18 July 2007 | Paul Snell
New European regulations will force public sector purchasers to buy "green".
Under the scheme Whitehall buyers will have to apply energy efficiency criteria when purchasing office equipment. It is the first time the EU has mandated these standards.
The regulations will also apply to buyers at EU institutions themselves.
The regulation follows a European Parliament vote to amend its Energy Star programme - a labelling policy agreed by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the EU. Energy Star labels identify office equipment, such as monitors and computers, as meeting efficiency standards.
The EU hopes the scheme will stimulate increased demand for these products.
Andreas Pielbags, EU energy commissioner, said in a statement: "It is important both for environmental reasons and as a means of saving taxpayers' money, since energy efficient office equipment is also cost-effective."
The legislation will be approved by the Council of Ministers later this month. A list of products meeting the energy star standard is available at www.eu-energystar.org