Thursday, August 07, 2008

Australian Government Tendering for Energy Efficient Computers

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) has issued a Request for Tender for Provision of Desktop, LAN, Helpdesk and Midrange Services. The 278 page tender document includes extensive and detailed environmental requirements.

Suppliers are required to look at power consumption, cooling requirements and ewaste disposal, assist with Data Centre efficiency initiatives and report environmental responsibility. Equipment has to meet Energy Star specifications for energy use throughout the contract with the most current version of the specifications. It must have at least a silver rating, on the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT™) specifications.

The department warns they may test equipment in the tender process or later. Tenderers are required to submit environmental specifications for each computer, monitor, printer and Multi-function Device (MFD) model. The supplier has to report annually on minimising environmental impacts. They have to specify packaging waste specifications and look at recyclable and biodegradable packaging, as well as have a take-back program for packaging. Tenderers are required to also comply with, the guideline Green Marketing from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission in 2008.

The tender documents even include a glossary, with a definition of GreenIT. This seems to have been derived from the Webopedia entry for Green IT and still had the hypertext links in the webopedia to ads:
"The study and the using of computer resources in an efficient way. It includes manufacturers producing environmentally friendly products and encouraging IT departments to consider more friendly options like virtualisation, power management and proper recycling habits."
Here is the environmental section of the tender document:
6 Environmental Standards and Requirements

6.1 Because of its policy responsibilities, the Agency aims to take a leading role in implementing environmental policy in its business activities. This is therefore reflected in the requirements for this RFT.
6.2 In addition to expecting a high level of environmental performance in respect of hardware, the Agency also expects that its service providers will be able to demonstrate similar levels of performance against the corporate environmental responsibility issues identified in this RFT.
6.3 Product Environmental Specifications
6.3.1 The primary environmental specifications for all hardware to be proposed in Tenders are described in the following section, with an outline of the information that will need to be provided in all Tenders (Clause 16 of Section E – Tender Response).
6.3.2 To facilitate the Environmental evaluation of solutions proposed, all Tenderers are to submit (at a minimum) the data set out in the specification tables (1, 2, A and B) found at Clause 16 of Section E (Tender Response), for each model of computer (including mobile
solutions such as notebooks), monitor, printer and Multifunction device (MFD) proposed to be supplied under the contract.
6.3.3 Information requested is based upon the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT™) criteria, which evaluate electronic products in relation to criteria contained in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1680 and ENERGY STAR® Standards.
6.3.4 The IEEE 1680 Standard contains the full text of each criterion, what information must be provided to demonstrate conformance with the criterion, and additional references and details.
6.3.5 Further information on EPEAT™ can be found at:
6.3.6 Further Information on ENERGY STAR® can be found at:
6.3.7 Tenderers should demonstrate: That MFDs and printers can use 100% recycled content paper; The ability to meet current energy targets as set out in the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy (; Their capability for recycling of equipment at the end of its useful life; The arrangements in place for recycling of the packaging for new equipment; and Power management capabilities of new equipment.
6.3.8 All products supplied under the Request for Tender process and resulting contract may be submitted for independent testing and assessment for compliance against the claimed performance (by an Agency nominated National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) Accredited Laboratory).
6.3.9 During the RFT process the Agency may require the claims for any item of equipment nominated in a Tender to be substantiated by the Tenderer by production of appropriate test data. Products that do not meet the stated specifications will be rated accordingly.
6.3.10 In the event of non-compliance of equipment supplied by the selected supplier during the course of the contract, the Agency may require the selected supplier to upgrade or replace all sub-standard equipment at its own cost.
6.3.11 At a minimum, all products nominated by Tenderers must meet the following requirements: Computers (and Notebooks) must comply with the requirements of the US ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Computers Version 4.0 test and performance specification; CRT and LCD (Display) Monitors must comply with Tier 1 and Tier 2 respectively of the US ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Computer Monitors Version 4.1 test and performance specification; Printer and MFD (Imaging) Equipment must comply with the requirements of the US ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Imaging Equipment Version 1.0 test and performance specification (Tier 1); and All products are to be supplied with power management features enabled.
6.3.12 All tests and compliance data is required to be at 230V a.c. only.
6.3.13 Although the current requirement is for products to meet a nominated version of Energy Star (above), it is expected that if/as new versions or requirements become available over the period of the contract that the selected supplier will ensure that all new products provided will meet the new version within 12 months of publication.
6.4 Corporate Environmental Specifications
6.4.1 In addition to evaluating the environmental qualities of products proposed by the supplier, Tenderers should submit (at a minimum) the data set out in specification table found at Clause 16.6 of Section E (Tender Response), detailing the environmental qualities of the Tendering organisation including end of life management and corporate performance proposed under the contract. ...

From: RFT 0708-705 – Provision of Desktop, LAN, Helpdesk, and Midrange Services - Release, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage, 7 August 2008

1 comment:

Idris(at)ComputersOff Org said...

China, EU, Japan, Korea, Nordic countries, NZ and the US have had voluntary equipment energy standard for years. Since 2001, the US have had at least three presidential executive orders to mandate product energy standards for government purchase (FEMP program).

Since 2007, the US (followed by Canada and NZ) imposed the Electronics Products Environmental Assessment Tool ( registered products.

In Jan 2008, the US government has integrated a requirement for use of EPEAT (the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) into the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) – the ‘bible’ of the federal purchasing sector.

The Government promised to do some “leading by example” using its enormous purchasing power to drive markets for cleaner and greener goods and services helping to bring down prices for all Australians” (

So the Environment department's (DEWHA)tender announcement have come a long way in catching up with OECD countries.

But Australian Government Procurement Guidelines (AGPG) have yet to include “ENERGY STAR”, “EPEAT” or other ICT sustainability criteria.

Nor are "on-costs" considerations or operational energy efficiency are being looked into closely yet. Over 140,000 desktops* are due for refresh.
["Cleaner and greener as public service replaces PC fleet", The Australian IT, 12 Aug 08, p23]

These desktops alone will generate an estimated energy cost of $20.6 million to run but with power management software, around 80% savings can be generated resulting in $16.5 million savings and a reduction of 96Kt CO2-e which is equivalent of taking 16,975 cars off the road annually.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett has pushed through sweeping changes, could this soon spread across the wider APS and the public?

In 2006, according to one respected source, the government holds only 9% of the total PC market, the remaining segments (education-7%, commercial-51% and home-32%) are equally if not more significant.

Dr Idris F. Sulaiman MACS
Computers Off Australia - Saving energy and the planet, one idle computer at a time
ABN: 161 3070 3856