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Apple Dropping EPEAT Risked Big Sales; Decision Reversed

Apple Dropping EPEAT Risked Big Sales; Decision Reversed
July 11, 2012 1:20PM

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Story Update -- July 14 -- In response to a deluge of negative feedback, Apple has decided not to withdraw from the EPEAT registry. A letter from Bob Mansfield, Apple's Senior VP of Hardware Engineering, explains their decision to remove Apple products from EPEAT was a mistake. See his letter below, following our original July 11 report.

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Apple has stopped using an environmental certification program for its products. In response, at least one major American city has decided to stop using Apple products.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said Tuesday that it has decided to drop out of the EPEAT rating system, which is used to monitor computers' environment impact. As a result, the fifty departments of the city of San Francisco are no longer allowed to buy computers or displays from the nearby technology giant, although EPEAT does not currently apply to smartphones or tablets such as iPhones or iPads.

'Comprehensive Approach'

Apple's decision could reverberate among other governmental units in the U.S., as well as universities, many of which use the standards as a factor in deciding which technological products to buy.

The huge University of California, for instance, has said that it is considering whether to continue purchasing Apple products. In addition, the federal government reportedly requires that 95 percent of its purchased computers have EPEAT certification.

Apple was a participant in the creation of the EPEAT standard in 2006, which was formulated by a group of technology companies, environmental organizations and federal agencies. Apple says that it will continue to meet rigorous environmental standards, such as the federal Energy Star energy efficiency program.

Company spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told news media that Apple "takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our environmental impact." She added that Apple leads "the industry by reporting each product's greenhouse gas emissions on our Web site, and Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials."

Batteries Glued to Casing

EPEAT is managed by an independent, non-profit organization of the same name. On its Web site, the organization said that it regretted that "Apple will no longer be registering its products in EPEAT," and expressed the hope that the company would change its mind.

The organization said that its rating offers a chance for participating electronics manufacturers to "showcase and validate their greener design initiatives, cleaner production and customer support services." It added that the standard is "more than simply a product rating," because it is a "community effort" to define and maintain best practices for environmental sustainability for electronic products.

As Apple has been a leader in environmental awareness and advocacy, such as in its use of energy at its facilities and the elimination of toxic chemicals from its products, the move is puzzling. EPEAT's CEO, Robert Frisbee, told news media that his conversations with Apple have indicated that their "design direction is not compatible with EPEAT standards." (continued...)

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Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Ed.:

Posted: 2012-07-14 @ 10:45am PT
@Jessica: That's right, as of Friday July 13, Apple reversed their decision and announced that they will continue to participate in the EPEAT rating system.

Jessica McNitt:

Posted: 2012-07-14 @ 2:54am PT
Both EPEAT and APPLE website state they are working together again? 7/14/2012



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