Apple hates the environment, pulls out of EPEAT

While we all love our electronic devices, everyone knows that they contain a lot of hazardous waste in them. The idea for a standard that electronics manufacturers could use to signify their products are environmentally friendly was started in 2001 and the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) was released in 2006. EPEAT requires products meet criteria in eight environmental performance categories, one of which is the level of environmentally sensitive materials it contains. Apple currently has 39 certified desktops, laptops, and monitors.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has asked EPEAT to pull all of their devices from the list as they back out of the restrictions the regulations impose. The given reason is that Apple’s future design goals no longer conform to the EPEAT requirements, and this was in full display when iFixit attempted a teardown of the Retina MacBook Pro: The battery is glued to the case, making removal for recycling impossible.

Although reducing the recyclability of their products isn’t a good thing, this decision could severely impact Apple’s sales. The United States federal government has a requirement that over 95% of their purchases must be EPEAT certified, so this change could force them to purchase competing devices. In addition, 25% of the largest universities require purchased products be EPEAT certified, and nearly 75% give preferential treatment to EPEAT devices.

Apple has long claimed that the company believes the environment is very important and that they are doing everything they can to prevent electronic waste, but according to TexasEnvironment.org, this is mostly rhetoric and lacks any substance. Indeed, the company “lags behind competitors such as Dell in designing its products with safe end-of-life in mind.” iFixit sums it up nicely: “Apple’s decision to opt out of the most basic of eco-standards demonstrates that, despite the costs, design supersedes the environment.”

Via: WSJ
Source: iFixit | Image Courtesy of iFixit

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rippleman said,
If you really love the environment, you yourself wouldn't buy electronics at all...

Okay, I guess I better take my solar panels down then.

Raa said,

Okay, I guess I better take my solar panels down then.
Wrong context.

They're contain materials that are just as bad (if not worse) than any other "electronics" when they're being disposed of.

I always got Apple Products because of their environmentally friendly products. This might change my next purchase.

Not to point out the obvious.. But just because you leave a standard, doesn't mean you need to produce something that is worse than..

So they are leaving it because they can't/don't want to abide by some areas of it, they can still be exceeding in other areas..

And the Glue on a battery.. really ? I can understand if it's fused to a plastic case, but glue comes off Aluminium fairly easy in my experience.. Not to mention that makes them very recyclable.. They have the same type of internal components as any other computer, and the shell of their laptops and MacPro's [ not sure about the iMac's, haven't looked at them in a while ] are all metal, which is ideal for recycling..

Ryoken said,
Not to point out the obvious.. But just because you leave a standard, doesn't mean you need to produce something that is worse than.

But - as stated in the article - Apple is producing products that are less recyclable and therefore worse for the environment. It's a way to make more money by sacrificing ethical business practices.

theyarecomingforyou said,

But - as stated in the article - Apple is producing products that are less recyclable and therefore worse for the environment. It's a way to make more money by sacrificing ethical business practices.
Says one group..

The article says having a glued battery makes recycling impossible.. which is nuts..

It's the internet.. every side has a site that backs it's claims.. I'm not saying Apple is the best, infact I highly doubt it.. but they aren't making their computers out of depleted uranium, and baby seal skin..

In the end the only thing Apple makes is the cases.. the components inside are all from 3rd parties and are near identical to every other computer on the planet.. Same HDD's, Memory, Displays, Batteries, RAM, circuits, etc..

So unless their case is depleted uranium, and they are using toxic waste as glue, I just find it hard to believe that there's that much difference between Apple, Dell, HP, Acer, etc..

Ryoken said,
So unless their case is depleted uranium, and they are using toxic waste as glue, I just find it hard to believe that there's that much difference between Apple, Dell, HP, Acer, etc..

No offense, but I think you have blinders on. If it wasn't a big deal, and Apple was just like the other companies that ARE part of EPEAT, why would they quietly take down their EPEAT certifications? They know their stuff isn't as recyclable (ie: the battery shouldn't be held down with industrial strength glue -- which IS nearly impossible to take off), so they can't be EPEAT certified. But they know most Apple fanbois will spin it as no big deal, just like you did.

Fezmid said,

No offense, but I think you have blinders on. If it wasn't a big deal, and Apple was just like the other companies that ARE part of EPEAT, why would they quietly take down their EPEAT certifications? They know their stuff isn't as recyclable (ie: the battery shouldn't be held down with industrial strength glue -- which IS nearly impossible to take off), so they can't be EPEAT certified. But they know most Apple fanbois will spin it as no big deal, just like you did.
Honestly not a fanboi.. Don't even own a Mac at the moment lol..

Would you rather they make a press conference every time they do something ? It's quiet cause only a few people even care.. and it's only in the news at all BECAUSE it's Apple.. I bet you if Dell, or HP did it, you'd be hard pressed to find mention of it anywhere but maybe on fringe environmental websites..

And I doubt they are using some crazy industrial strength glue.. It'll be just enough to keep the battery stationary inside the case, just like it is in the iPhone/Pod/Touch/'s.. It's inconvenient, but hardly a challenge to separate.

Fezmid said,

No offense, but I think you have blinders on. If it wasn't a big deal, and Apple was just like the other companies that ARE part of EPEAT, why would they quietly take down their EPEAT certifications? They know their stuff isn't as recyclable (ie: the battery shouldn't be held down with industrial strength glue -- which IS nearly impossible to take off), so they can't be EPEAT certified. But they know most Apple fanbois will spin it as no big deal, just like you did.

I think Neowin has hit a low when the writing staff accuses its readers for having blinders on, and spinning something like a fanboy.

what about this tilt on it... They are selling more Ipads... lots of people have replaced the "purchase" of a PC for an Ipad.. hence a NET reduction in plastics and waste.... also, Ipads use next to no power when compared to a PC that people tend to use a lot less once they have an Ipad... hence a NET reduction in over all power consumption..

as with everything, you can tilt a topic to twist it good or bad.

More importantly than the title and SHOOTING the messenger...
Anyone have comments on what Apple is doing?

Apple has created a disposable industry of computing products with the inability to replace even a battery in a device/computer that has a limited life in years.

This was ALREADY a concern for consumers without considering the environmental impact due to the fact that there is no longevity and you won't find a 'battery' powered MacBook running in 10 years because the battery will be exhausted.

Apple is basically saying go F yourselves, our disposable crap will rot in the ground for 100s of years, and we also don't care about short term health concerns either. There are a lot of toxic components in computers, things people have no clue because they are encased and 'solid state' looking.

However they are made of chemicals and components that have limited life functionality, the battery being the most notorious, but also the screen technology WEARS out and is toxic if dumped in a river as well.


Anybody that also thinks this is just 'liberal agenda' crap, do not understand the financial aspects and the ways this violates conservatism by encouraging disposable products that leaves users locked into a failing product after a few years.

Apple's real issue are those procurement requirements that nearly require (or require) EPEAT certification - because EPEAT *itself* is a voluntary set of standards, procurement regulations that require compliance with such voluntary standards are a form of backdoor regulation. What Apple is basically saying that if those standards are such a good thing, write them into law or regulation - don't BOHICA us by requiring compliance with voluntary standards.

Well, it's obvious that "Mr. Jobs has left the building".
You think they would get away with that if he were around? I'll wager that Apple will become what it did the first time Jobs left, but, unlike that time, he won't be coming back to save it.
Apple will become, as most corporation do, all about the money, and the heck with everything else.

naap51stang said,
Well, it's obvious that "Mr. Jobs has left the building".
You think they would get away with that if he were around? I'll wager that Apple will become what it did the first time Jobs left, but, unlike that time, he won't be coming back to save it.
Apple will become, as most corporation do, all about the money, and the heck with everything else.

You think under Jobs it wasn't that? Especially pushing both a hardware and software monopoly from the beginning?

I wonder what the enviro-hipster brigade who decry corporate polluters while clutching their iDevices are going to do.

lots of drama and sensation. none of the real fact and fact-checking on the whys and the hows. how low can neowin go.

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