I have to admit that I hadn’t even heard of UL Environment until last week. They have come to my attention recently however due to their Sustainable Product Certification scheme, which can certify a quite diverse group of products, including carpets (yes really) and IT equipment..
UL also offer testing for the well known Energy Star program, but it is their recent certification of the upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad420, a notebook that is due to be launched later in February that has launched their product sustainability efforts. Here’s a short video from Lenovo and UL that illustrates the process quite well..
Lenovo and UL on product sustainability
Some of the things that are examined during the review process include product documentation, Energy Star 5.0 compliance, and manufacturing. By going beyond the well trodden Energy Star path and venturing into manufacture and component sourcing for instance, the UL certification takes IT product selection to the next phase.
In the future when selecting your IT equipment upgrade you will be able to choose your supplier and model based on a much more comprehensive set of tests as the UL assessment builds on the IEEE 1680 sustainability standard, which also guides the more familiar EPEAT green technology certification process.
Once testing is complete and a product is certified, information about it is included on the UL Database of Validated and Certified Products, an online tool that allow you to identify sustainable products by product category, company name, product name or standard.At the moment the content there is a bit sparse, but as products are added it looks like becoming the one-stop shop for sustainable sourcing.
Early days for this, but we’ll be keeping an eye on this one as it sounds like it just might take a lot of the current legwork out of Green IT product selection.