Apple pulls products from EPEAT green electronics registry

By Lee Kaelin on July 9, 2012, 8:30 AM

Apple has withdrawn all of its products from the US government backed EPEAT environmental rating system it helped create. The move will have immediate effect and the Cupertino-based company will no longer submit devices for approval in the future, according to an announcement on EPEAT's website

The idea behind EPEAT, which stands for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, is to ensure electronics are as kind to the environment as possible. Before a product is granted with a seal of approval many factors are considered, including energy consumption, recyclability, reparability and the environmental impact of processes and materials used to manufacture the device. It covers various consumer products including displays, notebooks and desktops.

"They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements," EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee commented. "They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don’t want their products measured by this standard anymore."

Electronics teardown site iFixit believes the move is likely the result of new design paradigms favoring smaller and lighter notebooks and longer battery life. For example, the latest Retina MacBook Pro is nearly impossible to disassemble and has a glued in battery that iFixit says would likely leak the highly toxic innards if removed incorrectly. The difficulties with reparability and recyclability would likely prevent certification of the new rMBP.

It is also possible Apple asked that previously certified models be removed from the national registry as the newer models now replacing them are unlikely to gain certification. Regardless of the reasoning it will prevent most federal agencies from purchasing non-approved products though, as around 95% of all electronics purchased are required to conform to the EPEAT standards.

Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee speaking to the Wall Street Journal said he believes Apple is putting design first in its latest products. "They are not trying to purposely make it hard to open, they are just trying to pack as much as they can into a small space–it's a design decision." He also thinks Apple is likely to release alternative standards for its own products in the near future.

The US retailer's iPhone and iPad devices will likely remain unaffected by the decision as neither is subject to EPEAT approvals. Apple did not respond to requests for further comment.

User Comments: 12

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Guest said:

Doesn't matter, I wasn't going to buy any Apple product ever, anyway.

Pity the fools that do.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Seeing as how the retina display is basically this year's Suri when it comes to game changing developments, I would not be surprised if they just cram in the most expensive technology they can each given product cycle to justify the markups.

But this should prove for some enjoyable reading, can't wait to hear the community justify this one.

fteumer said:

I personally don't care if my laptop meets some green standard.

The retina Pro is getting a lot of hate, but I have to say it is by far the most beautifully engineered machine on the market (for a laptop).

you won't know until you've had one though. (Going on 1 week for me)

Guest said:

My dearest OP, I have a confession to make. I have bought several Apple products. Then again, I don't believe the world to be a flat disc. So that may explain a lot.

Tygerstrike said:

Actually I pity those ppl who dont buy atleast one Apple product. Apple is pretty nice for those ppl who dont have the skill set to run Android. Its nice and safe. Great for ppl getting into which ever market, phones, tablets, mp3 players. All Apple has done is quietly admit that thier new products wont meet the enviromental standards that they helped set up. Seems as if Apple is doing something VERY VERY VERY rare for them. Telling the truth......<shock> <amazment>!!!!

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

You will always be able to take your Mac to an Apple store for recycling. Apple products are very green and they've done a lot of work in this area the last few years, you can read more about it here:

Littleczr Littleczr said:

Although apple IOS is very user friendly, it is not miles apart from android in ease of use. I hate how in ios you have to use itunes for my mp3s I have on my pc. Android I dont need to root the device to install my ps emulator amongst atoher things I won't discuss. In the end it is always the same with apple since the 90s. The make great hardware but software is just awful compared to the competition.

1 person liked this | SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

All Apple has done is quietly admit that thier new products wont meet the enviromental standards that they helped set up.

I was reading a bit about this on another site, and learned that tablets don't fit into the EPEAT registry (from anyone apparently). With the new MBP being so thin, and like mentioned above, difficult to remove parts, the integration on the MBP is very tablet like.

I'm sure Apple is still committed to being as 'green' as possible, see their new data centers for example. They probably just can't meet the standards of EPEAT anymore because they've changed the form factor. I'm sure they are working to create new standards. Its not like they are just suddenly dumping lead and arsenic into clean streams.

Like Mario said, Apple will still accept your old hardware for recycling.

Guest said:

Actually, it is exactly like they are dumping Lead/Arsenic & other nasties into streams, by logical extension of the strategy.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

How so? Apple doesn't use lead or arsenic in their products and hasn't for years.

Guest said:

If you re-read my above post, which you quote, the key word is LIKE :-)

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

You put the word 'exactly' in front of it. If you had just said it is like doing so, then maybe you'd have an argument, but 'exactly like' doesn't work.

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