Distributed Energy, the Journal of Energy Efficiency and Reliability; March 29, 2010
The efforts of twelve government organizations—ranging in size from a regional technology program in Pennsylvania to the state of Maine—participating in a voluntary environmental challenge made significant environmental strides in 2009. Their combined efforts resulted in avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing more than 1,800 cars from the roads and enough energy savings to power 1,450 homes. And, they did it by buying green computers, being sure that energy saving strategies were implemented for each computer, and reusing and recycling computers in ways that protect the environment.
Purchasing more environmentally friendly computer equipment avoided the use of 569 pounds of toxic materials such as lead and mercury in the manufacture of new computers, while recycling computers at the end-of-life avoided the generation of almost 35 tons of hazardous waste. Reusing and recycling computer equipment rather than discarding it also reduced municipal solid waste equivalent to the amount of trash generated by 32 households a year.
The voluntary program that the government organizations are participating in is the State Electronics Challenge (SEC). It assists state, regional, and local governments in the Northeast to reduce the environmental impact of their computers.
Four SEC Partner organizations have recently been recognized for demonstrating exceptional leadership in electronics stewardship for 2009. SEC Partners are eligible three recognition levels – Bronze, Silver, or Gold – based on completion of SEC program requirements. This year the following achievements are recognized, including the first gold level recognition issued by the SEC:
The SEC is a voluntary program developed and administered by the Northeast Recycling Council. The SEC provides an opportunity for state, regional, and local government to reduce the environmental impact of the more than $35 billion worth of technology equipment purchased annually by state and local governments in the U.S. Currently, 38 state, regional, and local government agencies, collectively employing almost 50,000 people, have joined the SEC as Partners. For more information on the SEC, including a list of current Partner organizations, visit www.stateelectronicschallenge.net.