The EU ENERGY STAR Programme follows an Agreement between the USA Government and the European Union on the co-ordination of voluntary energy labelling of office equipment, approved by the EU Council in April 2003. The management entity for ENERGY STAR is the European Commission, Directorate General for Energy (DG ENERGY), advised by the Member States and stakeholders' experts in the European Community ENERGY STAR Board (ECESB). The Work Plan of the Commission gives an overview of the scope and planning of work with the ECESB. Current topics include the Development of specifications for monitors and imaging equipment with US EPA (see PDF downloads in right column). Activities to promote the EU ENERGY STAR, such as this website, are part of SAVE, which is now part of the Intelligent Energy - Europe (IEE) programme.
EU legislation that is potentially relevant for the energy efficiency of office equipment includes:
- a possible extension of the 92/75 Directive (mandatory labelling of home appliances),
- the EUP Directive (draft directive, concerning ecodesign of Energy Using Products),
- the framework directive on Performance of Buildings (approved 2002).
- the Energy Services directive.
The relevant policy objectives for these (and other) measures are:
- diminishing the EU's dependence on imported energy (keyword Security of Supply), and
- the abatement of Green House Gas emissions (notably CO2) to reach Kyoto targets.
The European Commission's efforts in the framework of Kyoto are co-ordinated within the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP). Links to initiatives in individual countries or groups of countries, related to energy efficient office equipment, can be found here.
Some EU policies and measures relating to all environmental aspects of office equipment, with no special emphasis on energy, are:
- Ecolabel (voluntary EU environmental label, e.g. for Desktop PC and Notebook).
- WEEE (directive on Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment), RoHS (Restrictions on use of Hazardous Substances).
- EMAS (voluntary Environmental Monitoring and Auditing Scheme, EMAS companies show a special commitment to environmental policy and could extend this by becoming ENERGY STAR partners; compare ISO 14000, compare also the EU commitment to Corporate Governance).
- IPP (Integrated Product Policy, White Paper).
An example of EU policy in the field of promoting the use of IT equipment is the eEurope 2005 programme, targeted at E-Learning, E-Finance, E-Health and E-Commerce.