Apple recently pulled their products from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). This company assess “the environmental impact of a product based on how recyclable it is, how much energy it uses, and how it’s designed and manufactured.” Apple has been one of EPEAT’s biggest supporters, and now has withdrawn…
Apple is withdrawing 39 products from the EPEAT tool registry which implies they will no longer meet the industry’s essential requirements for the “green standard” anymore. This may have a huge impact on Apple products in Education and Businesses going forward.
A statement from EPEAT’s website:
“Apple has notified EPEAT that it is withdrawing its products from the EPEAT registry and will no longer be submitting its products to EPEAT for environmental rating.
EPEAT is the leading global environmental rating system for electronic products, connecting purchasers to environmentally preferable choices and benefiting producers who demonstrate environmental responsibility and innovation.”
Part of making a device meet EPEAT standards is the “disassemble-ability” of a product.
iFixit explains this a little more:
According to my EPEAT contacts, Apple’s mobile design direction is in conflict with the intended direction of the standard. Specifically, the standard lays out particular requirements for product “disassemble-ability,” a very important consideration for recycling: “External enclosures, chassis, and electronic subassemblies shall be removable with commonly available tools or by hand.” Electronics recyclers need to take out hazardous components such as batteries before sending computers through their shredders, because batteries can catch fire when punctured.
One recent product that directly conflicts with EPEAT is the new Retina MacBook Pro. There’s really no easy way to disassemble the new MacBook, leaving it’s “recycle-ability” at a stand-still. The iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad also face the same repair issues. All of these products leave almost no room to easily repair problems.
Apple has always been a big fan of “going green.” In fact, they have a huge breakdown on their environmental footprint on their website. Hopefully we’ll receive more information soon on Apple’s decision to leave EPEAT.
Do you worry about a product’s environmental footprint?