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Electronics Stewardship

  

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

The Implementing Instructions for EO 14057 issued August 2022 provides instructions to Federal agencies regarding the implementation of EO 14057 including agency planning, reporting requirements, and accountability.

Electronics stewardship is a cross-cutting environmental issue directly linked to achievement of the E.O. 14057 goals for GHG reductions, energy efficiency, sustainable acquisition, and waste management. Sustainable life-cycle management of electronics is driven by a range of statutory requirements, including, most recently, the Energy Act of 2020, which requires agencies to coordinate with OMB, DOE, and EPA on strategies for the maintenance, purchase, and use of energy-efficient and energy-saving information technologies at or for their facilities. In addition to the statutory and E.O. 14057 goals and requirements, the FAR and FMR outline requirements to guide agency electronics stewardship practices.

With respect to purchases and leases of information technology (IT) products and related services (including wireless, cloud, print management, and seat management services), agencies must:

  • Acquire ENERGY STAR certified102 and FEMP Low Standby Power Products103 electronic products;
  • Acquire IT products and services that meet EPA's Recommended Standards, Specifications, and Ecolabels for Federal purchasing; and
  • Procure related supplies, such as print and copy paper and ink and toner cartridges, consistent with statutory requirements for recovered content products (see the CPG) and then biobased requirements.
EPA's Recommended Standards, Specifications, and Ecolabels currently recommend Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)-registered products as the only applicable third-party standard for sustainable electronics for Federal purchase. Agencies must procure EPEAT-compliant products.

Agencies must enable power management features on computers and displays that are running or connected to a computer running an operating system capable of power management (including Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems), unless the equipment is mission critical (e.g., facility security monitoring, air traffic control, uninterruptable laboratory experiments, and medical equipment), or incapable of being power managed due to make or model.

Agencies should ensure double-sided printing is enabled and set to "default" on software and printing devices.

When disposing of excess and surplus electronics or when returning leased electronics, agencies must follow the guidelines in GSA Bulletin FMR B-34, Disposal of Federal Electronic Assets. Acceptable methods of disposal for electronic assets, in order of preference, are:

  • Reuse within an agency or through transfers, donations, and sales, including through exchange/sale authority;
  • Donate through federally approved programs such as Computers for Learning; and
  • Recycle through certified recyclers105 and manufacturer take-back programs using certified recyclers.
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.
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 02 November 2020, 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.
Purchasing efficient products reduces energy costs without compromising quality for corporations, institutions, and governments. Take the steps outlined below to learn more about ENERGY STAR certified products and specify them in your purchasing policies and contracts.
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.
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) offers links to tools that can help agencies reduce energy use and meet federal laws and requirements. Tools include software, calculators, data sets, and databases created by the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal organizations.
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.
Directories/Catalogs/Newsletters
No items available
Libraries/Repositories
Publications and resources are available to assist you in implementing environmental reductions at your facility. Specific resources are also available below to assist you in each electronics life-cycle phase: acquisition and procurement; operation and maintenance; and end-of-life management.
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.
Organizations
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 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
 
Acquisition
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.
Disposal
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.
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
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Last Updated: September 21, 2022