20 August 2012

Apple rejoins environmental product registry

Tech giant Apple have rejoined a prominent “green” certification programme after customer outcry prompted the company to rethink its decision to withdraw. Bob Mansfield, vice-president of hardware engineering, wrote in a statement, “We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognise that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.”

The move to withdraw from the EPEAT registry, a non-profit product rating system, was rumoured to be tied to the company’s latest Macbook Pro design. Under the standards of EPEAT, all computer hardware must be capable of being broken down for recycling. The new Macbook Pro, however, was designed with a glued in battery which cannot be easily taken out.

Withdrawing resulted in a number of US cities unable to purchase Apple computers as their procurement rules require product certification. In the past Apple has led the move towards recyclable products and even helped in part to design the EPEAT standards. The company introduced eco-friendly design features such as using aluminum instead of plastic in the casings of their products, which makes recycling easier, and had consistently received gold ratings from EPEAT.

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