Apple’s Macbooks Are Back On EPEAT Green Registry

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

Apple admits mistake and puts green label back on Macbooks

Apple has put its products back on the EPEAT register of environmentally-friendly products, after a storm of outrage greeted its decision to take them off the list.

Apple’s U-turn took place after the city of San Francisco had plans to cancel all Apple purchases by public sector bodies, following US guildelines that say government agencies should buy equipment that conforms to EPEAT, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, which assesses equipment on its emissions, energy use, toxic materials and recyclability. EPEAT announced earlier this week that Apple had withdrawn its products from the list, for reasons which were never fully explained, given Apple’s otherwise good green credentials.

Apple’s green U-turn

“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,” said Apple’s vice president of hardware engineering, Bob Mansfield In a letter to customers, “Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT..”

Mansfield defended Apple’s record on removal of toxic materials from its products, pointing out that by removing PVC and a lot of plastics, it has already gone beyond the requirements of EPEAT, which are based on the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, and the IEEE 1680.1 standard.

“We are the only company to comprehensively report greenhouse gas emissions for every product we make, taking into account the entire product lifecycle,” said Mansfield. “And we’ve removed plastics wherever possible, in favor of materials that are more highly recyclable, more durable, more efficient and longer lasting.”

Apple’s withdrawal appears now to be a bid to get EPEAT upgraded, from hints in Mansfield’s message: “We think the IEEE 1680.1 standard could be a much stronger force for protecting the environment if it were upgraded to include advancements like these,” he said, after listing some areas where Apple exceeds EPEAT.

“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,” said Mansfield.

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