Going green is the “next big thing” for seemingly every company out there. From dishwashing soaps, to shoelace companies, every marketer has been placing some sort of a “green” spin on their products lately. The truth of the matter is, there are no federal regulations for what can and cannot be called “green,” so it’s no wonder that everyone is jumping on board the green bandwagon. Furthermore, it should surprise no one that many of the companies who often repackage their old products as “green” do so more as a marketing scheme than a legitimate effort towards bettering our environment. Maybe they’re focusing more so on the “green” in their pockets than the green outside.
In an attempt to help some of you audio visual and videoconferencing enthusiast out there, I’ve put together a little list of certifications that qualify the green efforts of companies and their technologies.
This means your product is ENERGY STAR® qualified.
“ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Energy efficient choices can save families about a third on their energy bill with similar savings of greenhouse gas emissions, without sacrificing features, style or comfort. ENERGY STAR helps you make the energy efficient choice.” – EnergyStar.gov
This means your product’s power supply is 80 PLUS™ certified
80 PLUS is an initiative to promote energy efficiency in computer power supply units (PSU). It certifies products that have more than 80% energy efficiency at 20%, 50% and 100% of rated load, and a power factor of 0.9 or greater at 100% load. That is, PSUs that waste 20% or less electric energy as heat at the specified load levels, thus reducing electricity use and bills compared to less efficient PSUs. Sometimes rebates are given for manufacturers who use 80 PLUS-certified PSUs.
This means your product is operating with alternative / renewable energy sources
Alternative Energy is energy that is made in a way that does not harm the environment, and completely avoids and fossil fuel or nuclear power. Renewable Energy is energy made with renewable resources such as the sun’s light, wind, water, etc.
This means your Electronics are RoHS compliant (Restricted use of Hazardous Substances)
RoHS is a European program that began restricting the use of 6 hazardous substances for electronics in 2006. These hazardous materials are considered harmful and bad for the wellbeing of the environment and people. RoHS products are not supposed to contain any Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated Biphenyl or Polybrominated Biphenyl Ethers.
This means your Electronics are designed with sustainability and long term customer value in mind
To have this certification your product must be advanced with its multi-functionality, smaller in size/ weight/ materials in general, and must limit its packaging or incorporate recycled packaging for its shipping means. On top of this the expected life of the product must be greater than its predecessor.
This means your Product is WEEE compliant (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment)
Manufacturer offers or sponsors end of life, trade-in, take-back, recovery or recycling programs ensuring hazardous electronics waste doesn’t end up in landfills. Products, components, materials and packaging are either refurbished for resale or recycled or reclaimed for reuse in new or additional products.
This means your product’s Manufacturer has an environmental charter
Electronics manufacturer has an environmental charter with goals and objectives that embrace environmental policies, practices and incentives for employees and suppliers to achieve a more sustainable business model. Company typically publishes an annual environmental report card or audit of its progress.