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Electronic Stewardship

Through a concerted effort, ORNL has proven how seriously the lab takes its responsibility of sustainable electronic stewardship, from acquisition to recycling of decommissioned material. All computing equipment is acquired through qualified partners which provide equipment adherent to EPEAT ecolabeling standards. Occasionally EPEAT-exceptions for computing equipment are necessary for research requirements, yet even with the rare exception, ORNL has continued to surpass the Department of Energy's guidelines for EPEAT compliance.

Upon integration of computing equipment, a series of administration tools manage the energy usage (sleep timing, display shutdown, etc.) to meet both ORNL's baseline requirements and DOE guidelines. Recently, a printer management suite was employed to improve the sustainability of print functionality across the lab; since its implementation, paper and overall ink cartridge usage has decreased. Both computing and printer sustainability attributes will continue to be improved as further enhancements are tested and deployed.

Finally, a number of procedures are followed when equipment is decommissioned to meet or exceed DOE sustainability goals. All electronics are either reused via a transference to other DOE contractors, nonprofit organizations, the Computers-For-Learning Program, or they are recycled by Responsible Recycling Practices-certified recyclers. Since ORNL's adoption of the R2-certified recyclers in 2012, 100% of recycled electronic material has been recycled through this process.