Apple Speaks Out On Ditching The EPEAT

Apple Speaks Out On Ditching The EPEAT

Apple recently pulled all of its products from the U.S. government-backed Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). This is a big deal because EPEAT is largely considered the de facto “green” standard for U.S. companies.

The reason Apple withdrew its 39 products was speculated to be because of the EPEAT’s requirements for device repairability—something Apple has definitely shied away from in recent years with products like the iPhone, iPad, and new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Apple has now issued an official statement on its decision to part ways with EPEAT.

The Loop reports:

“Apple takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our environmental impact and all of our products meet the strictest energy efficiency standards backed by the US government, Energy Star 5.2,” Apple representative Kristin Huguet, told The Loop. “We also lead the industry by reporting each product’s greenhouse gas emissions on our website, and Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials.”

There are several other reasons why it’s totally understandable that Apple would ditch EPEAT. Not only does EPEAT not measure smartphones and tablets (something that’s obviously very important for Apple), but EPEAT rated products have to meet the requirement of  “disassemble-ability” for recycling purposes. Most of Apple’s designs make it very difficult to take a product apart.

While Apple is still very committed to being eco-friendly, the U.S. government along with many corporations and educational institutions require purchased computers to be EPEAT certified. For instance, the city of San Francisco has already decided to stop buying Macs.

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  • aardman

    Skating to where the puck is going to be. . .

  • joewaylo

    It might impact educational and governments, but Apple doesn’t hold that many computers. So it wouldn’t be much of an impact. We still rely on XP more than we do with OS X anyways. 3/4s or more of the government computers today are still hugging Windows XP.

  • morgan3nelson

    EPEAT is another Government agency that has outlived it’s usefulness by not evolving, it needs to reevaluate it’s guidelines and requirements. Just because something is easy to disassemble doesn’t mean it is “greener” than something that cannot be disassembled. Kudos to Apple for taking a proactive position on this.

  • technochick

    EPEAT is another Government agency that has outlived it’s usefulness by not evolving, it needs to reevaluate it’s guidelines and requirements. Just because something is easy to disassemble doesn’t mean it is “greener” than something that cannot be disassembled. Kudos to Apple for taking a proactive position on this.

    Exactly. And just cause common man doesn’t have the tools doesn’t mean that Apple doesn’t or that they won’t set up a program to use those tools for prepping machines for recycling. EPEAT puts too much on this need to take a standard Phillips head and pop out the battery so everything else can easily go in an industrial shredder without considering there might be a better way and places like Apple are going that way. Including making machines that last longer. What is more green. A machine that lasts six years with a battery that lasts three of that. Or a machine that lasts two, maybe three, with a battery that last one year of that.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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