Apple Issues Statement on EPEAT Registry Withdrawal

Late last week, we noted that Apple had pulled all of its qualifying Mac products from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry for environmental ratings.

The move, which is said to have been related to Apple's design decisions that will disqualify its new and upcoming products from the registry, has the potential to impact Apple's presence in governmental and institutional purchasing. The city of San Francisco is among the first entities to act on Apple's withdrawal, announcing that it will bar most municipal Mac purchases.

Apple has now issued a statement to The Loop addressing its environmental outlook and its commitment to continue meeting other modern standards like Energy Star.

“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.”

The Loop's Jim Dalrymple notes that even EPEAT acknowledges that many of its standards are outdated, with Apple apparently believing that those criteria have become too restrictive and do not address the full gamut of the company's environmental commitments.

Top Rated Comments

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108 months ago
In these posts I've seen the following:
1) People attacking San Francisco because Apple products no longer fit their policy (if they bend the policy, what is the point of the policy?) or saying their tax dollars shouldn't be wasted on Macs (despite 1-2% of all computer being Macs) or the fact that it's a hippie town (what does that have to do with anything?)
2) People attacking Apple for no longer caring about the environment when there is evidence in the past for the exact opposite.
3) People attacking EPEAT for having outdated standards (though I don't think most people even know what those standards are), though Apple proudly touted their logo for the last 5 years. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

Honestly, I wish people would act rationally about discussing this topic instead of ad hominem attacks against people. I'd rather have the following:
1) Cities and governments commit to green initiatives that they've already put into place.
2) Apple to describe what it is doing to environmentally dispose of products like the iPad and Retina MacBook Pro where glue is used.
3) EPEAT to update its standards where necessary and work with Apple to update them (Apple did help with the guidelines when EPEAT was founded).

The amount of vitriol around this issue is unproductive at best and idiotic at worst. People need to work on issues and stop mindlessly attacking each other (I don't expect corporations and our government to act any better than the people work there).
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago

It still doesn't excuse making it harder for an average consumer to tear apart the device to take it in for recycling.


Honestly, how many consumers tear apart their computers on their own? Most people that don’t just trash their computers or sell them as is on ebay are taking them as is to the local trash company and pay to dispose them in with other computers. They don’t tear them down themselves.

Heck our company pays somebody to dispose computers without discrimination and we are EPEAT Gold.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago

Hmmm, thats a pretty good point there.

It still doesn't excuse making it harder for an average consumer to tear apart the device to take it in for recycling.

Although I imagine that was more useful at a time when there were fewer places you could take whole old devices to recycle.

The average consumer would GO TO THE NEAREST APPLE STORE AND TAKE THEIR DEVICE FOR RECYCLING AND GET A GIFT CARD FOR DOING SO..if there are no Apple Store nearby, the average consumer will get Apple to ship it for free to recycle their old device and get a gift card for doing so.

P.S. I got a $163 for recycling my old ass almost dead iMac..

http://www.apple.com/recycling/
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
Or, the smart consumer will sell it on eBay / Craigslist and make more money than if he/she were to give it back to Apple and get a gift card.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
Damage control... or rather image control or PR... what ever you wanna call it. This is what Apple is doing.

I have admit there are certain things the EPEAT can do to make their standards better. (If they so believe they are outdated).
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago

That's the lamest excuse I have ever heard from a company. They are attacking a standard as an excuse for pulling there products from attempting to follow that standard.

They should just face it that they can't meet EPEAT environmental standards. I love Apple products, but come on and stop trying to make excuses.

What is helpful for the environment is to do things that are good for the environment. What is not helpful for the environment is following standards about the environment.

Apple is saying here "we could follow EPEAT standards, but it would make our products worse, and it wouldn't help the environment". It is common sense tbat if there is an "environmental standard" demanding things from you that are not actually beneficial for the environment, then yes, you attack the standard. Or do you want the environment to be damaged because companies blindly follow standards that don't help the environment?


You seem to be assuming that all of EPEAT's standards are actually good for the environment. A lot of environmental standards and regulations, as well as public assumptions about what is good for the environment, have turned out not to be.

As an example, EPEAT requires that a product contains 25% recycled plastic. So if one product has 1000 grams of plastic of which 250 gram come from recycled sources, and another has 200 grams only with none coming recycled, think about which is more environmentally friendly, and guess which one follows EPEAT standard.


When I first started buying Apple products in the mid-2000's, I remember that Apple was having a hard time getting certified as "green" by anyone. Their products at the time had higher than average levels of toxic materials. Looking back on those days as "the good old days" is like thinking fondly of our childhood when we'd collect the mercury from broken thermometers so we could roll the pretty, harmless, liquid metal across our palms.

I think you are talking about the infamous Greenpeace report. Greenpeace didn't compare levels of toxic materials. Greenpeace compared companies promises to remove toxic materials. In one case (bromide flame retardants) they marked HP up for promising to get rid of BFRs within two years, and marked Apple down for not making any such promise. They just failed to notice that Apple had removed BFRs two years earlier so obviously wouldn't make any promises to do so in the future. (They also didn't get that Apple preferred actions to words, so they wouldn't announce plans, they would just do it. Get's you negative points when Greenpeace finds it easier to judge companies by their promises).


Everyone is enlightened. If Apple does it, it's good. Even when it's not. Replace Apple here with Samsung, Microsoft, Google, etc and it would be a terrible thing. No explanations would be needed, would they? :rolleyes:

So you make some blind accusations without any shred of evidence, and when you are called to actually show evidence, you follow by more blind accusations without any shred of evidence, and you get voted up. Brilliant.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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