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Electronic Equipment Leasing

Overview

Federal electronic equipment leasing services are quite varied and can involve the supply many products and services, including computers (e.g. desktops and laptops), imaging equipment (e.g. copiers), and/or asset management (e.g. procurement, operation and maintenance, and disposition of the electronic equipment).  Due to the materials used and energy consumed by these products, electronic equipment leasing services have the potential to have significant negative impacts on the environment and public health.  The federal government has a responsibility to procure environmentally preferable electronic equipment, minimize the impacts of this equipment while we use it, and dispose of it responsibly. There are many ways for federal buyers to consider and account for green electronics practices in solicitations and contracts. Below are some tips to help get you started. This type of service typically falls under NAICS code 53420 and Product Service Codes (PSC) W070, W074 and W075.

Downloadable Resources
Selected Past Solicitations If you have past Electronic Equipment Leasing green solicitations that would be informative to the green procurement community, please submit them to sftool@gsa.gov.
Required Green Products

In accordance with FAR Subpart 23.1, federal contracts for electronic equipment leasing services must require contractors to use or supply products covered by the following environmental programs:

Includes toner ink.
Includes printing paper, ramanufactured printer ribbons, and remanufactured toner cartridges.
Includes copiers, dvd players, docking stations, and more.
Includes computers, monitors, imaging equipment, and more.
Includes computers, docking stations, fax machines, and more.

 

Download a suggested list of related products covered by these federal environmental programs. When you view the related product list, under Procurement Info, you will notice some products include Other EPA Recommended Standards and Ecolabels. These recommendations are now final and are federally required.

You should also consider requiring contractors to submit regular reports identifying the quantity and type of green products used or delivered during contract performance.  This will help your Agency prepare the required annual reports submitted as part of the OMB Energy and Sustainability Scorecard.

Optional Green Practices

There are many other commercial practices that will result in a more sustainable and environmentally preferable service. Consider these when defining performance requirements and developing evaluation criteria.

  • Lease refurbished electronics when possible.
  • Consider multi-functional devices (ex. combined printer, fax, scanner, & copier) to reduce the number of products needed to be serviced/procured.
  • Work with the leasing company to choose imaging equipment with the right monthly copy volume to ensure the most efficient energy use. Calculate the number of copies/print jobs you need each month by using machine counters and working with the leasing company.
  • Require imaging equipment that is capable of duplex copying/printing and ensure duplexing is set as the default option.  This default should be set up when the item is delivered and should be set/re-established whenever the equipment is maintained.
  • Toner and Ink Cartridge Requirements or Preferences:
    • Specify returnable, recyclable, or all-in-one ink and toner cartridges that can be re-engineered.
    • Specify remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, or cartridges containing recycled content.
    • Require non-toxic ink and toner.
    • Require contractors to take back spent toner and ink cartridges
  • Require minimal and recyclable packaging and/or arrange for packaging taken back for reuse.   
  • Require contractors to provide Material Safety Data Sheets and other documents to substantiate their claims. These claims can be substantiated if the contractor gets certified to EPEAT, Energy Star, and/or FEMP.
  • Enable the Energy Star power management features (e.g., sleep, standby or hibernate) on 100% of computers and monitors or to the maximum degree based on mission needs.
  • Specify equipment that can use recycled content paper.
  • Require contractors to follow agency media sanitization policies or guidelines.
  • Require leased equipment to be reused, donated, sold, or recycled using environmentally sound management practices, including the use of third party certified refurbishers and recyclers. Consider the sample langauage and guidance included in the 2015 Federal Electronic Asset Take-Back Guidance, which addresses the inclusion of provisions in contracts or leases for manufacturer or reseller take-back of used electronic assets.
  • If leasing, be aware that there are three general leasing options available: Lease to Ownership Program (LTOP), Lease with Option to Purchase (LWOP) and Lease. LWOP and Lease are preferred as they put the onus of equipment refurbishment, recycling, or disposal on the contractor.
  • Consider longer lease terms and technology refresh rates to extend initial product life.
  • Define lease terms and product life extension strategies for different types of equipment based on useful life.
  • Consider optional extensions of warranty and software licenses beyond the lease term.
  • Consider cost-per-copy contracts.
  • Require training for users to ensure all are educated on its proper handling and environmental attributes. 
Evaluation Factors

There are many opportunities to consider environmental criteria in your evaluation of offers.  A Pass/Fail approach may be appropriate for establishing basic green product requirements or when market research shows that other sustainable practices are common in the commercial marketplace.  For example, you might require that contractors use third-party certified electronics recyclers to recycle equipment – an offeror can either meet this requirement (pass) or it cannot (fail).  

In some cases, it may be appropriate to consider environmental aspects through a Best Value Tradeoff approach in lieu of, or in addition to, pass/fail criteria.  By incorporating environmental criteria into your evaluation factors, you can weigh a vendor’s ability to offer desirable sustainable practices above and beyond minimum contract requirements in relation to other factors, such as price. Several potential opportunities for incorporating environmental considerations into your evaluation factors are listed below:

  • Operations and Maintenance Costs – Consider life cycle costs of products in addition to price. Require offerors to include information on life cycle costs, including estimates of energy and maintenance costs (including toner cartridge replacements, as applicable). Otherwise, these hidden costs may not be accounted for in the contract award decision, potentially raising total contract costs.
  • Waste Management – Evaluate how contractors intend to minimize, manage, and dispose of equipment & waste.
  • Technical Approach & Management Plan – Require contractors to develop environmental project goals and objectives, address sustainable attributes of products, detail end-of-life considerations, identify other sustainable practices, and develop a project plan that will maximize sustainability objectives.
  • Past Performance – Evaluate how well the contractor performed previous projects where they have successfully performed electronic equipment leasing services, including the supply of green products.
  • Previous Experience – Require contractors to demonstrate their experience and capability to provide green electronic equipment leasing services similar in size, scope, and complexity to the required work.

Your evaluation should also consider all costs over the life of the project, not just the initial cost.  For instance, energy savings and disposal costs impact the total costs over the life of an electronic equipment leasing contract.

Where to Buy

Federal agencies have a variety of lease options under the GSA Multiple Award Schedules Program.  Copiers and other office equipment are available for lease under GSA Multiple Award Schedule 36, while IT products are available under Schedule 70 SIN 132 3.  While these contracts include basic terms and conditions, the ordering agency is responsible for inserting the appropriate green requirements and language into the solicitation.  More information on ordering through GSA Multiple Award Schedules can be found here.