The State Electronics Challenge provides state, tribal, regional, and local government, and schools, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations with resources and tools to “green” their electronics—from purchasing, through use and end-of-life.
General Policies & Planning
- Sample Resolution to Participate in the State Electronics Challenge
Some entities launch a new initiative by adopting a resolution to participate in the Challenge. This sample resolution for committing to join the program can be used by any organization seeking to endorse or join the State Electronics Challenge.
- Green IT in Enterprise Practices: The Essential Role of the State CIO
This 2008 report by the National Association of State Chief Information Offers looks at how state CIOs can shape and promote green IT practices and policies. Numerous case examples illustrate the successful implementation of green IT initiatives in state agencies.
- EPA Region 8 Standard Operating Procedure For IT Asset Management (Word) (PDF)
This document provides a detailed map of the process by which information technology (IT) assets can be managed throughout their lifecycle; from purchasing to recycling.
- Purchasing Planning Checklist
This checklist outlines questions to consider throughout the purchasing process and can assist you with the process of purchasing environmentally preferable electronic products and services.
- Total Cost of Ownership
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) modeling is a tool for systematically considering all of the costs related to an information technology (IT) management decision. TCO includes direct and indirect costs incurred throughout the lifecycle, including purchasing, use, and end-of-life management. The U.S. EPA developed the following resources for Partners in the Federal Electronics Challenge that may be useful for SEC Partners.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Guidance
This document provides an overview of TCO modeling and guidance on how to use TCO to make purchasing decisions for information technology products.
- Total Cost of Ownership Calculator Tool (Microsoft Excel)
(Scroll down to Total Cost of Ownership Modeling on the EPA page.)
The TCO Calculator allows you to compare the costs of different options for the lifecycle management of IT equipment with an emphasis on decisions that may have an environmental impact. The TCO Calculator uses a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet format.
Integrating Environmental Attributes into Leasing
This document explains the different types of leasing arrangements and how they may help your organization procure "greener" electronic equipment, extend the product lifecycle, and ensure proper management of equipment at the end-of-life.
- Partner Case Study: Maine State Government
In December 2007, Maine State Government became one of the first Partners in the State Electronics Challenge (SEC). SEC program implementation in Maine was particularly notable because it involved all departments in state government, resulting in far-reaching and sustainable changes. Representatives from the Office of Information Technology (IT), Purchasing, Surplus, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the State Planning Office collaborated to make this effort a success. In 2008, Maine was awarded silver-level recognition for its work in computer equipment purchasing and end-of-life management.
Green Purchasing using EPEAT®(Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool)
Electronic products with EPEAT designations meet high standards for environmental performance, and are, by definition, ENERGY STAR® qualified. EPEAT designations are available for computers, monitors, and notebook computers; copiers, printers, and multifunction devices; and televisions. The following resources provide information on EPEAT and how to identify and specify EPEAT registered products. There is sample procurement language for computers/displays as well as for imaging equipment. Sample policy language is also available.
Imaging Equipment – Green Procurement Webinar
The Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) organized an in-depth webinar to discuss the issues associated with the green procurement of imaging equipment. A recording of the complete webinar is available. The individual PowerPoint presentations are also available.
- Purchasing EPEAT® registered products is as easy as 1-2-3. This simple tutorial will lead you through the steps.
- EPEAT Product Registry
The EPEAT website provides a searchable database for purchasers to identify environmentally preferable products, including computers, monitors, and notebook computers, copiers, printers, and multifunction devices, and televisions.
- Sample Contract Language
The EPEAT website provides sample language for purchasers to “drop in” to or modify for use in their purchasing contracts. The purchasing specification recommends vendor reporting to help track EPEAT product purchases.
- Green Electronics Council Endorsement of SEC
The SEC has received an endorsement from the Green Electronics Council (GEC) a national organization dedicated to partnerships with the electronics industry and other interested stakeholders to implement market-driven systems to recognize and reward environmentally preferable electronic products. The GEC hosts the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT).
Power Management of Office Equipment
- NEW! Saving Energy with Office Equipment: A Best Practices Resource Guide.
This guide offers practical, actionable tips for saving energy with computers and computing equipment, as well as peripherals and imaging equipment. It reviews the biggest opportunities, explains them in layman's terms, and provides practical tips for leading an initiative to increase IT energy efficiency.
- Power Management - Practical Things You Can Do to Save Energy
This PowerPoint provides practical information on how to activate energy savings features on computers and monitors within an organization. The presentation also documents the potential return on investments of executing power management.
- Plug Load Control in Federal Office Buildings
This report by the U.S. Government Services Administration (GSA), the organization that manages federal facilities, summarizes the results of several strategies to reduce “plug loads” within offices. Desk-based and other office electronics plugged into sockets can draw energy 24/7, and account for about 25% of office electricity. This report and the companion summary of findings demonstrate how power strips can reduce plug loads at workstations by 26%, even when advanced power management was already in place, and nearly 50% in printer rooms and kitchens.
- Power Management: Strategies for Energy-Efficient Use of Computers & Other Plug-Load Equipment
This presentation discusses energy efficiency strategies that were implemented in a variety of office and educational settings for a wide range of devices, including water coolers, vending machines, and imaging equipment, and the cost and energy results of the pilot.
- Power Management - Partner Successes and Challenges
These presentations highlight examples of power management strategies and systems by Challenge Partners.
- CSCI Power Management System Design Guide
The Climate Savers Computing Power Management System Design Guide is a reference document about how to build energy‐efficient, power-managed client platforms. The guide presents guidelines and recommendations to achieve Standby (S3) state reliability, while reducing Standby, Resume, and Sleep latencies resulting in positive user experiences.
- Power Management Promotional Poster
The State Electronics Challenge has a poster available for download that can be customized and posted to educate employees about powering down computers at the end of each day: Power Down (PPT).
- ENERGY STAR® Power Management Website
Learn how computer power management, or “sleep” features can save as much as $75 per system annually. Instructions, software, savings calculators, and other resources are available on the website.
- Answers to Frequent Questions: "Enabling" ENERGY STAR® Features and Power Management
This document, developed by the Federal Electronics Challenge, provides basic tips on "enabling" ENERGY STAR features on computers and power management settings. A Sample Policy and Guidance Language for Power Management and Powering Down is available.
- Strategies for Energy-Efficient Use of Computers and Other Plug-Load Equipment
This PowerPoint presentation by the New York State Energy and Resource Development Authority (NYSERDA) was presented on a SEC Partner-only webinar. It provides an excellent introduction to power consumption and energy efficiency strategies for computers and other office equipment. Case studies illustrate cost savings opportunities for different equipment types found in offices, universities, and school districts.
Power Management Policies & Standard Operating Procedures
Data Center Energy Efficiency
Reducing Paper Use
Policies & Programs
Strategies for Reducing Paper Consumption
- The Paperless Express Guide, developed by Stopwaste.org, provides a comprehensive strategy for paper use reduction. The Guide includes step by step instructions and sample questionnaires and internal memos. These samples can also be downloaded from the Paperless Express webpage.
- CalRecycle provides a comprehensive list of strategies to reduce office paper consumption. Included on this site is a sample “in-house” waste reduction policy focused on printing and copying and a step-by-step plan for creating a paper reduction campaign in your office.
- 8 Things You Can Do To Save Money & Reduce Your Environmental Footprint When You Print!
- Additional Things You Can Do to Reduce Paper Usage
- Network Printer Survey – EPA Region 8
EPA Region 8 has engaged in a multi-year effort to decrease the number of printers in its offices. This survey was an initial step to determine current printer use patterns, priorities, and practices.
- How to Print Confidential Documents Using a Password
EPA Region 6 provides step-by-step instructions for printing confidential documents.
- How to Use the Virtual Printer
Need to print an email or website so you’ll have a copy? Did you know that anytime you have the option to print something in any program, you can print to a virtual printer? EPA Region 6 provides detailed step-by-step instructions about how to take advantage of this paperless strategy are provided.
- File Organization Tips: Suggestions for Managing Files & Folders
There are many advantages to storing documents electronically. In order to experience all the benefits of using electronic files, you will need to have a strategy for managing files and folders. This article provides some tips that may help with this task.
- How to Use Short Cut Keys, Including Files you Misplaced (Video)
Step-by-step guidance, including showing you how to search and use short cuts already available as part of the computer operating system. 10 minutes.
- How to Use the Print Screen Feature in Multiple Applications (Video)
This 3-minute video demonstrates how to use the print screen feature to enhance communications, appointments, and save resources and time.
- How to Turn Paper Files into Electronic Files (Video)
A demonstration of how to use scanners to make PDF files. 3 minutes.
- Case Study – Electronics Stewardship Policy (Word)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 6 analyzed the environmental and financial impact of printers and developed and implemented a strategy for printing management that resulted in significant environmental and financial benefits.
- The Responsible Purchasing Network has developed two case studies that report on power management and decreased paper usage in office settings:
SEC Partner-only Webinars on Printer Management
General Paper Resources
- Environmental Paper Network
This website provides educational materials and tools for evaluating and reducing paper use, and purchasing environmentally preferable paper.
- City of Seattle Paper Cuts Campaign
This City of Seattle, Washington website provides a wealth of information about paper conservation and best practices in the City of Seattle and beyond. From the site, you can access Seattle’s paper policies and Executive Order, as well as Frequently Asked Questions. The resource page also provides links to federal, regional, state, and university paper conservation programs and best practices.
- Environmental Defense Paper Calculator
Environmental Defense’s Paper Calculator is a web-based tool that enables organizations to understand and improve their daily paper use. For each of thirteen major grades of paper and paperboard, it allows the user to compare the environmental impacts of papers made with different levels of recycled content, and to see how using less paper or changing other specifications can reduce environmental impacts.
- Paper Standards Comparison Chart
The Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) has developed a Paper Standards Comparison Chart about paper eco-labels. There are currently over 300 unique eco‐labels that certify many different types of products. RPN created this Paper Standards Comparison Chart to reduce the confusion associated with environmentally preferable paper and allow purchasers to better understand the characteristics of relevant eco‐labels. The chart focuses on helping purchasers identify labels that directly address the environmental attributes of paper and paper production.
Extending Product Life
- Extending the Life of Electronic Equipment
This resource developed by the Federal Electronics Challenge provides guidance on extending the life of electronic equipment.
- PowerPoint Presentation about extending the life of electronic equipment.
- Keeping Old Computers Alive
This article by TechSoup provides tips on increasing the useful life of computers by performing simple tasks such as removing unnecessary software, keeping anti-virus and anti-spyware programs up to date, and upgrading hardware.
Reuse & Donation
There may be useful life left in your unwanted equipment. Reuse and donation programs help put useful equipment into the hands of organizations and individuals that can use them.
Electronics contain reusable materials as well as hazardous components that may pose a threat to the environment and human health if not disposed of properly. Ensuring responsible electronics recycling is good for the environment and your facility. The following resources will help you develop a recycling program and to select a reputable electronics recycler.
Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator
- The Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator (EEBC) was developed to assist organizations in estimating the environmental benefits of greening their purchase, use and recycling of electronics.
The EEBC estimates the environmental and economic benefits of:
- Purchasing Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registered products
- Enabling power management features on computers and monitors above default percentages
- Extending the life of equipment beyond baseline values
- Reusing computers, monitors and cell phones
- Recycling computers, monitors, cell phones and loads of mixed electronic products
The EEBC may be downloaded as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet: EEBC Version 3.1 Copyright© July 2012 (Microsoft Excel)
PLEASE NOTE: The EEBC uses macros, short software instructions, to aid navigation and perform certain calculations. To ensure that the EEBC functions properly, you must enable macros to run in Excel prior to opening the EEBC spreadsheet:
- In Excel 2007, these settings are through the Office button -> Excel Options -> Trust Center -> Trust Center Settings -> Macro Settings.
- In Excel 2003, these settings are through Tools -> Macro -> Security.
Reset your macro settings after you use and close the EEBC file.
Using the Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator (PDF)
This document provides answers to frequently asked questions about the EEBC.
Using the FEC Annual Reporting Form Data to Calculate Environmental Benefits (PDF) This document provides background information and step-by-step instructions for using data from the FEC Annual Reporting Form to calculate environmental benefits using version 3.1 of the EEBC.
State Links for Purchasing & Recycling
It is important for Partners to review state-specific requirements for purchasing, operations & maintenance, and recycling and reuse of computer equipment, in addition to the SEC program requirements.
States, for example, may have contracts for computer purchasing or recycling that agencies may be required to use, and local and regional governments, as well as schools may be able to use these contracts. Or, there may be executive orders pertaining to environmentally preferable purchasing or energy conservation.
The following state resource pages provide Partners with links to:
For general questions about the sec or sec program requirements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 802-254-3636.
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