Computers, monitors, printers

Computers, monitors, printers

Computers, servers, monitors and imaging equipment are a cornerstone of the rapidly expanding IT sector. The resulting growth in electricity consumption and mountains of electronic waste can and should be tackled at design stage.

The stock of personal computers and servers in Europe is expected to double by 2020, with increasingly powerful and energy-intensive products reaching the market.

The sector is expected to consume at least 20 additional TWh of yearly electricity in the EU from 2020, as much as the residential consumption of Belgium. And toxic electronic waste is still flooding into landfills, with associated pollution concerns.  

What is the European Union doing?

The first Ecodesign standards for PCs and servers entered into force in July 2014, with stricter standards set for January 2016. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the sector, the revision of the Ecodesign regulation will take place no later than three and a half years after its entry into force in 2013, a shorter period than for most other products. These measures will lead to 16 TWh/year of savings by 2020, equivalent to the residential electricity consumption of Greece.

What does the coolproducts campaign want?

  • Remove exemptions for high-end desktops and laptops and introduce bolder requirements on power supply efficiency and other environmental aspects.
  • Reduce sleep mode limits to 2.5 W for desktops and 1.5 W for notebooks.
  • Set information and minimum requirements on life-cycle energy/CO2 impact; use of recycled material; marking of recyclable plastics; ease of disassembly; hazardous content; and lifetime extension.
  • Ensure better centralisation of market data for market monitoring.

Further reading:

  • Coolproducts blog 'Will Europe lead the way on green computers?'
  • Our concerns about the use of voluntary agreements instead of legislation

Coolproducts' technical input and position papers:

2017 – Technical contribution to draft review study report