Amid the rising criticism over withdrawing its products from the green electronics certification of EPEAT, Apple said on Tuesday, “Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials.”
Kristin Huguet, the official Apple representative, told The Loop that Apple has its own rigorous environmental standards and all its products meet Energy Star 5.2 standards set by the US government. Many of the environmental standards used by Apple are not even available at EPEAT. For example, the agency primarily focuses on recycling hardware, but Apple goes far beyond that by measuring carbon emission and removal of toxic materials. Apple has also dedicated a section of its website to environmental protection and recycling issues.
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It’s noteworthy that EPEAT has no standards to measure the environmental friendliness of tablets and smartphones, which are the two most important product lines of Apple. Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) was established by Environmental Protection Agency to rate the electronic products based on their recyclability and energy efficiency.
Recycling has become a big headache for electronics companies around the world. EPEAT certifies a product only if it can easily be disassembled to separate the dangerous components such as batteries from recyclable materials. The CEO of EPEAT, Robert Frisbee told Wall Street Journal that design of Apple products was not consistent with EPEAT guidelines. Talking about MacBook Pro, he said, “It (MacBook Pro) cannot be fully dissembled because the battery was glued to the case, and the glass display was glued to its back.”
In contrast, Dell has 171 products certified by EPEAT, but none of them meet the Energy Star standards (Apple products are compliant with Energy Star 5.2). Definitely, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has done a lot more than any other electronics company to make environment-friendly products.