How EPA Conserves Energy

When one hears ‘information technology’, often times their first thought is not about climate change. But electronics, electricity, and changing hardware or software versions have the potential to be environmentally friendly. As Acting Assistant Administrator of the Office of Environmental Information (OEI), I am charged with leading the Agency’s information management and information technology programs to provide the information, technology, and services necessary to advance the protection of human health and the environment.

EPA is committed to taking a common sense approach in addressing climate change and promoting a clean energy economy, but what do we do on a daily basis to ensure the information technology services and equipment that are provided to our employees conserve energy resources?

Whenever we purchase equipment, whether it be hardware or software, for our employees to do their jobs, we require the devices to be certified at the silver or gold level under the electronic product environmental assessment tool (EPEAT). EPEAT is an environmental procurement tool that is designed to help purchasers evaluate, compare, and select electronic products, such as computers, based on their environmental attributes.

EPA employees are encouraged to turn off their computers when they leave work for the day. To further help conserve energy, we have implemented power management on all computers, monitors, and printers, which puts them to ‘sleep’ after 15 minutes of inactivity.

We take every effort to extend the life our information technology equipment in order to reduce unnecessary turnover. When it is time to dispose of equipment, our Property Office works diligently to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, equipment is reused or recycled.

What are some ways in which you can use information technology to combat climate change?

  • Power down your electronics.
  • Donate or recycle your electronics.
  • Plug into power strips.
  •  Purchase Energy Star.

Check out EPA’s Act on Climate website for more helpful tips on how you can use information technology to help combat climate change.

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