EPEAT to reassess ultrathin laptops after Apple flip-flop

Apple lately admitted its mistake of pulling out of EPEAT certifications and announced that it plans to rejoin the environmental criteria system. Within a week of Apple’s new announcement, EPEAT has revealed that it is reassessing how to rate ultrathin laptops (such as the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air) for the various environmental criteria. As per reports, there are speculations that Apple decided to opt out of EPEAT because the latest Macbook Pros are likely to fail the certification process. This is due to assembly techniques like gluing the laptop's battery to its case which makes the device's individual components difficult to recycle.

Reassessing ultrathins...

Reassessing ultrathins...


Reportedly, Robert Frisbee, EPEAT’s CEO has revealed through their web page that there are likely changes ahead in how ultrathins will be rated under the guidelines. Without promising anything whatsoever, he said that at the end of the process, some companies might choose to remove certain products from the EPEAT registry, which awards products with "gold," "silver," or "bronze" classification based on how well they meet recyclability, energy consumption and environmental impact standards.

Though Robert hasn’t mentioned Apple anywhere in this announcement, it is clear that the announcement has been made due to the recent event wherein Apple decided to opt out and then back in for the EPEAT registry certification. Robert said, “The worldwide interest in EPEAT is testimony to the importance of the work we are all engaged in to develop and recognize greener electronics. Recent discussions have included a focus on construction and disassembly techniques for ultralight/ultrathin laptops. EPEAT standards and processes give us specific ways to respond to these questions. We have launched a surveillance investigation into the relevant criteria across an array of registered products that fall into this category. Surveillance is an information gathering process designed to help us better understand and address broad ambiguities or issues with product declarations.”

Last month, Apple Inc. had told the nonprofit EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) to remove its products from its registry. It had planned to stop submitting its products to EPEAT for environmental ratings. And last week, Apple announced its decision to rejoin the EPEAT program as the company apparently feared that it would affect the sales of its ultrathin laptops. Apple's senior vice president Bob Mansfield said that the company listened to "customers who were disappointed" as the company pulled out of environmental ratings. "I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT," he added. Apple made the announcement a day after San Francisco city officials revealed that they would stop purchasing certain Apple products as it would fail to meet the EPEAT standards. The procurement rule is similar to a standard used by other US cities and states as well as by the federal government. In our recent report about iFixit teardown, it was revealed how simple it is to repair the Google Nexus 7, which also brought to light that the iPad is difficult to tear apart due to the loads of adhesive that Apple uses.

Published Date: Jul 19, 2012 11:56 am | Updated Date: Jul 19, 2012 11:56 am