Learn About FEC
- What was the challenge?
- Why electronics?
- Why did the federal government get involved?
- Which products does the FEC target?
- What were the goals of the FEC?
What was the Challenge?
The Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC) was a partnership program that ran from 2005-2013 that encouraged federal facilities and agencies to:
- Purchase greener electronics
- Reduce impacts of electronics during use
- Manage used electronics in an environmentally safe way
The program ended the partnership and awards sections of the program in August 2013. The Federal Electronics Challenge was managed by EPA and CEQ's Office of Federal Sustainability (OFS forrmerly OFEE). The Federal Electronics Stewardship Working Group acted as an advisory board for the FEC. Moving forward, federal facilities that are interested in being recognized for electronic stewardship should join the Federal Green Challenge.
The purchasing, use, and disposition of electronics, such as computers, printers, and mobile phones, has significant environmental impacts. Electronic equipment may:
- Contain toxic constituents
- Consume significant energy during use
- Present complex challenges when disposed of
These characteristics present opportunities and responsibilities in managing electronic products to reduce the environmental impacts associated with each phase of the electronics life-cycle:
- Acquisition and procurement
- Operation and maintenance
- End-of-life management
Why Did the Federal Government Get Involved?
The federal government, which purchases billions of dollars* worth of information technology equipment and services annually, has the opportunity to provide leadership in the environmentally-sound and cost-effective management of electronic assets throughout their life-cycle. Executive Order (E.O.) 13514 (since revoked) set goals for the federal government to improve its environmental, energy and economic performance, in part through specific electronics stewardship activities. The FEC assisted federal agencies and facilities in meeting the goals of E.O. 13514 (since revoked).
*Source: U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
Which Products Did the FEC Target?
The FEC targeted common office electronics such as:
- Desktop and laptop/portable computers
- Computer monitors, televisions and other displays
- Computer peripherals
- Imaging equipment, like printers, fax and copy machines
- Mobile and handheld devices
The FEC also assisted Partners in improving data centers and server management.
What Were the Goals of the FEC?
The national program goals of the FEC were as follows:
- 95 percent of eligible electronic equipment purchased or leased annually by FEC Partners facilities is EPEAT-registered.
- 100 percent of eligible computers and monitors in operation at FEC Partner facilities have ENERGY STAR power management features enabled.
- 100 percent of eligible computers and imaging equipment in operation at FEC Partner facilities have duplexing features set to default.
- Desktop computers at FEC Partner facilities have an average life span of at least four years.
- Used electronic equipment from FEC Partner facilities is reused internally or donated for reuse, to the maximum extent practicable.
- 100 percent of non-reusable electronic equipment disposed of annually by FEC Partner facilities is recycled using third-party certified recyclers.
- Data centers at FEC Partner facilities utilize best management practices.
These goals aligned with the federal government's electronic stewardship goals, as defined in Executive Order 13514, "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance" (since revoked).