Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Apple Loses EPEAT Label

Work for the Federal Government?  Use an Apple Computer?  Not for long.  Newer Apple products are no longer consistent with the EPEAT standard, a tool used to measure efficiency and sustainability in electronics.  One of the measures of eco-friendliness for EPEAT is recyclability.  This is where Apple runs into trouble.  Apple is famous for creating tightly integrated products and their latest MacBook Pro with Retina Display might just be too integrated.  Glued inside the popular laptop is a lithium-polymer battery, making it nearly impossible for a consumer to get inside the laptop and dispose of the battery properly. Despite this slight hang up with EPEAT, Apple strongly defends its products in this company statement:

    "Apple takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our environmental impact and all of our products meet the strictest energy efficiency standards backed by the US government, Energy Star 5.2. We also lead the industry by reporting each product's greenhouse gas emissions on our website, and Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials.
Taking this into consideration, maybe the EPEAT standards are not the best way to decide if a device is eco-friendly.  Still, several organizations have already announced they will no longer purchase Apple products, most notably the City of San Francisco.