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.
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."