Full disclosure: I write about green technology issues on a daily basis, so my decision to write for SearchITChannel about how IT solution providers are becoming involved with e-waste services was a very self-motivated and self-interested one.
But just in case you need more validation of the fact that businesses do, in fact, care about technology energy efficiency, materials make-up and so on, consider that massive technology distributor Ingram Micro has just signed a deal with EPEAT, the system that the federal government and an increasing number of companies are using to gauge the green credentials of the hardware they are interested in buying.
In case you don’t know EPEAT, the name is actually short for the Electronics Product Environmental Assessment Tool. The system covers a number of IT categories, including displays, integrated systems, notebooks, desktops, thin clients and workstations; in the future, it will cover things including printing and imaging devices, servers and mobile phones. There are more than 3,200 products covered in the database (from 48 different manufacturers).
EPEAT designates the green-ness of a given product, by looking at things such as energy efficiency, the materials used within the equipment, and the services that are offered around the product in terms of end-of-life management (including reuse or recycling). The system is used to help determine which products in a given category have a better story to tell with respect to some of those metrics.
Ingram Micro has already been integrating EPEAT information into its solution provider catalogs. Under the extended relationship, starting the fourth quarter, the distributor will be able to help solution providers become EPEAT Channel Partners. That means they will be officially qualified to “sell” the value of the EPEAT information. They will also be featured on the EPEAT Web site.
Whether or not your organization has a green agenda, some of the metrics covered under EPEAT such as energy efficiency and lifecycle management policies are more general issues of interest to a growing number of buyers. This alliance is a smart move on both the part of Ingram Micro, which can help provide a differentiator for some of its reseller customers, and for EPEAT, which can continue pushing its visibility out of government agencies and into the business world.