Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Apple drops 'Green' badge, then relists with EPEAT

Recently, Apple removed its products from the EPEAT rating system (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool), a move which baffled consumers and 'tech industry' insiders alike. A total of 39 products were removed from the listing which included already certified desktop computers, monitors and laptops, MacBooks Air and Pro - and then Apple made a U-turn. In an unusual twist of events, Bob Mansfield, Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering at Apple, released an open letter on the company's website. "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." The delisting had baffled industry insiders and consumers alike, leaving many to speculate as to why Apple would do so. Many reasoned that this was because Apple's new products have changed in terms of environmental friendliness, due to features such as non-removable batteries. However, in Apple's defense, Kristen Huguet told The Loop "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." At present, EPEAT does not measure toxins and other environmental areas of concern, neither does it measure smartphones or tablets. According to the CIO Report, Robert Frisbee, CEO of EPEAT said of the original decision to delist, "They [Apple] said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements. They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don't want their products measured by this standard anymore." Apple's intentions The question remains - was Apple attempting to distance itself from the EPEAT's 'antiquated' standards? Apple has done more to stay in line with environmentally friendly practices across the board than other similar companies, and have gone above and beyond the required certifications. Maybe Apple was trying to affect change, by staging a 'peaceful protest' of sorts, and it seems that EPEAT may have gotten this point. Frisbee, in an open letter in response to Apple's relisting it's products with EPEAT shared, "An interesting question for EPEAT is how to reward innovations that are not yet envisioned with standards that are fixed at a point in time." Apple's Mansfield said in his open letter, "Our relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience, and we look forward to working with EPEAT as their rating system and the underlying IEEE 1680.1 standard evolve." Then again, maybe Apple has killed two birds with one stone - by raising awareness of the shortcomings of standards set by the environmental rating agencies like EPEAT, and at the same time Apple may have intended to draw attention to itself by highlighting it's own high standards as a company. Source - www.naturalnews.com

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