Apple surprised environmental groups and consumers with a sudden withdrawal from a well established and "prominent" green products registry, says the San Jose Mercury News.
Apple will no longer be conforming to the standards set by EPEAT, the eco-friendly certifier backed by the EPA. "Apple has said that their design direction is not compatible with EPEAT standards," says EPEAT boss Robert Frisbee. "It's kind of odd since they've helped design" the standards.
EPEAT stands for the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool and is the method for consumers to assess the effect of a product on the environment. EPAT ranks products as gold, silver or bronze based on a set of environmental performance criteria
"Apple's decision may be tied to the design of the new MacBook Pros, which have batteries glued into the case and can't be disassembled for recycling -- a violation of the green certification standards of EPEAT, a nonprofit product rating group backed by many manufacturers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," reports the San Jose Mercury News.
Apple has been vocal in the past about receiving "gold" ratings from the organization. Apple's decision means that cities like San Francisco can no longer buy its products as the cities' rules require EPEAT certification. "It's really bad for EPEAT and it's really bad for anyone trying to do green purchasing," says one San Francisco city official.
Analysts say that the withdrawal will have very little impact on the company's financial position as whether you are EPEAT certified is pretty far down most consumers list of requirements when purchasing technology.