Apple no longer interested in EPEAT certification

Apple has sent notice to EPEAT Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool and will no longer be submitting their devices for review. EPEAT certifies devices in their ability to be environmentally responsible. The certification process also checks whether or not the device will be easily dismantled and recycled with regular tools. Apple’s latest devices such as the Macbook Pro with Retina display are ineligible for certification due to the inability to easily dismantle it.

EPEAT posted a message on their site explaining that Apple would no longer be submitting devices to them:

Apple has notified EPEAT that it is withdrawing its products from the EPEAT registry and will no longer be submitting its products to EPEAT for environmental rating.

EPEAT is the leading global environmental rating system for electronic products, connecting purchasers to environmentally preferable choices and benefiting producers who demonstrate environmental responsibility and innovation.

For participating electronics manufacturers, EPEAT is a chance to showcase and validate their greener design initiatives, cleaner production and customer support services. But EPEAT is more than simply a product rating – it is also a community effort by all interested stakeholders to define and maintain best practice in environmental sustainability for electronics.

We regret that Apple will no longer be registering its products in EPEAT.  We hope that they will decide to do so again at some point in future.

According to ifixit Apple no longer wishes to comply with the requirements of the EPEAT certification process:

According to my EPEAT contacts, Apple’s mobile design direction is in conflict with the intended direction of the standard. Specifically, the standard lays out particular requirements for product “disassemble-ability,” a very important consideration for recycling: “External enclosures, chassis, and electronic subassemblies shall be removable with commonly available tools or by hand.

A statement made by EPEAT found on an article by the WSJ states that this move by Apple may prevent Government organizations from purchasing Apple products in the future:

Many corporations like Ford, HSBC, and Kaiser Permanente require their CIOs to purchase computers from sources that are EPEAT certified, said Sarah O’Brien director of outreach for EPEAT. And the U.S. government requires that 95% of the electronics it purchases be EPEAT certified.

The article also states that on a survey of 222 of the 300 american universities with the largest endowments 70 of them require EPEAT certification on the products that they purchase. So this decision by Apple may be much larger than they realize if they plan to not certify any future computers that they manufacture. Many believe that Apple will simply create their own standard in the future to replace the lack of the EPEAT certification on their products.

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