7.2 Green procurement

7.2.4 Agency guidelines

VITA has developed the following guidelines to assist IT procurement professionals in identifying IT suppliers and IT goods and services which have demonstrated product improvement on key environmental attributes and initiatives. Nothing in these guidelines shall be construed as requiring the Commonwealth, VITA or any executive branch agency or institution or supplier to procure IT products or services that do not perform adequately for their intended use or are not available at a reasonable, competitive price in a reasonable period of time:

Attribute

Guideline

Manufacturer "take back" of equipment

This can be accomplished through a lease or a contractual provision whereby the seller agrees to be responsible for taking back the products and providing for appropriate re-use or recycling when the buyer no longer needs the product. However, it is mandatory that any such returned equipment have all Commonwealth data removed in compliance with VITA's data removal standards at this location: ITRM Policies & Standards.

Reduction 
of toxic components

IT good manufacturers must demonstrate they are complying with the European Union's Directive - Restriction of Hazardous Substances - which requires the phase out of lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, cadmium and certain brominated flame retardants (PBBs and PBDEs).

Increased recycled content

Purchasing consideration should be given to IT products that use recycled content and products that can easily be recycled.

Reduced packaging

IT suppliers should be encouraged to use reduced and/or recycled packaging for shipping, to minimize quantity and weight of non-recyclable packaging and to produce user manuals that are easily recyclable.

Shelf life and supportability

IT goods should be evaluated on upgradeability and longevity to avoid short replacement cycles and reduce waste.

Energy efficiency

IT suppliers should be encouraged to produce equipment that meets Energy Star specifications including:

  • Offer equipment which meets the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's and Department of Energy's Energy Star guidelines.
  • Equipment shall be configured so it automatically enters a low-power mode after a period of inactivity. When equipment in a low-power mode is used again, it automatically returns to active mode.
  • Computers shall be shipped with power management feature enabled.
  • Provide integrated computer systems, where the CPU and monitor will together enter a low-power mode of no more than 45 watts after a specified period of inactivity.
  • Deliver all products configured for automatic energy-saving features per current Energy Star specifications.

Clean manufacturing practices

Identify and encourage IT suppliers who minimize the use of toxic and hazardous components in their manufacturing and production processes.

Design for reuse and recycling

Identify and reward suppliers of IT products that use recycled content and produce goods that can easily be recycled. At a minimum, IT manufacturers should be encouraged to comply with the European Union's WEEE Directive, which requires manufacturers to recycle or reuse more than half of their old equipment on the market by 2006.