The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) “evaluates the environmental impact of a product based on how recyclable it is, how much energy it uses, and how it’s designed and manufactured.” For years, Apple has been one of the EPEAT’s key supporters, with many of the Cupertino company’s computers earning the highest ratings in the industry.
As one of the biggest proponents of green technology and environment friendly packaging, it’s a tad shocking that Apple itself is withdrawing its 39 products from the EPEAT. This means that none of the company’s products technically meet the industry’s green standard anymore. Many large companies, educational institutions, and the U.S. federal government require computers to come with an EPEAT certification, meaning a large portion of the enterprise and education sectors could be barred from purchasing Apple products now.
Apple has been increasingly interested in powering its operations with that happy old sun, working on a 20-megawatt solar farm coupled with a 5-megawatt fuel cell facility at its data supercenter in Maiden, North Carolina. But that’s not nearly good enough, according to Greenpeace. In fact, the environmental activist group has gone so far as to call Apple out for using “asthma-inducing, climate-destroying coal” which makes the iCloud “the dirtiest thing on the internet.”
While investigations into the working conditions in its Chinese factories still underway, Apple has now commissioned an independent environmental group to review its supply chain and identify any environmental concerns. The reviews are set to begin next month, and will focus on the environmental impact of factories belonging to Foxconn and one other unnamed supplier.
Apple takes pride in making its products environmentally friendly. It has worked to reduce its carbon footprint by keeping its product packaging to a minimum, removing toxic materials from its entire product line, making its devices more energy efficient and lots more.
However, the company isn’t the greenest of tech companies. It ranks fourth in Greenpeace’s “Guide to Greener Electronics,” with HP, Dell, and Nokia leading the way.