Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool Stories October 16, 2012

iFixit’s Kyle Wiens disputes EPEAT certification of Retina MacBook Pro

Apple was just given the EPEAT Gold certification for the Retina MacBook Pro after reversing its decision to withdraw its products from the green computer registry. Today, iFixit’s Kyle Wien has a few strong words about the MacBook Pro’s Gold certification. He claimed the decision “demonstrates that the EPEAT standard has been watered down to an alarming degree”:

With the Retina MacBook Pro, EPEAT felt there were three specific concerns about the product design that merited further investigation… On the surface, it seems that a product assembled with proprietary screws, glued-in hazardous batteries, non-upgradeable memory and storage, and several large, difficult-to-remove circuit boards would fail all three tests…But it’s not that simple…. 

Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display is not repairable, it’s not upgradeable, and it’s not easy to disassemble for recycling. Yet it is EPEAT Gold. The Product Verification Committee’s decision essentially greenwashes the Retina.

Go to iFixit to read Kyle’s full post about how the MacBook pro was able to get verified EPEAT Gold. 

Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool Stories July 12, 2012

Report: Feds second-guess buying Apple comps

The city of San Francisco stopped purchases of some Apple products after the company announced it planned to forgo an environmental rating system, but a new report indicates federal officials might refrain from buying Cupertino-built computers as well.

According to Politico, which cited a “governmental source,” federal officials familiar with sustainability issues are thinking twice before procuring Apple’s computers. The feds met yesterday to discuss the matter, and the website’s source further claimed the officials will “seek a meeting with Apple soon.”

Politico explained:

  • Last week, Apple decided to stop using an environmental certification program, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool run by the Green Electronics Council, a Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit. EPEAT was developed through a stakeholder process supported by the EPA.
  • The EPEAT rating system is used to monitor a computer’s environmental impact throughout its lifecycle, including the end of its use. The program is used by governments, enterprise, universities, health care and other large institutions to make purchasing decisions.
  • Federal procurement decisions for fiscal 2013 are being made now, the government source said. Federal officials are worried that the government’s efforts to buy environmentally friendly products will be set back, the source said, adding, “Apple’s competitors are looking at this and saying if they can get away with this maybe we can too.”

The Green Electronics Council said in a statement on the EPEAT website that it “regret[s] that Apple will no longer be registering its products in EPEAT. We hope that they will decide to do so again at some point in future,” while Apple told The Loop recently that it “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.”

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