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Amazon adds greener electronics ranking

EPEAT certification ranks computers on a variety of criteria, including energy efficiency, toxic materials, and recycling programs.

Most of us are familiar with the EnergyStar label for power-efficient goods. But what if you're shopping for something that's environmentally friendly in other ways?

Amazon has added a green category to its electronics page, using both EnergyStar and the broader EPEAT certification to rank products, the Green Electronics Council said on Wednesday.

Screen capture by Martin LaMonica/CNET

There are now more than 800 electronics products listed on Amazon that meet the EPEAT certification, which ranks computing equipment on 51 environmental factors. Products get a bronze, silver, or gold label based on how many of the performance criteria they meet.

EPEAT-certified computing equipment has lower levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury and has to meet EnergyStar energy-efficient targets. Manufacturers also need to offer recycling or take-back programs.

The EPEAT registry of compliant products has been used mainly by government or corporations but the company is seeking to make the information available to consumers as well. In addition to computers, the group is creating a ranking system for televisionsand imaging equipment.

The membership of the organization, which was originally started by the Environmental Protection Agency, is made up of manufacturers, recyclers, and advocacy groups.