Apple rejoins EPEAT green list, admits its mistake

Apple has changed its position, and got back on board with the environmentally friendly gang.

Joe Svetlik
Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
2 min read

Apple has pulled what's known in this game as a reverse ferret -- it's rejoined the EPEAT rating system that it withdrew its products from only last week.

The company posted an open letter on its website explaining the volte-face. "I recognise this was a mistake," wrote Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of hardware engineering. "Starting today, all eligible products are back on EPEAT."

Last week came news that Apple had made the decision to take all its products off EPEAT's national registry of environmentally sound products. EPEAT stands for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, and takes into account many factors to ensure products are as green as possible. Factors include energy consumption, the ability to recycle and upgrade, and which production processes are involved.

The recycling part was thought to be at issue. Apple's MacBook Pro with Retina display is near impossible to disassemble, making it hard to recycle.

Mansfield didn't specify the reason Apple withdrew from EPEAT, but did stress the Cupertino company's dedication to making environmentally friendly products. He said a lot of Apple's progress has been in areas not yet covered by EPEAT, such as in removing harmful toxins.

This week, city officials in San Francisco were banned from buying Apple computers for business use, seeing as they weren't on the EPEAT list. Call me a cynic, but the potential drop in sales may have had something to do with Apple reconsidering its position.

"Our relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience, and we look forward to working with EPEAT as their rating system and the underlying IEEE 1680.1 standard evolve," Mansfield wrote. "Our team at Apple is dedicated to designing products that everyone can be proud to own and use."

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