Strategy #1: Procuring and Managing Low-carbon Desktop and Enterprise IT Equipment

Important things to consider:

  • Warranty terms
  • Planning for turnover management
  • It is important to think about the function desired in relation to the purchase. See ENERGY STAR.
  • Is there any data on how to pencil out the GHG benefits of new hardware outweigh holding on to old items?
  • Toxics reduction:
    • ENERGY STAR ITC products must meet the standards of the ROHS regulations. The ROHS Directive aims to restrict the use of certain hazardous substances. It also bans placing new electrical and electronic equipment on the European Union market if it contains more than the agreed-upon levels of hazardous materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, and flame retardants.
    • Use the EPEAT registry to find products which meet several toxics reduction criteria.
  • Packaging reduction and smart delivery systems will reduce the amount of GHG in the upstream phase.
  • Social responsibility: see TCO Development Report on The State of Socially Responsible Manufacturing in the IT Industry.
  • Percent of post-consumer recycled content in plastics.

Cost considerations

Energy efficient IT equipment is generally price neutral, i.e. there is little to no price impact from buying the more efficient products. Significant financial gains can be achieved due to reduced energy consumption over the lifecycle of energy efficient ITC products. See the ENERGY STAR website for calculator. Applying a total cost of ownership approach when awarding a contract will ensure that financial costs are minimized. According to the EU GPP report, total cost of ownership variables for ITC equipment include: usage behavior, repair costs, on-site management, and shifting market trends affecting pricing. Note that organizations are often structured so that the department paying for the IT equipment is not paying for the energy consumption of that equipment.