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Apple Ditches EPEAT Electronics Standards

Apple has withdrawn its products from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry – a leading sustainability listing for computer manufacturers – and will no longer submit its products to EPEAT for environmental rating, according to the electronics standard setting group.

Apple asked EPEAT to pull all of its 39 certified desktop computers, monitors and laptops off EPEAT’s list of green products last month, the Wall Street Journal reports, in its CIO Journal blog. This included Apple’s latest versions of the MacBook Pro (pictured) and MacBook Air.

Apple did not return calls seeking comment.

EPEAT, which is run by the non-profit Zero Waste Alliance, describes itself as the “definitive global registry for greener electronics.” It lists over 2,000 individual products, including desktops, laptops and monitors, from 29 manufacturers in the US alone.

InfoWorld writes the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is at least partially to blame for Apple’s decision. The new design makes it difficult to disassemble to repair and upgrade — or recycle. To meet EPEAT standards, manufacturers must show that recyclers can easily disassemble their electronics products and separate batteries and other toxic components.

EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee told the Wall Street Journal that Apple had decided its “design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements.”

The move could cost Apple government and corporate customers, reports The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW). EPEAT spokeswoman Sarah O’Brien told the blog that Ford and Kaiser Permanente, among other companies, require CIOs to purchase EPEAT-certified products, and the US government requires that 95 percent of all electronics purchased display the EPEAT certification seal.

EPEAT’s registry of participating manufacturers, meanwhile, lists Apple competitor companies and their EPEAT-certified products: Dell has 171, Hewlett Packard has 221 and Samsung has 309.

In May, Apple said it will power its 500,000-square-foot data center in Maiden, N.C., entirely with renewable energy by the end of the year. The announcement followed protests against Apple by Greenpeace activists who criticized the company for powering its iCloud using coal-fired power plants. Apple received the fifth-lowest score in Greenpeace’s How Clean is Your Cloud?, a report that compares energy choices from global IT and Internet companies.

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4 thoughts on “Apple Ditches EPEAT Electronics Standards

  1. And we keep being told the cold war is over. It’s a poor reflection on the freedoms we’re supposed to have in this country when you see nonsense like this.

  2. One man’s nonsense is another man’s treasure … It looks like some individuals, along with some companies, are exercising their freedoms by expressing their displeasure with Apple and/or by choosing to buy elsewhere. Sort of how the free market system is supposed to work, isn’t it?

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