Global consumer electronics major Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has notified EPEAT, that the company no longer wants to submit its products to EPEAT for the environmental rating. EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee told CIO Journal that the company has pulled its 39 products, including MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, from the registry.
EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) was formed by the US Environmental Protection Energy to rate electronic products for their environmental friendliness. It gives companies a chance to showcase their cleaner and greener initiatives. In 2007, the US government passed an order that at least 95% of all the electronic purchases by the government should be EPEAT-certified companies.
A product is certified by EPEAT only if it can be easily disassembled to separate the toxic components (such as batteries) from the recyclable materials. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was a strong proponent of environmental friendliness of electronic products. In fact, it helped create the standard for EPEAT.
“They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements,” Frisbee said. “They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don’t want their products measured by this standard anymore.”
Kyle Wiens, co-founder of iFixit.com, said that the recently launched MacBook Pro, which comes with high resolution retina display, is almost impossible to disassemble completely. The glass display is glued to its back, and the battery is glued to the case.
Frisbee said that if MacBook Pro had been applied for certification, it would have been ineligible. He added, "“If the battery is glued to the case it means you can’t recycle the case and you can’t recycle the battery."
Shaw Wu, respected analyst at Sterne Agee, said that design is the priority for Apple as it wants to make smaller products with long battery life. He thinks that Apple does not want to make its products hard to open. Instead, the company is trying to pack up a lot of stuff in a small space.
It is yet to be seen how the pull off would affect Apple sales. Many large corporations, government institutions, universities and colleges prefer to purchase only EPEAT-certified products. Apple could also come under criticism from consumers for its flip-flopping on the issue.