While manufacturing companies seek environment-friendly stamps on their products in today’s environment-conscious consumer world, Apple is simply doing the opposite. In a surprising move, the world’s most desired company asked EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) to remove the list of its products otherwise certified to be environment-friendly before from the group’s registry products that met environment-friendly certification.
The products Apple asked to be listed off from EPEAT includes displays, notebooks, and desktops totaling 39 items. Some schools, businesses, and government institutions require their respective IT departments to buy only environmentally sound products listed under EPEAT registry, so the move of Apple could limit the options of these organizations in their future purchases.
In order to earn EPEAT’s blessing, a product has to follow certain requirements to qualify. For electronic products, this means that recyclers should be able to easily open or disassemble a unit using a common tool for easier separation of toxic components like batteries and chips.
Apple will no longer seek certification from EPEAT although the company has partly built its reputation for being an advocate for environmentally-friendly products ranging from building data centers running on renewable resources to getting rid of toxic chemicals in the components they’re using.
Analysts believe the restriction imposed by EPEAT is the reason why Apple has decided to reverse its thrust in making products green. One of the company’s most recent products, the new Retina MacBook Pro is already so thin but Apple decided to shave off a few more millimeters to the size of the notebook. That makes it more difficult to take apart by an average user. The battery is glued-in and is virtually non-serviceable without sophisticated, customized tools. The same is true to the Retina’s LCD, making it almost impossible to remove. If this LCD is broken, users will be forced to replace the entire assembly although other components surrounding it are still working.
Apple offers recycling programs of its products in its website to calm critics and users alike, adding to the speculation by experts that Apple may be developing its own standard for its own products.