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UMass Chan IT earns greener electronics award

UMass Chan Medical School has earned a coveted award for leadership in sustainable electronics procurement, utilizing computers, monitors, printers and other digital networking equipment that are more efficient and easier to recycle.

The 2023 EPEAT Purchasing Award “for excellence in procurement of sustainable technology” was presented to UMass Chan by the Global Electronics Council, a nonprofit organization that manages the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) rating system that compares a wide range of electronics based on their environmental attributes.

“We are pleased and humbled to accept this prestigious award,” UMass Chan’s Chief Information Officer Greg Wolf said in a video message at the acceptance ceremony. “UMass Chan supports sustainability efforts across the university and seeks to minimize our environmental impact, recognizing its effects on public health. By choosing EPEAT products, we make a positive impact on the environment and promote sustainable practices while continuing to excel at achieving our mission.”

The EPEAT program evaluates products according to 51 specific sustainability criteria and rates them in three tiers of environmental performance – Bronze, Silver and Gold. The ratings empower purchasing groups to select electronics that are more energy efficient, less toxic, longer lasting and easier to recycle than products that do not meet EPEAT criteria.

UMass Chan’s award was based on its purchasing program for 2022, which included 1,925 electronic devices, from laptops, to mobile phones, printers and other IT components.

By purchasing only EPEAT gold rated devices, UMass Chan saved enough electricity to power 63 homes for a year and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 37 passenger cars of the road for a year.

“This is well-deserved recognition for a great group,” said Kortni Wroten, sustainability and energy manager at UMass Chan. “A lot of people in the IT department worked hard to gather all the data we needed to document their efforts and submit a completive application for the award.”

The EPEAT program was launched in 2002 through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Pictured are members of the group who helped prepare the EPEAT application. From the left, Matt Tracy,
Chris Doyle, Marty Roche, Kortni Wroten, Doug Hancock and Jack Cleary.  Others who helped, not pictured,
are Shane Bourgeois, Scott Dziewietin, Andy Kress, Katie Mattrick, Curtis Walker and Greg Wolf.