EPEAT in India – An Overview

EPEAT in India – An Overview

Green Electronics Council and EPEAT

The Green Electronics Council is a nonprofit organisation founded in 2005 whose mission is to inspire and catalyse environmental leadership throughout the lifecycle of electronic technologies. GEC is a co-operating partner with multiple stakeholders around the world and conducts ongoing multi-stakeholder outreach within India to:

  • Bulk Consumers
  • Manufacturers
  • Indian Central and State Governments (as an advisor and knowledge partner on planning, policy, capacity-building and co-implementation)
  • Associations, Branch Organsations, and Industrial Cluster Organisations

GEC was selected by the U.S. EPA in 2006 to manage the EPEAT system, a free and trusted source of environmental product ratings for electronics. Full information about EPEAT is available at this page.

Indian Electronics Sector: Size and Growth

India-map-sm3The electronics market of India is one of the largest in the world and is anticipated to reach US$ 400 billion in 2022 from US$ 69.6 billion in 2012. The market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.4 per cent during 2012-2020. Total production of electronics hardware goods in India is estimated to reach US$ 104 billion by 2020. The communication and broadcasting equipment segment constituted 31 per cent, which is the highest share of total production of electronic goods in India in FY13, followed by consumer electronics at 23 per cent.

Electronic exports from India were expected to reach US$ 8.3 billion in FY13, a CAGR of 27.9 per cent during FY07–12. Technological improvements and competitive cost effectiveness are main drivers for demand of Indian electronics products abroad.

Statistics Relating to EPEAT in India

  • EPEAT coverage in India launched in July 2014
  • 43rd country to join EPEAT
  • 400+ Registered Products as of February 2016
  • EPEAT registered companies in India: HP, DELL, TOSHIBA, ACER

More than 2 million EPEAT-registered products were sold in India between July and December 2014. Products are currently available in India in EPEAT’s PCs and Displays category.

India EPEAT Launch Event

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What is EPEAT?

EPEAT is a consensus-based rating system designed to assess the environmental performance of electronics. The EPEAT system was developed from 2003-2005 through a multi consultative method and a multi-stakeholder approach that included purchasers, government, environmental advocates, manufacturers, researchers and recyclers.

The EPEAT tool has global reach and participation, including support of Purchasers, Manufacturers and other stakeholders throughout India. As of 2016, EPEAT is available in 43 countries worldwide, offers products from 60+ Participating Manufacturers, and includes environmental ratings for 4000+ products. More than 400 participants have been involved in standards development initiatives since 2003.

Initial EPEAT development process was funded by the U.S. EPA (U.S. Government). Following system creation, GEC was selected through a competitive process to manage the system with seed funding from EPA. In 2007, EPEAT became a standalone fully self-supporting system managed by GEC, and remains so to this day.

EPEAT is adopted and accepted across the U.S. federal structure in their procurement and policy initiatives, and is used around the world by thousands of public and private purchasers to set a high environmental bar for their electronics procurement.

Which Product Categories Does EPEAT Address?

EPEAT currently includes rating criteria for PCs and Displays, Imaging Equipment and Televisions. All of the criteria used in EPEAT are based on ANSI-approved public standards, which provide technical details for every criterion and specify how a manufacturer must demonstrate compliance. High-level information about the criteria for each EPEAT product category is available here.

EPEAT Manufacturers: Responsibility, Benefits and Participants

All Indian electronics brands must comply with End of Life management and Safety Testing rules. EPEAT allows companies to leverage that existing work to build your brand, and attract and retain customers. The EPEAT scheme goes beyond regulatory requirements to address multiple areas of environmental impact. To qualify for EPEAT registration, manufacturers/brand owners demonstrate their products’ conformity to criteria covering:

  • Product design for easy, effective EoL management
  • Product longevity (reparability, early failure process, etc.)
  • Inclusion of PCR content
  • Product characterization, disclosure (EoL characterization, GHG emissions, LCA assessment)
  • Company disclosure: supply chain toxics inventory; GHG, Toxics, Water and Waste reporting
  • Manufacturer takeback using recyclers certified to international standards meeting specified best practices

Manufacturers are invited to click here to review logistical details about how to begin registering products in EPEAT. For more information, please contact GEC’s India Representative Rima Yadav. There are many reasons to register products in EPEAT:

Benefits to Large Enterprises

  • Visible consistency with global environmental expectations and norms
  • A framework for recognition of a company’s environmental efforts
  • Access to large customers specifying EPEAT
  • A third-party-vetted way to comply with customers’ environmental performance requirements
  • Additional value from the work done to comply with End Of Life and Safety Testing rules

Most global electronics brands already have products registered in the EPEAT system for other countries. By taking some modest additional steps to address local conformance in India, the India business unit can register those same products for the Indian market. For example, contracting for collection and recycling services that meet R2 certification, making changes to the company website to increase transparency on recycling programs and sustainability measures.

Benefits to SMEs

  • A guidance framework to improve design, manufacturing and EOL collection processes to be environmentally sound
  • Access to large customers specifying EPEAT
  • A recognized international benchmark for SMEs starting a process of change to improve their credibility as an exporter, or supplier to global brands
  • If followed by SMEs generally, can qualify Indian electronics sector as competitive and sustainability-focused

While global brands are already engaged with EPEAT, many SMEs will not be familiar with the program. A variety of Conformity Assessment Bodies can provide or support orientation, training and hand-holding to enable SMEs to meet the requirements of EPEAT. And that, in turn, can open access to international markets where elevated environmental performance is a condition of access.

EPEAT Purchaser Benefits and Participation

Sustainability has become a baseline requirement for leading business and governmental organisations, and sustainable procurement efforts are a key part of any CSR strategy. But purchasers often struggle to adequately address environmental performance in procurement specifications for ICT equipment, because of the complexity of the products, their extended supply chain and multiple environmental impacts.  Even where a purchaser develops such specifications, it is challenging to find credible evidence of vendor compliance, or to ensure that specifications actually drive change in the global industry.

EPEAT was developed to address this problem, and offers all purchasers:

  • A free and trusted source of environmental product ratings that makes it easy to select high-performance electronics that meet your organization’s IT and sustainability goals
  • Credible third party vetting of product and supplier performance, to address environmental issues in procurement without burdensome in-house research and verification
  • The ability to aggregate your purchase requirements with those of thousands of purchasers around the world, to drive real change in the sector

Purchasers can leverage EPEAT’s proven system and model purchasing language to easily improve their own environmental performance, and drive change in the marketplace. Becoming an EPEAT Purchaser by sharing your policy or procurement language earns purchasers recognition on GEC’s website and eligibility for EPEAT Purchaser Awards.

Click here to download model contract language for your immediate reference.

To schedule an individual consultation or site visit to discuss how EPEAT may fit into your sustainability framework, please contact GEC India Representative Rima Yadav by phone at +91 9873098981 or by email.

Government Benefits and Participation

Responsible Purchasing

Development of the EPEAT environmental rating system was spurred by the U.S. government’s need for a succinct, agreed-upon definition of “greener” products that could be trusted to reduce overall lifecycle impact. Explicit government commitment to a green purchasing specification can create sufficient market demand to incentivize the redesign of products and services, and government purchase volumes can create an economy of scale which reduces the cost per unit of such changes. This beneficial cycle results in redesigned products becoming available to a broad array of purchasers and creating environmental benefit for all. National, state and local governments around the world use EPEAT in their electronics contracting. Indian government entities can profit from the same usability and drive the same positive impact by integrating EPEAT criteria into their specifications.

Government representatives are invited to click here to download model policy and contract language for their policy reference.

Electronics Sector Training and Support

GEC can partner with government to support Green Policy Interventions for the development of the Electronics Sector within the country and the states. The SME sector in particular has great need to understand methods for increasing the sustainability of operations, product design and delivery, and responsible end of life management. GEC can help increase the environmental competitiveness of the companies operating in a given ICT hub project, region or state by providing information and training on sustainability expectations in international markets, and helping structure incentives to reward ‘greener’ practices that align with those customer expectations.

Contact GEC’s India Representative Rima Yadav via phone (+91 9873098981) or via email for information or consultation on GEC support for government initiatives.

Other Stakeholders: Benefits and Participation

Association Partnerships

GEC partners with organizations around the world to support their members’ attainment of environmental performance benchmarks. GEC can help associations provide value to your members – for example we can work with electronics trade associations to familiarize their members with international sustainability norms and expectations, or provide sustainable procurement guidance to business association members. We also reach out through associations to solicit and recognize EPEAT Purchaser Award winners, offering recognition for doing the right thing.

In India, GEC currently works with the CII-ITC Centre for Sustainable Development, with MAIT and with the Centre for Responsible Business. We have regular interaction with additional IT and IT service associations and environmental think tanks. And we would be very interested in participating in your member outreach on electronics and sustainability.

Contact GEC India Representative Rima Yadav by phone at +91 9873098981 or by email for information about how GEC can support your member outreach and education on sustainability and electronics.

Indian End of Life Collection and Recycling Resources

E-waste Management Rules: India’s E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 establishes Extended Producer Responsibility, requiring that brands offer electronics collection and end of life management services to their customers and prevent e-waste dumping in the country. The e-Waste Regulations are overseen by Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in consultation with Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITy), which provides technical support to the MoEF on program implementation. More information available here.

EPEAT Recycling Requirements: The EPEAT standards require that all registering manufacturers offer takeback and responsible recycling of registered electronics. While requirements vary somewhat across the different product categories, EPEAT generally sets a high bar – requiring tracking of materials to final disposition, careful management of hazardous components and materials, and no landfilling or incineration of recyclable materials. The Imaging Equipment and Television standards (and newer product standards currently in process) require processing by service providers certified to international norms, including the R2 (Responsible Recycling) and e-Stewards standards. GEC has worked closely with Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), R2’s parent organization, to support adoption of responsible recycling best practices, as evidenced by R2 certification, across India.

Current R2 Recyclers in India (Feb 2016)

  1. E-Parisaara, Ltd. (Bangalore)
  2. TES AMM India (Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu)
  3. Trishyiraya Recycling India Pvt Ltd. (SIMs Recycling) (Tambaram, Tamil Nadu)
  4. Greenscape Eco Management Pvt. Ltd. Alwar Rajasthan 301030

Additional R2 recycler certifications are in process. Check for current listings here.

Indian Electronics Sector: Incentives and Regulation

Government Incentives

The Government of India has set up Electronic Hardware Technology Parks (EHTPs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and brought about a favourable climate for foreign direct investment (FDI) in order to facilitate expansion of the electronics sector. It has also increased liberalisation and relaxed tariffs to promote electronics sector growth. In addition, the government gave its green signal to the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS) under which the central government will be offering up to US$ 1.7 billion in benefits to the electronics sector in next five years. For more details, see  full List of Electronics Sector Incentives Provided by Government of India.

India-Specific Safety Standards

The Electronics and IT Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2012 has been notified on Oct 3, 2012. This scheme introduces a new paradigm for ensuring quality electronic goods in the country and enhancing safety of consumers. The scheme requires registration of every product in specific categories imported into India, including laboratory testing for conformance with hazardous materials restrictions. Scheme management is carried out by the Bureau of Indian Standards, which provides many details here.

Partners in India

Benefits of Green ICT in India

India Rep

Rima Yadav GEC EPEAT India landing page photo

GEC India Representative Rima Yadav is available by phone at +91 9873098981 or by email.

CII and GEC Cooperative Survey

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Because electronics are a critical element of all modern business operations, the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Centre for Sustainable Development and the Green Electronics Council have partnered to take a sounding of Indian companies’ attention to and adoption of best practices for electronics stewardship. To participate in the survey, click here.