Green computing works, says report

Non profit Green Electronics Council (GEC) put out a report today that suggests its eco-computing initiatives are starting to work. Yeah, it’s a their way to justify their program and budget ($800,000 for 2007), but we appreciate them getting us some numbers to check out. (EPA funded both the GEC and the study).
The Green Electronics Council implements the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), which evaluates and registers electronics and computing products based on 52 environmental factors. GEC says that based on the first 6 month of sales of EPEAT registered computers compared to non-registered computers, EPEAT has been delivering some significant environmental benefits:

  • Saves 13.7 billion kWh of electricity (they say enough to power 1.2 million U.S. homes for a year)
  • Saves 24.4 million metric tons of materials (they say equivalent to the weight of 189 million refrigerators)
  • Prevents 56.5 million metric tons of air pollution, and 1.07 million metric tons of global warming gases (they say the equivalent of removing 852,000 cars from the road for a year)
  • Prevents 118,000 metric tons of water pollution
  • Reduces toxic material use by 1,070 metric tons (they say equivalent to the weight of 534,000 bricks and enough mercury to fill 157,000 household fever thermometers)
  • Avoids the disposal of 41,100 metric tons of hazardous waste (they say equivalent to the weight of 20.5 million bricks)

Update: So we thought the study didn’t sound so independent because the EPA funded both the GEC and the study. Scot Case of the GEC (see comments) disagrees. What do you think?