Apple has pulled the EPEAT certification off 39 desktop computers, laptops and monitors – including current and previous generations of the MacBook Pro and Air – telling the organisation that the ultra-thin design direction that it has embraced is “no longer consistent with [their] requirements.”
“They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don’t want their products measured by this standard anymore,” Robert Frisbee, CEO of EPEAT, told the Wall Street Journal.
EPEAT is a US Government-backed list of products that are environmentally friendly, and awards products either a bronze, silver or gold certification to verify that they are recyclable, maximise energy efficiency and minimise harm to the environment.
The new Retina MacBook Pro didn’t come with the EPEAT certification, and iFixit has noted that Apple was not using it in its marketing material. And this is mainly due to one part of its certification that says that all products must be easily disassemble: “External enclosures, chassis, and electronic subassemblies shall be removable with commonly available tools or by hand.”
The reason? So they can remove batteries so their shredders don’t catch fire or explode when the computers are recycled. The new Retina MacBook Pro did not comply, according to iFixit, because they could get the battery off from the upper case easily. When they did, however, it punctured and leaked hazardous materials.
Apple’s termination of the EPEAT standard also means corporations and schools are less likely to buy their computers. Companies actually use this standard and mandate their CIOs to buy from EPEAT-certified sources. The US Government also uses the standard and mandates that 95 percent of electronics must be EPEAT-certified.
But would this stop people buying Apple products? Probably not. Apple has always won consumers on design, not environmentally friendly computers. Though with this standard becoming more prevalent and, as above, companies are using EPEAT to dictate what computers they buy, Apple’s takeover of corporations might slow down.