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Samsung, LG TVs Make EPEAT Debut

More than 50 television models from LG Electronics and 71 Samsung TVs are now rated on the Electronic Product Environmental Tool (EPEAT) global registry for greener electronics, which expanded yesterday to include televisions for the first time.

EPEAT says this marks the first time a comprehensive standard has been available for governments, institutional purchasers and consumers to identify environmentally preferable televisions, including HDTVs and Smart TVs.

LG and Samsung together account for more than one-third of global TV shipments and revenues, EPEAT says.

To be added to the EPEAT registry, a television must meet at least 24 required environmental performance criteria. Products may achieve higher ratings by meeting up to 29 additional optional criteria. The rating criteria were developed during a four-year consensus process that involved hundreds of representatives from the environmental, manufacturing, research, recycling and government sectors, EPEAT Robert Frisbee says.

EPEAT rates products on a lifecycle basis, addressing the elimination of toxic substances, the use of recycled and recyclable materials, their design for recycling, product longevity, energy efficiency, corporate performance and packaging, among other attributes.

The addition of TVs comes less than two months after the registry expanded to include printers, copiers and other imaging equipment.

EPEAT’s original PC/display rating system is used as an environmental requirement by eight national governments, including the US. Purchase contracts that require EPEAT registration exceed $65 billion, the organization says.

EPEAT’s computer registry was surrounded by controversy last summer when Apple withdrew its Macbook Pro with Retina display from the registry, and then reinstated it, leading to speculation that tough disassembly was behind Apple’s withdrawal from the standard.

In October 2012, EPEAT verified that the Macbook Pro with Retina display met its standards. At the time, EPEAT said all ultrathin devices listed in its registry, including notebooks from Apple, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba, met the organization’s environmental criteria.

EPEAT again became the subject of controversy in February, when the Electronics TakeBack Coalition accused industry organization IEEE of overpowering the process of how standards are developed for the registry.

IEEE is the standards development organization (SDO) under whose rules and structure the EPEAT standards have been developed. Any stakeholder can participate in the meetings and votes to develop these standards. However, the final balloting is done by dues-paying IEEE members only.

In a blog post, the Electronics TakeBack Coalition said IEEE rules have given major electronics companies too much power, resulting in weak standards.

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