As the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “green electronics lady,” Holly D. Elwood works to make sure that the computers and other electronics purchased by the federal government are as environmentally friendly as possible.
In the process, Elwood uses the government’s huge buying power to create a market for green products, leading to a cleaner environment and better options for consumers.
“The beauty of the project is that we’ve harnessed supply and demand to green the marketplace,” said Elwood, project manager of the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program. “This program has greened the supply chain and product offerings worldwide.”
Elwood not only helps agencies buy computers, but she assists with the development of standards that define what exactly a green product is – the first question suppliers tend to ask, she said.
Federal purchasers now are required to buy computers listed on a global registry known as “EPEAT” that is based on a standard Elwood helped create with other interested parties. This Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool is the largest rating system for electronics.