Published July 11, 2012
Apple has ended support for a leading, government-backed green standard … and some are seeing red.
Apple on Monday voluntarily pulled its 39 products off of the EPEAT standard, a leading standard that describes eco-friendly technology products. This means government agencies across the country will no longer be able to purchase Apple products.
“They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements,” Robert Frisbee, the CEO of EPEAT, told CIO Journal. “They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don’t want their products measured by this standard anymore.”
San Francisco was the first municipality to react, announcing Tuesday that the company’s products would no longer qualify for purchase with city funds. But strangely, the move doesn’t necessarily mean that gadgets and computers from the consumer electronics giant will become any less green.
The EPEAT standard -- short for Electronic Product Energy Assessment Tool -- has many different facets, governing the manufacturing and assembly process, the energy consumption, and the afterlife of electronic products. It’s that last bit that has become an issue for Apple products, which are notoriously infuriating for their integrated, unreplaceable batteries and non-upgradable components.
In order to meet the standards, recyclers need to be able to easily disassemble products, with common tools, to separate toxic components, like batteries, the EPEAT website explains. Apple’s future design plans seem to continue along the line of tighter integration and less dissectable products.
A statement released Tuesday by the company indicates Apple’s intention to make products as green as possible -- under a different energy efficiency label.
"Apple takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our environmental impact and all of our products meet the strictest energy efficiency standards backed by the US government, Energy Star 5.2. We also lead the industry by reporting each product's greenhouse gas emissions on our website, and Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials."