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Apple withdraws Macintosh line from EPEAT certification

updated 07:01 pm EDT, Sat July 7, 2012

Voluntary certification program co-founded by Apple

Apple has withdrawn all of its Mac products from EPEAT certification and will no longer be submitting items for review, according to a recent announcement by the recycling rating service. EPEAT is used by hundreds of companies, universities and government agencies in dozens of countries as an index of electronics recyclability. Despite the withdrawal of all Macs, most models still meet EPEAT standards for recyle-ability -- but the move could foreshadow some changes in design on the horizon.

Apple was amongst the founding members of EPEAT, and helped create the standards that the index grades by. A statement from the index curators indicates that EPEAT regrets Apple's withdrawal, and hopes that it will return at some point in the future. All of Apple's products since the founding of the EPEAT index have been rated as "gold," or having maximum recycle-ability.

Apple's current MacBook Pro with Retina display is the likely reason behind the change, as it doesn't adhere to EPEAT recyclability and repair standards, according to a teardown effort performed by iFixit. It's likely that future MacBook Air and non-Retina MacBook Pro models (and possible future devices) will adapt some of the design changes seen in the Retina MacBook Pro, such as having the display bonded to the outer casing (which reduces the ability of the display to be recycled, but also uses less glass and makes it thinner) and the glued-in and sealed battery (which is harder to replace but also helps lower the need for replacement).

The US government requires classes of devices on the EPEAT index have a 95 percent rate of certification, and some speculation exists that the change will hinder future federal or business purchases reliant on the (voluntary) recycling review program. However, most government purchases are for iPads and iPhones, classes of devices not on the EPEAT indices, and are thus unaffected by the redaction. MacNN spoke with procurement officials from three federal agencies with plans to purchase Mac equipment, and all three saw no reason to delay or prevent these plans from coming to fruition.

One official said his agency was "fully aware of Apple's decision to stop doing the EPEAT thing. The 95 percent [rule] exists, but is easily waived for mission-critical applications," he said. "Just about everything we need the Apple [machines] for is mission-critical. Besides, the [other current models are] EPEAT, and that's good enough for government work."



By Electronista Staff
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  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-14-10

    I understand the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro. But all products? Sure the iMac is a bugger to get into but the MacPro and Mini are quite easily to disassemble.

    Then I had a thought.

    Suppose they are leading up to a complete redesign of the Mac line. A thinner completely sealed iMac/AppleTV. A sealed up Mini that's the size of the current Apple TV. A Mac Pro that's not the adaptable tower we know but a group of Thunderbolt connected sealed modules.

    This thinner-lighter-tighter model might be the way of Apple products of the future. Yes there's a lot of people like me that won't be happy with this direction, but for most customers...

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 01-16-00

    Originally Posted by GeoduckView Post

    I understand the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro. But all products? Sure the iMac is a bugger to get into but the MacPro and Mini are quite easily to disassemble.
    Then I had a thought.
    Suppose they are leading up to a complete redesign of the Mac line. A thinner completely sealed iMac/AppleTV. A sealed up Mini that's the size of the current Apple TV. A Mac Pro that's not the adaptable tower we know but a group of Thunderbolt connected sealed modules.
    This thinner-lighter-tighter model might be the way of Apple products of the future. Yes there's a lot of people like me that won't be happy with this direction, but for most customers...



    You might be on to something there.

    Hard drives will be the next thing to go with all Apple products.

  1. xmattingly

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-19-06

    The retina MBP and Apple's compact mobile devices obviously don't get desirable EPEAT ratings, but this bit of information really has me interested in what may be coming down the pipeline.

    Could be a continued trend towards "all in one sealed-up" hardware designs, or new materials, or even some combination of both. Maybe we'll see one of their devices in a carbon fiber, or liquid metal case.

  1. subego

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 06-07-01

    Now someone needs to take the username "GUIduck".

    That is all.

  1. Loren

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-20-01

    Now that Steve's gone, we lose the obsessive micromanaged design effort and begin to see expedient product design once again, stuff that's easier to do and nobody will really see. Sad. Try dissembling and recycling parts of the eMac-- what a monstrosity that was...

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Originally Posted by LorenView Post

    Now that Steve's gone, we lose the obsessive micromanaged design effort and begin to see expedient product design once again, stuff that's easier to do and nobody will really see. Sad. Try dissembling and recycling parts of the eMac-- what a monstrosity that was...



    Wait, I'm confused ... wasn't Steve both alive and in charge of Apple when the eMac came out?

    Why yes, yes he was.

    So ... not really sure what you're saying here ...

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