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Apple discusses withdrawal from EPEAT certification

updated 11:59 pm EDT, Tue July 10, 2012

Calls Energy Star 5.2 and existing Apple programs 'comprehensive'

On Tuesday, Apple responded to media coverage regarding its recent withdrawal of the entire Apple product line from the EPEAT green-certification index. The EPEAT criteria, last changed three years ago, doesn't measure toxic material reduction, nor does it index smartphones or tablets. EPEAT's rules mandate that it must be easy to separate any toxic materials from those that can be recycled.

Apple representative Kristin Huguet told The Loop that "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."

As a result of the withdrawal, San Francisco may soon stop buying Macintosh computers for the city's 50 agencies. While the federal government has rules about 95 percent of its purchases being EPEAT certified, sources tell MacNN that most agencies are using previous model's EPEAT certifications as sufficient compliance with the recyclable mandate.

All current Mac models apart from the Retina MacBook Pro still meet or exceed EPEAT standards. Apple has a web page dedicated to self-reporting on environmental progress in both the manufacturing and retailing aspects of all Apple products, including the mobile devices not covered by EPEAT.[via The Loop]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. svencito

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-12-99

    I'm just curious what it is that makes the retina display MBP not compatible with the EPEAT standard!?

  1. daqman

    Junior Member

    Joined: 09-15-00

    The retina display is thin and would break easily. Apple gets around that by gluing the various layers, including the aluminium back shell, together. Since the back shell is recyclable but the display itself isn't that breaks one of the EPEAT guidelines. Same with other parts, they are glued to the body of the Mac and so don't meet the "easy to recycle" guideline.

  1. sportmac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-20-09

    still curious as to the "why". why withdrawal?

  1. WayneNN

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-11-12

    Originally Posted by daqmanView Post

    The retina display is thin and would break easily. Apple gets around that by gluing the various layers, including the aluminium back shell, together. Since the back shell is recyclable but the display itself isn't that breaks one of the EPEAT guidelines. Same with other parts, they are glued to the body of the Mac and so don't meet the "easy to recycle" guideline.



    This doesn't make sense. The original complaint on blogs was that the glued-in battery being made it difficult to remove the battery without possibly harming wires that pass beneath it (and hence may be glued to it). But when you're recycling, you don't really care that a wire may get messed up while pulling everything apart.

    Who cares if you crack the screen if your goal it to melt it down? And who accounts for less toxic waste and materials going into the design in the first place? It's evidently okay to have polluting manufacturing, toxic-waste-filled devices, larger devices that waste raw materials, etc, as long as you can remove everything with thumb screws or some other foolish standard?

    My guess is that Apple decided that the enviro-nazis weren't concerned with real-world impact, with better manufacturing standards, better designs, etc, but only with a narrow and now-sacred standard, so it was time to get out entirely rather than to have blogs post with each new model that it didn't make the EPEAT list.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99

    Originally Posted by WayneNNView Post


    This doesn't make sense. The original complaint on blogs was that the glued-in battery being made it difficult to remove the battery without possibly harming wires that pass beneath it (and hence may be glued to it). But when you're recycling, you don't really care that a wire may get messed up while pulling everything apart.
    Who cares if you crack the screen if your goal it to melt it down?



    The problem is they don't all get sent to the same place. Metal is recycled at one facility, glass at another. It's hard (not impossible though) to separate the glass from the metal to send them to their appropriate facilities.

  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-14-10

    Apple helped found EPEAT. They should have stayed in and helped them update the rules. Walking away just makes them look arrogant.

  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 12-17-00

    EPEAT certification is a government scam. Apple has enough paying big money for a meaningless certification.

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