Apple abandons U.S. green certification
By John D. Sutter
Is hip design is more important than being green?
Technology giant Apple is catching heat on blogs this week for its decision to drop one of the U.S. government’s environmental certifications for electronics, called EPEAT.
“In making this move, Apple is signaling that it won’t let future design decisions be governed by those seeking to uphold environmental standards,” Erica Ogg writes for the GigaOm blog network.
The decision has some ramifications. According to EPEAT’s website, 95% of electronics purchases from U.S. federal agencies must be EPEAT-compliant. That probably means federal agencies can’t buy Apple desktop and laptop computers at this time.
San Francisco also has a rule on the books prohibiting the city from purchasing desktop and laptop computers that are not EPEAT-certified, said Christine Falvey, spokeswoman for the mayor. So the city will not be able to purchase Apple desktops and laptops unless Apple gets the green certification again.
“We hope they reconsider and get back on the EPEAT certification list,” Falvey said, “and we’ll be reaching out to them to see how we can help understand their decision.”
Apple hasn’t commented on why it removed itself from EPEAT, which is awarded to electronics that are recyclable and energy-efficient. But EPEAT’s CEO, Robert Frisbee, says Apple’s “design direction” may be to blame.
“They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements,” Frisbee told the Wall Street Journal. “They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don’t want their products measured by this standard anymore.”
So what’s the design hangup?
There’s speculation that Apple’s new line of “retina display” laptops aren’t easily recyclable because their batteries are glued to the aluminum case on the computer.