A world first – Irish eco PC secures EU Eco Flower label

9 Sep 2011

A touchscreen PC manufactured by Irish company MicroPro Computers is the first integrated desktop PC worldwide to secure the prestigious Eco Flower Label of the European Union.

The iameco computer is an entirely new market offering with an upgradable, silent-running, solid state design that will run on any of the leading operating systems, including Mac OS and Windows 7.

Manufactured by Dublin-based MicroPro Computers, it achieves previously unattainable standards of energy efficiency, reusability and recyclability on the market.

It consumes just 0.8 watts of power in standby mode, zero watts in off mode, and 21 watts in full operation – just one-third of the power usage of other desktop computers – and incorporates the most environmentally benign components in a fully reusable and ultimately recyclable chassis and housing with a design life of up to 10 years.

The EU Eco Flower Label is the most difficult environmental standard to secure, and the most rigorously enforced. While its flower logo may be simple, the environmental criteria behind it are tough, and only the best products, which are kindest to the environment, are entitled to carry the EU Eco Flower Label.

The Eco Label confirms the quality and design of products from an environmental sustainability perspective, including the grades of components, their impacts on the environment and their ability to be reused and recycled.

‘I am Eco’ PC developed during intense R&D programme

The EU Eco Label for the iameco desktop computer was secured following an exhaustive, two-year development and testing process by MicroPro, under the Cleaner Greener Production Programme (CGPP) of the Environmental Protection Agency and with inputs from Fraunhofer Technical University in Germany and Limerick University.

“In designing the iameco range of computers, we set out to develop a computer that transparently meets the highest international standards of environmental sustainability without any compromise to performance, design or usability,” MicroPro CEO Paul Maher explained.

“We are proud that as an Irish computer manufacturer, we are the first to secure the Eco Flower Label and we are confident that iameco computers will set the standard for others in computer design, manufacture and operation to follow in minimising damaging effects on our environment.”

Maher said that while the leading manufacturers of IT globally were increasingly taking account of the impacts of their manufacturing and distribution activities on the environment, progress has been too slow.

“It is clear that the industry leaders have conflicting priorities. However, if we are to protect our natural heritage for future generations and limit the harmful impacts of how we live today on many of the Earth’s most vulnerable groups, we have to move sustainability centre stage.

“This is particularly critical in computer manufacture where so many of the materials and processes we use are harmful to the environment. As a small Irish company, with the iameco desktop computer, MicroPro is happy to lead the industry in sustainable computer design.”

Sustainable businesses lead the way

Speaking at the launch of the iameco computer, Laura Burke, EPA director, said: “Through the Cleaner Greener Production Programme, the EPA is assisting Irish enterprises to improve their environmental performance.

“Businesses like MicroPro that participated in the EPA’s CGPP initiative have shown how achieving resource efficiency brings big economic opportunities. For example, a recent study showed almost €1.6m per annum worth of savings for CGPP companies from a one-off investment by the EPA of €1m.”

Launching the iameco computer at the Science Gallery, Trinity College today (Friday, 9 September), Irish presidential candidate, statesman, and former minister for arts and culture, Michael D Higgins, said: “As far back as 1992, when I attended the very first global conference on sustainable development in Rio, I have seen a clear social dividend to be gained from a more balanced and imaginative relationship between science, technology and our environment.

“Our society increasingly relies on computer technologies and communications platforms for everyday interactions between people and businesses, at home and in the workplace.

“While this technology has undoubtedly brought major benefits there are also costs, including a significant impact on our environment. A truly creative society is about more than the arts, craft and design – it is also about innovative approaches to scientific and social challenges.

“I am delighted to see that MicroPro Computers, as an Irish technology company which has been striving for many years to minimise environmental impact while maintaining cutting-edge technology, has been recognised with the European Union’s Eco Flower label for their iameco touchscreen computer,” Higgins said.

The iameco computer range is available from MicroPro Computers, 98 Nutgrove Avenue, or via the iameco or MicroPro websites.

Photos: The iameco (“I Am Eco”) PC, the first integrated desktop PC worldwide to secure the prestigious Eco Flower Label from the EU

I am Eco

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years