We found back in 2010 that the European market for Green ICT products had many local standards with few certified products. That did not appear to best serve sustainability-oriented computer buyers - consumer or enterprise - who need to make practical purchasing decisions incorporating sustainability. The situation has not improved in recent years.
Our recent update of Finding the Greenest Tablets illustrates the continuing challenges for conscientious buyers trying to sort through standards.
It is getting more difficult to find information for responsible phone purchasing, compared to our last look in 2014. Here is what is currently available.
I reported in 2014 that I could find only one green certification program for tablets. The situation is a lot better today, with eight manufacturers offering top-ranked products.
We have not updated information about greenest television is a couple of years due to lack of progress in the area, but it was time to circle back. Or comparisons show mixed progress. Samsung is the manufacturer doing the best.
Eleven manufacturers are offering over 230 models of desktop computers in the EPEAT USA Gold database, about the same number as a year ago. Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Apple offer the most choices.
Sweden's TCO Development certified 32 products, down from a high of 80. Most manufacturers appear to have dropped out of TCO certification in this category; only Hewlett Packard and Lenovo now participate.
Germany's Blue Angel only lists models from Fujitsu.
Acer/Gateway and Phillips no longer offer qualifying models and have been removed from the list. Wyse is new to the list this year.
Green-certified computer displays are now too numerous to present in table format. Here is how to find the most sustainable displays, including projectors, listed by two certification services.
Four manufactures offer over 150 EPEAT Gold models in the United States. This is a significant improvement over a year ago. Lanier and Savin now offer EPEAT Gold models and both top the list with most models, closely followed by Konica/Minolta. Epson appears to no longer offer EPEAT Gold models.
The EPEAT Gold database includes 389 models for the US. This represents a drop of ~30% over a year ago. The biggest drops came from Toshiba (-47%) and Samsung (-76%), the companies that offer the most models a year ago. Toshiba is still a model count leader, along with HP and Apple. The latter two companies increased their models counts in the past year.
The US ENERGY STAR program looks only at energy efficiency and not other sustainability factors. About twenty set-top boxes (STBs) or cable, IP, or satellite from seven manufacturers came in at less than 65W in the program's Total Energy Consumption (TEC) metric. This is a big improvement from two years ago, when our top twenty cut-off was 100W.
EPEAT® - "the definitive global registry for greener electronics" - simplifies its twenty-three required IEEE 1680 criteria and twenty-eight optional ones into a simple Bronze-Silver-Gold designation. EPEAT Gold models meet all required criteria and at least 75% of the optional ones. ~20* manufacturers are now offering over 1200* EPEAT Gold products registered for the United States.