In an effort to keep San Francisco green, city official are now blocking Apple desktops and laptops from government offices. This ban comes after the company removed their eco-friendly electronics certification from select products.
In a recent report from San Francisco Department of Environment, they claimed they would send out reports to fifty of the city’s government agencies to inform them of the city’s standards and that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products no longer qualify for city funds. This decision comes after CIO Journal published a report that removed their laptops and desktops from a voluntary registry called EPEAT, an organization that specializes in helping consumers and businesses find green electronics that feature better energy efficiency and are easier to recycle.
The government agency’s letter clearly echos a policy from 2007 that states they use city funds to buy EPEAT-certified computers. The actual removal of the computers is not up to them. Jon Walton, the city’s chief information officer, says that he will back up the policy. If the removal of Apple computers from offices is just too problematic for some agencies, they can apply for a waiver although it might be a lengthy process.
EPEAT claims that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) asked for thirty-nine of their MacBooks and desktops be removed from the registry list just last month. A spokeswoman for Apple has declined to make an official statement and directs all inquiries to the environmental page of the Apple website.
San Francisco Department of Environment Director Melanie Nutter expressed her disappointment in Apple’s decision to withdraw from the registry. She also said that she hopes her agency’s removal of Apple products will prompt the company will reevaluate their decision.
This whole story is quite interesting. First off, Apple used to be known for their green products and eco-friendly standards, so it’s quite surprising that they would suddenly remove some of their products off the EPEAT list. This move will reflect bad on the company. The real question here is will other government agencies or companies follow San Francisco’s decision?
Many government agencies, top universities, and educational institutions use Apple products, this move could inspire them to drop their Apple computers. One analyst from Garner, Michael Gartenberg, says that there is nothing to worry about. He said that while this news is significant, it’s really not all that important as most companies don’t require 100% EPA compliance. It’s also vital to point out that unlike most tech companies, Apple still takes part of the environmental movement. They offer annual environmental impact reports on their website as well as offering a variety of recycling program options on their website and stores.