
A government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.
The Federal Electronics Stewardship Working Group (FESWG) is an interagency working group dedicated to furthering progress on federal electronics stewardship sustainability goals among Executive Agencies. The FESWG discusses federal electronics stewardship goals, progress and measurement; shares best practices and lessons learned; and engages in continuing education on relevant electronics stewardship issues and solutions.
The Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) works to reduce the cost and environmental impact of the Federal government by advancing energy efficiency and water conservation, promoting the use of distributed and renewable energy, and improving utility management decisions at Federal sites.
The Green Electronics Council (GEC) is a non-profit that collaborates to achieve a world in which only sustainable IT products are designed, manufactured, and purchased. Founded initially to manage EPEAT, the leading global ecolabel for IT products, GEC advocates for sustainable IT by helping both manufacturers and large-scale purchasers.
The NCER is dedicated to the enhancement of the national infrastructure for recycling used electronics under the direction of an Industry Advisory Committee of manufacturers who are the leaders in the environmental field.
This organization works to develop and promote legislation and voluntary initiatives so that manufacturers are responsible for recycling or safely disposing of their products once consumers are done with the product. Their website includes a list of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws for electronics and other products in the U.S.
Supporting Information and Tools Bottom Border
Lessons Learned
The model language aids Federal agencies to incorporate the performance criteria used for ENERGY STAR®-qualified and FEMP-designated products into procurement contracts for energy consuming products and systems. These include guide and project specifications; construction, renovation and service contracts; and the evaluations of offers. Products for which model language is available include: compact fluorescent lamps, exit signs, refrigerators, freezers, dish washers, clothes washers, heat pumps, air conditioners, furnaces, water heaters, chillers, ice machines, griddles, fryers, faucets, showerheads, toilets, computers, monitors, printers, roof products, and windows.
Case study of a governmental office in Illinois that lowered printing costs by 15% through the use of multi-functional devices (MFD).
Federal agencies are required to purchase energy-efficient products. To help buyers meet these requirements, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) maintains acquisition guidance for numerous product categories which are covered by programs such as ENERGY STAR, FEMP, EPEAT, Low Standby Power, and Watersense.
This Guide provides information and recommendations on purchasing responsible printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, and multifunction devices (MFDs). The guide is developed by the Responsible Purchasing Network
Award Winners
FGC awards are given in two categories - data driven and narrative. Data driven awards are in the wares of Waste, Electronics, and Purchasing, Water, and Transportation. Narrative Awards are given in the categories of Innovation, Education and Outreach, and Leadership.
A not-for-profit, product stewardship organization that promotes and facilitates the recycling of batteries. Enter a zip code and locate your nearest Call2Recycle affiliate and learn the options for recycling all types of rechargeable batteries, single-use batteries, damaged or recalled batteries, and cell phones.
CRTs are the video display components of televisions and computer monitors. The glass in CRTs typically contains enough lead to require managing it as hazardous waste under certain circumstances. EPA has provided conditional exclusions from the federal hazardous waste management standards for CRTs and CRT glass destined for recycling.
EPA encourages all electronics recyclers to become certified by demonstrating to an accredited, independent third-party auditor that they meet specific standards to safely recycle and manage electronics. Currently two accredited certification standards exist: the Responsible Recycling Practices (R2) and the e-Stewards® standards. EPA also encourages customers to choose certified electronics recyclers. This web page provides an interactive map for locating a certified recycler.
The Computers For Learning (CFL) program evolved as a guide for implementing Executive Order 12999, Educational Technology: Ensuring Opportunity for all Children in the Next Century. The CFL website enables schools and educational nonprofit organizations to obtain excess computer equipment from federal agencies.Federal agencies can report their excess computers and related peripheral equipment to GSA through the GSAXcess® website. Eligible recipients can view and request the available federal excess property at the CFL website.
Helps users to identify available recycling services in their state and city for items such as: cell phones, computers, Nicad batteries, monitors, office machines, printers, printer cartridges, and telephone equipment.
This is the entry site for the Federal Excess Personal Property Utilization Program and the Federal Surplus Personal Property Donation Program operated by the General Services Administration. Your agency can report excess personal property for transfer by GSA to other Federal and State Agencies for Surplus Property (SASPs) as well as search for and obtain excess personal property. Your agency can also report and transfer excess computers and peripheral equipment to schools and educational nonprofit organizations through the Computers for Learning (CFL) program or post your CFL transfers done outside our system. This site is not intended for the general public.
Click on your state to find reuse, recycling, and donation programs across the country, including for batteries and mercury-containing lamps. Also provides a set of screening criteria for recyclers.
USPS BlueEarth is a group of federal recycling programs coordinated by the US Postal Service® to support sustainability initiatives that make it easy for federal agencies and their employees to properly dispose of items like empty ink cartridges and unwanted small electronics.
UNICOR operates a nationwide network of electronics recycling centers where they convert donated electronics into various recyclable materials for resale to registered vendors. Help reduce landfill congestion, make the environment cleaner, and provide valuable skills and experience to reduce inmate recidivism.
Training, Presentations, and Briefings
ENERGY STAR invites you to take advantage of the on-line training sessions and presentations available to your organization at no cost. You can participate in the session using your own computer and phone, or gather interested colleagues together around a central phone and computer to train several people in your organization at the same time. During the session, you can discuss questions with energy and financing experts.
Conferences and Events
No Items Available
Back to Top  Page Top
Other Resources

Get FedCenter updates on Twitter! Get updates on Twitter

Get Electronics Stewardship updates via RSS feed. Get updates via RSS
Get FedCenter updates on Facebook. Visit us on Facebook
Last Updated: July 08, 2021