Apple has had a strong history and commitment to sustainability. All of Apple’s products meet and usually exceed Energy Star’s standards, which means their hardware is energy efficient. Apple has also submitted all of their products to EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool), until recently.
From the EPEAT website, “EPEAT is the leading global environmental rating system for electronic products, connecting purchasers to environmentally preferable choices & benefiting producers who demonstrate environmental responsibility & innovation.”
In early July, Apple decided to withdraw its products from the EPEAT registry because they wanted to manufacture products that would not qualify them under EPEAT’s standards. For instance, a computer case that is not recyclable because the battery pack is glued and sealed into the case. But why would they do that?
Well, what do you think would happen if your battery died on your computer and you could not replace the battery because it was sealed into the case? Yup, you would have to buy a new computer which means lots of money for Apple.
However, thanks to the quick uproar of the public and of Apple evangelists, Apple has had to second-guess this tactic. In fact, the City of San Francisco was very quick to put out a statement saying they would no longer purchase Apple products for their employees since they no longer meet EPEAT’s standards.
Thankfully, Apple listened to this uproar and decided to re-register all of their products with EPEAT and publicly apologize for putting profits before environmental responsibility. Their Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering wrote an official letter on July 13, (Also Friday the 13th) explaining the mistake.
He opens this letter with the following statement: “We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.”
Good job consumers of America for making large manufacturers stick to the values that we love about them. This is a great illustration of how our voices can control the direction of commerce in the world. I am sure if their sales started to fall because of this decision, they would have had to listen as well.
Thanks to tecca.com and worldtvpc.com for the photos