The EPEAT system helps shoppers evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, notebooks and monitors based on the products’ environmental attributes. EPEAT evaluates electronic products according to three tiers of environmental performance: Bronze, Silver and Gold.
EPEAT grading use has been recommended to federal IT purchasers by the US government.
Now EPEAT has formally become part of the US Federal Government's purchasing regulations. On practically the last day of 2007, the US government published an 'Interim Final Rule' integrating EPEAT into the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).
This is the book of rules for all Federal purchasers. There is a comment period but the Interim Final designation means that the US government doesn't expect much more than a few minor amendments prior to its adoption.
The existing US government Executive Order 13423 already created a requirement for federal IT buyers to purchase EPEAT products in all relevant product categories, but that requirement was communicated largely to environmental managers in the various agencies, who then had to communicate it to their purchasing staffs and get them to understand what it meant. This took time and allowed for unwitting deviatio from the requirement.
This FAR integration puts it directly in the hands of every federal purchaser as a requirement for all relevant contracts. It's in effect part of their job description. This represents a huge step toward consistent implementation. It represents, in effect, an enlarging of the market for EPEAT-graded IT products.