Learn About FEC

What was the Challenge?

The Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC) was a partnership program 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, but is still providing technical information through webinars and by updating the resources on the website. The Federal Electronics Challenge was managed by EPA and the the 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.

Why Electronics?

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 Should 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 sets goals for the federal government to improve its environmental, energy and economic performance, in part through specific electronics stewardship activities. The FEC assists federal agencies and facilities in meeting the goals of E.O. 13514 and facing the challenges posed by electronics acquisition, use and disposal.

*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 can also assist Partners in improving data center and server management.

What were the Goals of the FEC?

The national program goals of the FEC were as follows:

These goals align with the federal government's electronic stewardship goals, as defined in Executive Order 13514, "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance."