Apple Computers Are No Longer Eco-Friendly

Although Apple typically lauds itself for being green, it has decided to stop adhering to environmentally friendly standards. According to the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), the standard for green consumer electronics, Apple has pulled all 39 of its computers from being certified.

The purpose of EPEAT is to lessen the negative environmental impact of making electronics by requiring companies to meet eight different environmental categories, such as a product's lifetime, toxic materials and recyclability. It's a good thing, and it's a pretty big thing that Apple doesn't care about EPEAT anymore, because all of its computers since 2007 have been EPEAT Gold Certified.

The reason for the change is a design thing for Apple. Robert Frissbee, CEO of EPEAT, told the Wall Street Journal:

"They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements. They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don't want their products measured by this standard anymore."

iFixit reasons that Apple is moving away from EPEAT standards because of the MacBook Pro with retina display. The beautiful screen-holding laptop is not exactly eco-friendly because its battery is glued to the case, which means neither can be realistically recycled unless somehow torn apart. The MacBook Pro with retina display would have been ineligible for EPEAT certification, and if Apple continues to move in the new MacBook Pro's design direction, none of its future laptops would either. So it's a preemptive cut off for Apple, one that values design over the environment. [EPEAT via iFixit, WSJ, Tree Hugger]


Comments

    Yay another reason NOT to buy them

      Not to play the devil's advocate here, but they're not the only ones doing this.

      I do find glued-on batteries indefensible. It's not enough to simply use tough unibody cases, that they need to glue the parts together inside. This shouldn't affect Apple other than upselling you on specs at the counter, instead of allowing users to put in new RAM, HDD or batteries down the line.

    Really, the macbook pro battery isn't user replaceable?

    It kind of makes sense for phones and tablets, but for a high end laptop they can choke on it before I'll buy a disposable item.

      i was under the impression that ALL apple products that have battery in them is not user replaceable

    Apple are on an incredibly slippery slope with this power user. Its going to take a fairly big turnaround to keep me in the ecosystem.

    given that most of the people who buy Apple products seem to be hippies, I am sure that they will vent their frustration at this whilst sipping a latte in a cafe, Skyping without headphones and smelling their own farts.

    I thought many of the Apple products were already scoring poorly on the environmentally friendly scale - at least according to groups like Greenpeace.

      Yes, they also rank poorly against bananas

    will be an issue for any government or enterprise customer that has procurement mandates to purchase only EPEAT certified computer equipment too...

    Quite sad really.... not only for the environment, but also for the user. If you physically cannot remove the battery because it is glued on-board, there effectively is no safe way to remove the battery without risking having toxic battery crap all over your hands.
    This really is not acceptable and people really need to start thinking about their purchases and their impact on the environment.

      If you want to do something real for the environment then please do it. But buying one piece of tech that meets environmental standards does absolutely NOTHING for the environment. Unless you're proclaiming your environmentally friendly purchase from the rooftops and influencing thousands of people, one computer makes NO difference. Do something real or forget the stupid guilt trip comments that are just fluff to make you feel good.

        Wow, you are truly a dick. Apple has revoked their full 38 products from this certification. Considering the sales volume of these product lines, it makes a massive difference.
        So not only are Apple promoting form before function, it now also extends to ethical responsibility. E-Waste is already a big issue in developing nations that have become our dumping ground, this just adds to the issue.

          Then maybe its the behaviour of those doing the dumping that should be addressed? It looks like your argument is that we need more "environmentally friendly" technology so that when we dump it on a developing nation it isnt such a big problem.

          Once again this "green" way of thinking is flawed. To force innovation to align what is largely a political agenda is a great way to stifle development. The reality is that most people do not recycle their computers. They throw them on the trash pile with everything else they dont want anymore.

          One thing to note is that the news is that they are withdrawing from EPEAT Gold certification. It doesnt say they are pulling out of EPEAT certification completely. EPEAT Gold means it meets all required criteria plus 75% of the optional criteria.
          So its possible that they still fit into EPEAT Silveror Bronze.

        That's a great mentality. If millions of people selfishly thought their individual purchases made "no difference" so someone else can pick up the slack, I wonder where we'd be.

          It's the corporation's responsibility to produce products that have a minimal effect on the environment, and this should be government regulated. Producing thousands or millions of products in this way DOES make a difference. Using it as a marketing tool to guilt people is pathetic. As the consumer, we should not be involved in the decision at all. I'm not going to buy a product that is more expensive or inferior just because it makes me feel good inside, because the reality is I'm making zero difference by making that one purchase. And you're kidding yourself if you think even years of environmentally 'friendly' product purchases makes a difference. You've just been suckered into feel-good marketing. Then there are the people that think they're better than others for purchasing a few of these products. Give me a break, you're just a puppet for their guilt-trip marketing. This should be controlled on a huge scale by the government so a real difference can actually be made.

    won't affect sales. apple buyers put image above all else

    Been apple fan for awhile now, also a repairer myself, i still have to give Apple a "2 thumps down" on their up coming ranges of products. Seriously, Are you going to line up to buy a macbook that has irreplacable battery? Ram? And Hdd? That 's just sad. I'm totally depressed !!!!

      While in some ways it's not a great move, when I think about it practically I'm not too fussed. Every other laptop I've ever purchased I upgraded the RAM and HDD in the first week of owning the device and then never opened it up again. I can't say I'd need to with this new retina model (which I'll probably buy down the line).

      The only real negative for me is I have to purchase the RAM upgrade through Apple, so I'll have to spend a bit extra to do that. I know some people are put of by maintenance too, but at the end of the day for the consumer most laptops aren't that easily repaired anyway and 90% probably end up in it being sent to a service desk anyway. As long as Apple can handle it, I'm not overly affected. Just need to make backups in case the storage media is swapped out but I do that anyway in case of HDD failures.

    Also, people should have more Threads that specifically point out notes for everybody why future Apple products SUCKS ??? And alternatives, if they actually make it to real products...

    I'd like to know what other computer manufacturers are EPEAT-certified.

      Nearly all are. To sell to the US government (and other govts and enterprises around the world) you have to meet EPEAT standards. This will mean that govt departments will not be able to purchase Apple computers that do not meet the EPEAT standards. This is pretty big, as govt departments won't bend on this.

        Actually the US Government departments are requiring that all federal agencies satisfy 95% of their purchase requirements with EPEAT-registered products. I'm not aware that it has to be EPEAT Gold specifically or any of the EPEAT levels. So as usual there is always a loop hole and probably one that is not monitored in any practical sense.

      Oh - here's the list: http://ww2.epeat.net/Companies.aspx

    "It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness" - Leo Tolstoy

    Has anybody given thought that Apple dropping all EPEAT certifications has something to do with them starting up their own recycling program in store, thus removing 3 to 4 steps of eco-recycling? (There have been rumours). Apple have worked hard at removing all the bad elements of its products. A one step recycling program would make them world leaders not the big losers. Wait and see..............

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