Apple has decided to leave the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) standards group, pulling all of its products from this electronics ratings systems.
EPEAT measures the environmental aspects of electronics products, much like we do with our Guide to Greener Electronics and serves as a guide that is used by many large institutional buyers of electronics, including the city of San Francisco, the commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Ford Motor Company.
It appears Apple has pulled its products because its new line of MacBook Pros does not meet the EPEAT requirements for easy disassembly and recyclability. Making these products more difficult to recycle and nearly impossible to upgrade will result in more e-waste. Apple is pitting design against the environment, and choosing design as the priority. That’s a false choice, and Apple should know better: historically Apple has been a leader in designing products with the environment in mind.
Customers who have expressed their concerns to Apple in recent months about the energy it’s using to power its iCloud will be disconcerted to hear that Apple is now backsliding on making its products recyclable. Apple can resume its position of leadership on the environment, but right now it seems to be betting that people don’t care.