Along with the specific attributes designated by Congress for consideration when purchasing products, the U.S. Department of Energy also takes into consideration other sustainable attributes, such as seeking products that are safer for staff and products without hazardous waste disposal costs. Such sustainable attributes might be no volatile organic compounds in paint, no lead or mercury in computer equipment, etc.
Federal agencies are to use all of the options available to determine sustainable attributes, including the use of technical expertise of nongovernmental entities, such as labeling, certification, or standard-developing organizations. Some useful websites for labeling, certification, standards, life-cycle evaluations of products are:
All Types of Products
U.S. Department of Energy Priority Products List
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Greener Products and Services
LEED - U.S. Green Building Council
BEES - National Institute of Standards and Technology
Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
Energy - Renewable
Should such shorthand information not be available about the product in question, DOE Order 430.1-1 describes the process (a life cycle analysis) for weighing and determining sustainable attributes. This website also offers some information and tools on life cycle analyses.