How bout this Apple?
UPDATE: Apple announced July 13 it would return to the EPEAT green electronics registry. It released the news on its web site and included a letter to customers from Senior VP of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield. "We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system," he wrote. "I recognize that this was a mistake."
Last May I wrote that one of Apple CSR’s problems is that it hasn’t really adopted the triple bottom line. A couple of weeks ago we got another indication for that when Apple pulled out of EPEAT, a green consumer electronics rating system. This step means that Apple will no longer submit its products for green certification from EPEAT and that it was pulling its currently certified 39 laptops, desktops and monitors from the registry. It might also mean that as of now Apple’s approach to sustainability should be described as the ‘Gordon Gekko strategy’ rather than the ‘Little Dutch Boy Strategy.’
The impetus for Apple’s withdrawal from EPEAT is its new MacBook Pro with Retina display, which does not meet EPEAT disassembly criteria – its glass display is fused with the top of the case, while the battery is glued to the bottom. “If the battery is glued to the case it means you can’t recycle the case and you can’t recycle the battery,” Robert Frisbee, CEO of EPEAT told the CIO Report. Yet, according to Frisbee this is not just about one Mac with some glued parts – “They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements.”
So what is EPEAT anyway? It is “a comprehensive environmental rating that helps identify greener computers and other electronic equipment.” It was developed by the Green Electronics Council, with the support of the EPA and in collaboration with stakeholders from the business, advocacy, government and academic arenas. Apple was one of the companies that helped create the EPEAT standards back in 2006 and almost all its desktops, monitors and Macs were EPEAT-certified since then. The list doesn’t include iPhones and iPads, as EPEAT doesn’t certify (yet) smartphones and tablets.
Apple’s dropping EPEAT won’t be without a cost – some organizations and companies require that their laptops and computers will be EPEAT-certified. So as of now, Apple won’t be able to sell Macs to almost all of the federal agencies, dozens of top universities and companies such as Ford, HSBC, and Kaiser Permanente. The first one to indicate the consequences of its step was the City of San Francisco. Officials with the San Francisco Department of Environment told the CIO Report they will inform all 50 of the city’s agencies that “Apple laptops and desktops “will no longer qualify” for purchase with city funds.”