Yolanda just posted a bit on UC Berkeley’s pending approval/disapproval of a Green Initiative Fund. And in more green UC news, last week all of the UC system got a little greener by passing an “Environmental Sustainability Policy” that includes provisions on energy, global warming, waste, and eco-friendly electronics purchasing.

As part of that pledge, the ten UC schools become the first universities in the nation to adopt guidelines for buying greener electronics, finding better ways to dispose of e-waste, and initiating “takeback” recycling. The school system will only buy products registered under the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, which computer equipment according to a set of environmental standards such as reduction in harmful chemicals, designs that are more easily recycled, and product longevity.

They have also integrated a “takeback” requirement in their purchasing contracts that will force electronic manufacturers to take care of used products, and they have also created criteria for responsible recycling for those vendors. This criteria includes a ban on both exporting the e-waste to developing nations and using prison labor in here the United States.

And this is no small beans — the UCs have 200,000 students, and buy an average of 10,000 computers each month, creating 1 million pounds of e-waste annually.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The hard drive for sustainable hard drives was led by students with the Toxic-Free UC campaign, which is sponsored by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.