Apple Backpedals, Puts "All Eligible Products" Back on EPEAT Environmental Registry

Last week, Apple notified the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) that it was withdrawing its products from the EPEAT registry, and would no longer be submitting its products for evaluation. EPEAT measures the environmental impact of electronics and is used by many corporations and governmental organizations as a yardstick on enterprise purchases.

In one well-publicized instance, the city of San Francisco said it would no longer purchase Macs without EPEAT certification.

Letterfrombob
In an unusual about-face, Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield wrote an open letter reversing the decision to remove Apple products from the EPEAT registry.

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. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever. Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry.

We've received word that Bob Mansfield is sending a copy of the letter, from his @Apple.com email address, to customers who had expressed concern over the EPEAT withdrawal.

A full list of Apple's EPEAT-rated products is available, and includes the latest releases of the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee also wrote a letter confirming Apple and EPEAT's commitment to working together and hinting at future changes to the EPEAT judging process to work with Apple as it continues its cutting edge computer designs.

We look forward to Apple’s strong and creative thoughts on ongoing standards development. The outcome must reward new directions for both design and sustainability, simultaneously supporting the environment and the market for all manufacturers’ elegant and high-performance products.

An interesting question for EPEAT is how to reward innovations that are not yet envisioned with standards that are fixed at a point in time. Diverse goals, optional points awarded for innovations not yet described, and flexibility within specified parameters to make this happen are all on the table in EPEAT stakeholder discussions. And of course, timely standards development, as with newly created Imaging Equipment and Television standards, and the current refresh of the PC/Display standard, is critical as well.

Slate's Farhad Manjoo called the entire EPEAT situation a "really strange unforced error."

Top Rated Comments

DoNoHarm Avatar
111 months ago
I think Macrumors.com deserves a lot of credit here. You guys acted like true journalists and brought this issue to the public's attention and the world is a better place because of it. Thanks! :)
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KSpider Avatar
111 months ago
Perhaps EPEAT agreed to possibly review their requirements.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hitekalex Avatar
111 months ago
Typical Apple..

a) Do something unilateral and drastic
b) Sit silent for a few days while watching backlash from upset customers and media
c) Offer half-hazard "I am not pissing on your head, it's just raining" explanation
d) Reverse (a)
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tommy060289 Avatar
111 months ago

It sounds like EPEAT needs to evolve, and Apple just kicked their ass to do so. Hopefully Apple never compromises on design to fit some external, outdated environmental standard. Perhaps soon EPEAT will change, and Apple will be the only ones complying with it, having written the standards themselves.

some people on this forum seriously need to pull their heads out of Apple's ass. It borders on delusional fanaticism! If your worshipping a company you've clearly got some serious issues and are incapable of appreciating apple's products for what they are! simply great products.

I have a lot of Apple stuff in my house and I buy them for one reason and one reason only. because they are genuinely the best products on the market. you shouldn't buy any product out of blind loyalty. Its up to apple to keep there kit at the top of the chain. If it starts falling and gets over taken I shan't be hanging around. I almost left once before after the travesty of the terribly flimsy plastic MacBooks that came out around 2006. The quality of the plastic was shoddy at best and I had two cases replaced (I didn't treat them rough by any standard). Apples after-care may have been second to none I expect build quality of a near £1000 laptop. These is premium priced kit, not a pile-em-high sell-em-cheap hp. I really was ready to buy one of the better built Sony's but luckily apple moved on and brought out the aluminium style MBP which are a million miles away in build quality and the best build I know of!

Good to see Apple back on the EPEAT. I'm surprised the MBPr is on there? I thought the glued in battery precluded it from getting approval? or has it just received a lower grade? Glueing in the battery is on face value a stupid idea. Though I don't know the product well enough to say if they've had to use glue to get it in there and prevent using other fixing plates (though I doubt it really had no other option that to glue it)
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gmanist1000 Avatar
111 months ago
Companies make mistakes...
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ReallyBigFeet Avatar
111 months ago
You know what Bob? MAJOR CREDIBILITY GAIN HERE!

I'm actually pretty well versed on EPEAT standards and, while it is true they need to be updated (they are about 18 months behind the industry curve right now), I was very disappointed to hear that Apple just yanked support rather than try to use their weight to change the standards to something that made more sense not just for Apple but for the rest of the industry.

Big thumbs up in my book here...everybody wins!
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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