First, a rough history lesson. Apple and the EPEAT have had a pretty rough relationship over the last year. Earlier this summer Apple released the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, and EPEAT took Apple to task because the device didn’t live up to EPEAT’s standards. At that point in time, Apple decided to withdraw all of its products from the EPEAT program in an act of defiance. However, Apple didn’t think of the possible consequences of this act. When Apple pulled out of the EPEAT, some local governments had to stop purchasing Macs because they were not EPEAT certified. This factor, mixed with some customer outrage, forced Apple to re-enroll their products in the EPEAT database.
So, now that I got all of that out of the way, you’re probably thinking that the MacBook Pro with Retina display is still rejected by EPEAT, right? Wrong.
As of today, the EPEAT has allowed the MacBook Pro with Retina display, the MacBook Air as well as other unibody “ultrabooks” into the “gold” tier of green products. Why did the EPEAT change its mind? Simple, the EPEAT “clarified” their definition of upgradability. The EPEAT said that these devices actually are upgradable because of the latest external I/O options like Thunderbolt and USB 3.0. The EPEAT also said that their team could easily disassemble and recycle the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in under twenty minutes. Because of this, most ultrabooks were given the gold rating.
Well, it’s either that or they were staring down the barrel of the gun looking right at irrelevance on the other end. We’ll let you decide which came first in this chicken and egg scenario. Hint, it’s probably the irrelevance factor.